Second train, Ulan Bator to Irkutsk, actually a shorter trip by distance then Beijing – but there is a Russian border and crossing takes a lot of time apparently. The Russian portion of the train (aka the part actually allowed to cross the border) was only two wagons with own Russian staff. The train was a weird combination out of old and new style, completely sealed windows and some form of air-condition based on the movement of the train. There was also carpet and it looked much more nice than the Chinese train before. The Russian staff were two old ladies, unfriendly, but helpful. I felt almost home.
For companionship this time we had a guy from Tuva (looked Mongolian, but was actually Russian) and a very cool old guy from Holland (yes, Dutch again): Wim. He was a Doctor of Anthropology on a research trip. We must have had hours and hours of conversation about all kinds of topics …
Washing experience provided in cornered environment.
Corruption is our goal.
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