Last time I described travelling by train in European countries, especially in the United Kingdom. Let’s now look at my impressions of taking Russian trains.
My first experience was about fifteen years ago when I travelled from Moscow to Novosibirsk. In those days I knew very little Russian except “I speak Russian very badly”. And I had quite a lot of difficulty. Fortunately, on this journey I shared a compartment with a Russian businessman who spoke very good English, but advised me to learn more Russian before taking the train again! I took his advice and now manage very well!
I have met many interesting people on the trains, including some tourists who were making the journey across Siberia to China. In the early days I think it was rather more dangerous, especially with some thieves and bad people operating on the trains — and once I had my telephone taken by an old woman! But now everything is extremely orderly, or so it has seemed on my journeys.
I once shared a coupe with two policemen who had locked up a thief in the end compartment which I had booked for myself. The man had committed some crimes in Тюмень and had fled to Moscow where he had been arrested and was being transported back to the scene of the crime. The two policemen were very happy to have an Englishman with them and the younger of the two, only just graduated from being a Kadet, had never arrested anyone before.
I especially like buying products from the Babushkas along the way, especially potato pies and also fish from Barabinsk.
In all, my travels by train are always enjoyable.
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