Maybe it's the lack of sleep from them friggin mosqitoes, but I'm having ongoing feelings of deja vu. Like 300 pages into war and peace and I know the story - surely I would have remembered reading it before? Could I have started it as a teenager? I DID read a lot of books back then...
Anyway, the above pictures of Vic Reeves and Michael Palin are not, they are doppelgangers from Russian TV. Somehow I am sure everybody already knows that there are Russian versions of Vic Reeves and Michael Palin, but anyway there they are.
I've watched a lot of crap TV in the last few hotels and here's my conclusions:
- Russian dubbing leaves the original voices in, a little quieter in the background. I prefer it to the French version.
- "Autoglass Repair, Autoglass Replace" uses the same annoyingly catchy jingle in the French and German versions. Each time, the friendly mechanic chappy manages to inject something into the windscreen and the chip danger is averted. But not in Russia. No "szvetjschnlovnrtzta vnshnevsnza" here.
- Family Guy and South Park are unexpectedly successful crossovers to Slavic.
Well that's enough pop-tv crap for now.
I'm leaving St Petersburg today and getting my first trans-siberian overnighter to Kazan, where all being well I will arrive tomorrow afternoon.
Then I get a 2nd overnighter from there to Ekaterinburg where the last Tsars were got rid of by the nasty Bolsheviks (boo! the baddies! boo!). Staying in what's apparently a dump called the Sverdlovsk hotel.
I don't know how I'll fare on these two little journeys with my nonexistent Russian, but they are both short enough that I hope with snacks and a gaumless smile I will get through.
From Ekaterinburg I get on a 3 day train journey, but this time it's the posh 'Rossiya' train which should be well used to internationals and who knows, I might even get to have a conversation.
So then, trusting all this works out, I turn up in Ulan Ude 3 nights early on the 15th, and I've decided not to leave myself the chance of pushing on to Chita for a day, but rather I've booked into the GBT hostel to hopefully recover/replenish stores before the beach camp.
So if there's no more blog/emails till then, there should be on the 16th.