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Reisverslag Moscow and the first train trip
21 maart 2016
Moscow and the first train trip
After this I wanted to go to the museum of modern European and American art, but it was Monday and it was closed. So I went to a cafe and got myself a coffee (which was really uge) and took my time to deside what to do. I first checked my financials, then went writing about the last day and after that it was allready 5 o clock or something, so I decided to go buy my first train ticket, 2 days before departure, just to be sure.
The strain station in Moscow is more like a station-complex, with several different stations to different directions. They are set up around a square or something, I didn't figure it out. The station I needed was by itself about 7 times as big as the Amsterdam train station, as I experienced it. One of the main halls of the Kazanski station was twice or three times as high as the Amsterdam station. Bart texted me that I could search my ticket on a site that could be switched from Russian to English, so that I could pick the right ticket and than show it to the lady behind the desk in Russian. The first time I showed my mobile the lady pointed me directly towards a machine. First I thought I could order it at the machine, because I could fill in the russiam translation of my name by looking at my visa, but then it asked for a Russian passport. So I headed back to an other lady who looked a bit more nice, ajd tried it again by giving my mobile with the right ticket in cyrillic to her. She exepted it and in a few minutes I had my ticket. By this time I allready had contact with Jzan, a friend of Bart, and they were coming in my direction to help me with the ticket. They were also never been at the station before, because, why should they? So, it took a while for we found each other. We went eating something in a vegan and vegetarian restaurant, which they picked out for me. And a while later a friend of them, gjorgyi, came over. He looked old, but he is just 22. Gjorgyi works for the Russian Today, a big Russian news program, and coold tell a lot about Russia, and the sovjet time, and the time before. We walked down a very well known, touristic street. And went eating a bit after that. I got a typical Russian bite, made with herring, and a beer. The Russian beer had a good taste. (I thought at that tims) Gjorgyi asked what I would see the next morning, I said The Mausoleum, where Lenin lies, or his mummy-like body, and after that the Tretyakov museum. Gjorgyi said he had never been to the mausuleum and he had a free day, so we could go together.
The next morning I woke up and at first I had a problem: my sim card wasn't working, no Internet or calling possibilities. Luckely I had wifi so I tried to cantact gjorgyi and he said he would be later because is battery had to recharge first. I got a text from beeline, my phone company, and it directed my to their website, where I could see that I had still allmost 7Gb of Internet to spend and also almost all my calling minutes. But it also said my balance was onder 0 and I had to pay to use my simcard again. I couldn't figure out why this was the way it was, and receptionist of the hostel couldn't exain it to me also. So after I told it to Jzan he just simply put 50 roebels of his on the card. He also didn't know why this happed, but "this is Russia, get used to it".
A quarter before closure I went in the Mausoleum, which was free, and gjorgyi arrived 5 minutes later but he was not allowed te go in. The Mausoleum I a kind of dark tombe where you will find yourself in a central hall where Lenin is lying in the centre in a vitrine, or a coffin made of glass, with velveteen. He lies there incredibly lightened up, so that your eyes have to get used to the light after they got used to the dark of the tombe. He is lying there like a madame toussau, with a balding head. You are not allowed to stand still so you have half a minute to walk around and look.
I met gjorgyi at the red square and we walked around and probably talked about Russia and then went drinking a coffee in a café and tolked about where I should go after Moscow. The conversation wasn't that smooth, with his knowledge of English (and my knowledge of English), but it was a good talk. After thid we went to the Tretyakov museum and the was much work shown about the 17the till 19th century, with a lot of war scenes and pictures of cities. Gjorgyi almost told me about the compleet history of Russia, and with all the date quite exact, when he saw the different paintings of historical happenings. It was also his first time at the museum and he got exited every time he saw some painting he knew from the schoolbooks and every time there was a big historical event shown. He had studied international relations, but within the deoartment of history, so he knew a lot and he probably wanted to explain me about the Russian culture and history, but he allmost certainly likes history a lot himself too. He couldn't stop talking about it.
After thidbwe wentnto the main building of the Moscow State University, which is, actually, the biggest university of the world. It is more than 200 meters tall, incredibly wide and has the shape of an x with an extra stripe through the centre. Next to this building are several "departmenst" around it which makes the complex like a small village, and everything is build in symmetry. Including the inside achitecture, so told gjorgyi me. When he would walk inside and then would get himself in a place without knowing how he got there, it was impossible for him to find out where he was, because he could be in 3 (I guess) other places. It is easy to get lost in there. So a impressive building made by Stalin, but a rather stupid communism idea to make it thát symmetrical from the inside. But when you live there a long time, eventually you will know how to find your way. As there was a guy who lived there for 7 years and never came out. This is easally possible because the building has next to its dorms and classrooms, cheap cafés amd restaurants, shopping malls, probably a sports centre, and even a small hospital, actually really everything to be a happy healthy man.
We went to the University, also because it lays on top of a hill with a big view over Moscow. So after watching at the building we went walking on the big boulevard, a street as big as an flight lane for an airplane (as many other streets in Moscow), where people illegally drag raced, becaus it was less crowdy than other big streets in Moscow. After a long cold walk along the road we had the big view over Moscow, it it was already dark so you could see the lights of the buildings and it was not as interesting as at day time probably. We didn't stand there because it was windy there at the front of the hill and really cold, so we went looking for the metro. And gjorgyi wasn't sure where it was so we had to search for it in a snowy park up the hill, he telling that he likes to go out camping alone somewhere in the woods, or with a girl. He was a girls man because he also told about his three girls at the same time.
After this we went to Fridays to have diner with two friends of Gjorgyi's. I walked very much that day. One of the two friends, who were actually a couple, a girl, had studyed, or studyed, i forgot, Dutch Rights and Language. So she could speak dutch and she spoke it quite good. It was very funny and weird to hear a Russian speak Dutch after a couple of days only hearing Russian or English. It was like something unreal coming out of her mouth and in the same time it felt comfortable. She was quite diligent I remarked, because she kept on talking to me in Dutch, I think she really wanted to practice her knowkledge. It had to be a bit weird for Gjorgyi and his other friend (who was actually her boyfriend) but in the same time i noticed Gjorkyi liked it a lot because he brought us together. And ofcourse it was something special, a dutch conversation with a Russian and a Dutch person. Jzan also came to fridays and we had a good night talking and laughing. We found out that Gjorkyi and I were talking earlier that day about hi-jacking, both meaning hitch hicking, which is "liften", without noticing it actually meant "kapen".
These people all studied very hard i guess and were all really smart. Gjorgyi knowing allmost the complete history of Russia, without any education for that, Jzan constantly correcting Gjorgyi on his English and as Gjorgyi told also on his Russian, while he himself is from the Philipines, and philipine is his mother tongue. And the girl, i'm sorry i forgot her name, coul probably explain me the complete working of the dutch right system, because when i just asked her "tell something about it"? She repeated; "What? The division of the rights, or something else?" so I actually didn't know what to ask her precicely. She told me by the way that the right system in Russia is for the most the same as in Holland. They told me it was a good idea to bu gloves and a scarf for when I would arrive in Irkutsk, whe said good bye and I went back to my hostel. In my room were two girls sleeping and cudling in one bed, and next to that I could emediatly see they were lesbian, I checked it with them the next morning. It was special for me because I had just that afternoon, probably somewhere after or before the tretyakov museum, with Gjorgyi a conversation about homoseksuality in Russia and he said in Sint Petersburg it was oke but in moscow it was not easy to be gay becasue the city was quite conservative because there were a lot of people from the country-side living in Moscow.
Before I took the train the next morning I had a litlle stress because the owner of the hostel told my registration would be finished tomorrow, when I asked if I could get it. In Russia you have to be registrated within seven days, otherwise you could get problems. The first night I asked the guy from the reception if he could registrate me and he sayd then that it wpuld be ready in two days. So at monday, and it was wednesday already. I felt troubled because I had to take the train in a few ours. The owner told me he could email me the registration tomorrow so i could print in out. I made a sign that i would be dead otherwise so that it would be clear for him that it was urgent, but he probably mistook my sign with that he would be dead otherwise.. After I while he came in a hurry to my room and aksed for my passport and visa so that he could make copies from it, which the guy from the reception at saturday night already had done (so the boy probably just had forgotten the registration and it had to be done again). After this I went in a hurry to the station, could buy me some bread with (accidently, sorry it's hard Lyn) meat in it and boarded the train. Thanks to Jzan i could understand my ticked in Russian and knew wich wagon i head to board. In line for the passport check I met for the first time this drunk guy with a bit of lonatic and agressive look in his eyes, who was free from army for the first day, and who was talking to me or maybe to the guy in front of me, who didn't respond, in Russian, like the stupid guys in big cities in holland who have short hair (as this person), a cap and a Moscow (wow) jacked and are drunk and bored in the night. This Russian guy would try to tell me stuff a lot more that day.
One wagon of the 3th class has per part two beds stapled, right-angled at the roccidor, a table and the again two beds stapled right-angled at the rorridor, and at the other side of the corridor two beds stapled, in line with the corridor. I had one of the lower, right-angled beds, in front of me was another man on the lower bed, right-angled at the rorridor, we had nobody obove us, and at the other side of the corridor was a man and a woman sitting at the table (you could fold the lower bed in line with the corridor to a table). The beds were more like hard couches, and when you went to sleep you could roll a very thin matras out over the couch. So I had one couch for myself and the man in front of me, who was called Isa, had also a couch for himself. Isa couldn't speak one word English by the way, but he showed me picture of his seven doughters, with happiness and proudness in his face, his hometown and the nature around it, which was somewhere to the upper north of Siberia, and also of some other interesting and cool things like a two meter tall and fat woolf he had shot himself. He was a very interesting, peaceful and calm person who had a lot of curves in his face, showing some maybe troubled history (he was probably somewhere 50) and who prayed three times or more on his bed because he was moslim. It was reaaly nice communicating with him and we were sometimes helped by a Russian guy who was just back from Goa, India, going home, and could speak some English. The "confersation" started emediatly when the train departed because he offered me a coffee, which was very kind. Later in the evening he also offered me some of his selfmade bread (because I bought some bread with fish by a lady at a platform which Isa found was terrible (he showed with an expression as if it smelled like shit) and wich actually was). He offered me to visit him in Nadym, his hometown, to learn me shooting and show me the nature, something wich I found really kind and special (in which moment of my life would I else learn shooting), but his town laid completely not in my direction. As I told, there was this drunk guy who came to me all the time and had a bit uncontrolled movements and was trying to tell me stuff in Russia. He also asked me stuff like where i came from but next to that he couldn't understand English, he was to stupid to understadn my signs and drawings. I tryed to be kind to this guy and not to bother him by ignoruing him directly and luckily Isa and the man who sat at the other side of the corridor sent him away some times.
There was also a black man from Saudi Arabia on the train who was really small but had quite a belly, and was dressed in a grey suit with a pink shirt underneath it. The man got a lot of attention because he was pissing of the sellers at the platform (when the train made a stop) by making jokes and wanted to get on a picture with some Russian people. Ofcourse also me because I was easily two heads taller than him, 20 cm thinner and had blond long hair, instead of his bold black head. He sayd all the the time, "krashiwa, Russia krashiwa" which means beautiful, russia beautiful. By coincedence, he also went to Kazan, and when he heard that, he asked me where I would sleep and emediatly how much it would cost (with his bussines-instinct in blood and veins), I said 450 and he would come with me. Of course I said OK, but when we first got off the train, I regretted it, because he was making pictures of everything, like himself with snow in his hand, his hometown written in the snow in arabic, saying Krashiwa and beautiful al the time, and I had to wait for him for at least 15 minutes at the cold and snowwite platform at 02:00 in the night. He also could say "come come" a lot, when I had to make a picture of him, all with an energy as if it was 2 in de afernoon. I still had to get the adress of the hostel and therefore had to go to the main building of the trainstation for wifi acces, with the little Saudi Arbian man, acting like a Japanese guy, dragging two uge roller cases through the snow, behind me. It had to be a pritty special sight for the Russian people at the train station, a tall boy with long blond hair and a short but fat black man in a suit walking in next to each other at 2 in the morning. Maybe front page news. When I was trying to get acces to the wifi, Mubarak was ordering every Russian guy to make a picture of him with one of the statues or other (for him) interesting things, making a peace sign with his fingers. It was really his bussiness man drive, that could make it possible he could get all the russian people making pictures for him, with faces of incomprehension. After a nice Russian lady from the reception ordered a taxi for us, we went to the taxi and while I was trying to get clear for the driver where to go to, Mubarak (that was his name) just kept on repeating "Whats is the Price? Ask the price?" and saying that we would go to an other taxi if it was too much to the taxi driver. I knew it would be cheap because te lady from the station ordered it for us and I dont really care. The taxi driver used a counting system and Mubarak couldn't understand it but got in the taxi. Mubarak had this bussiness instinct but I remarked he felt a bit vulnerouble in a country where he was completely alone and couldn's speak the basic language. I actually had quite some fun with this special guy and I actually hope I could meet him again some time. His purpose of visit was also special and weird, he was going to get a wife in Kazan. He didn't already head one, but he was going to look for one in Kazan, where many people were muslim, and I think he had some kind of date with somebody. The hostel I booked laid, just as the G-art in Moscow, in a backstreet/courtyard, but when we came in the contrast was big: the receptionist who led us in personally spoke perfect english, much better than I do, gave us some paper slippers and helped me and also mubarak with a room. Mubarak showed himself one more time by asking the girl what her age was (she was 25 or something) and if she wanted to be his wife and live with him in Saudi Arabia, while sayin Krashiwa al the time. It was quite funny to see, because he said it with a smile but you could see that he was really impressed by her beauty and was serious about the marriage request. She didn't really know what to do but rejected it. Mubarak also ofcourse wanted to see his bed first before paying, and wanted to sleep one night before paying for a second one. The next morning he was payed back for his actions, because the bed for that night was already booked and he had to go to another hostel, helped and tipped by the owners of the Backpack Hostel (where we had slept). And he left, gave me his number so we could see some things in Kazan togheter, and went looking for his wife at the mosk. This was thursday morning already, my first day in Kazan.
Foto's bij verslag (28)
1 april 2016 22:55 | Door: Ineke en Ruud Deurloo
Hartelijk dank Peke, We beleven jouw reis ook een beetje mee. Groeten uit Geelbroek.