Published: May 17th 2011May 14th 2011
Hello my name is Clara
She did smile all the time, apart from for the photo!
Clara looked after us on the Moscow to Tashkent train. She sold food up and down the train; very forcefully. We resisted the first night but next morning after a somewhat abrupt and loud awakening, at 6am we breakfasted off savory crispy doughnuts with a tasty minced lamb and onions filling (we agreed to buy three so we could go back to sleep, but somehow ended up with six; only 100 roubles though, so not exactly enough to break the bank). Back to sleep until 9am.
For lunch we had steamed dumplings with a similar filling, again very tasty - we managed to keep the numbers down to three this time. Best of all were the shashliks, served with sliced onions which we enjoyed for afternoon tea (again, for some peace from “My Name Is Clara, I Love You Americans") and then with our beer in the restaurant car.
The next couple of days were fairly similar...Clara opening the door, and plonking herself down on the seat, and then trying to sell us food, then looking fairly heartbroken when we didn't want any.
Clara really wanted us to swap a US$2 note for roubles but we just could not oblige, and attempting to explain that they don't exist was very difficult - the rest of the restaurant car found this all highly amusing, it would seem this is something she has tried before.