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Published: March 27th 2006
We put our watches back rather than forward last night, so when the woman called our room at 11.30 and told us to leave at once we still thought it was half past 9. We struggled to pack our things and each have a shower in time but somehow we managed. Claire and Orphais had already left to explore Moscow for a day so there was just myself, Tamzin and Liisa left.
Chris W picked up where he left off in December by organising a meal out for us and making sure we all got there in time. I remembered the way to the Georgian restaurant with some help from Vladimir Ilych Lenin, who is still pointing towards it.
Some of the atmosphere was still there and it was a good couple of hours. Dukhan still does the best and hardest to pronounce food in town. None of the actors could join us so I don't know when and where I will see them next. They were the 'new kids' while I lived with them but they have already been in Yaroslavl for longer than I ever was, and have new friends now. My seat in Lena's grammar class
is now taken by the Sheffield University heart-throb, and one girl even had the cheek to give me directions to my old Universam supermarket on Prospekt Tolbukhina, which has now become a Perekrestok.
Less than a day after giving everyone a hug to say hello it was time for a hug to say goodbye. Saying "uvidimsya" to everyone seemed the best thing to say. It means 'we will see each other again', but I wasn't sure when.
We went music and film shopping while we waited for our train at 6.30 in the evening. Once we got to the empty grey station waiting room the three of us opened a bag of priyaniki, put our dirty feet and jeans on the spare seats and looked through our photos, like real travellers. The train to Moscow was very comfortable, almost like an aeroplane, and the driver interrupted the radio about half way to tell the passengers that Lokomotiv had just lost.
At Moscow another unfriendly woman told me through slightly thinner glass that there would be no elektrichka back to Tver until tomorrow, but we found three spare tickets for the 00.30 train to Murmansk. We might have
Scenes from the play.
Alessandra, Lo, Michael and Ana.
ended up there too - check your atlases - because the door we tried to get out of when it stopped at Tver was locked, and the train was moving by the time we had dashed to the next one. I shouted "Wait!" at the guard, she shouted back at me because it was my fault somehow, and after a painfully loud screech of the emergency brakes we were allowed off the train.
It was minus 8 as we were walking back to obshezhitie. We had taken four trains, slept on chairs at a language school and walked for hours during the weekend and no-one had come to any harm, until I slipped on a puddle of ice within sight of Tv.G.U. I have fallen over more times than I can count since the beginning of winter but this was the first time I stayed down for long. I landed on my right forearm and hit my elbow, and gasped in freezing air as I winded myself. It was a relief to get into bed at 3.14 in the morning.
Maybe the weekend was a sort of 'closure' from Yaroslavl, and a chance to look forward. I'm certainly
Scenes from the play.
Uju, Michael and Louise.
very glad that I went back.
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