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August 13th 2007
Published: August 13th 2007
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Waiting for a trainWaiting for a trainWaiting for a train

how many hours to get rid of??
In Russia all the signs are in their script, making transportation and navigation, at times a challenge. When in doubt we asked someone. More than likely they didn't speak English, but we learned the phrase 'nappi-shite' which means please 'write this.' Communication was challenging, but a smile keeps everyone happy enough, even to the tough and unapproachable looking! The people we interacted with were friendly and helpful. The lodge owners were more than happy to have us, some were even amazed at how we'd managed to travel the distances without speaking Russian. Independent foreign tourists outside Moscow, were few and only seen in the hostels. They passed on a few good tips and hints to help us along our way, like the time we rented a rest room at a train station. The hostel workers helped us with planning our next leg of our journeys too.
Fashion here is somewhat questionable. Poverty is evident in the quality of dress, infrastructure is developing as in all countries economic diversity of the people and its land is present when travelling around. The cities are city like, with shops and bussling people going about their hectic lives. Suburbs are typical of that of housing areas some in need of development. The rural countryside areas, are that of my interest as you can see more genuine culture and ways of life occurring. It was interesting to see Russian designed roof tops and gardens full of vegetables, displaying a relatively self-sufficient life styles.
Russian food, i am still questioning. What is traditional? I ask myself as we can't read the menus! We've eaten lots of potato pies, which are really mashed potato in a dough like capsule, they fill a hole when hungry. They're sold everywhere! When staying at a lodge in Lake Baikal, we were fed a variety of food. Pasta, cheese topped rice and cold stew for breakfast, fish for tea. Our favourite being panckes with homemade raspberry jam! I had an amazing pancake in Irkutsk, with condensed milk and walnuts - yummy! Russians drink alot of beer and vodka. There is always glass to be found on the towns pavements and in the parks. Frequently you'll see someone drinking and the odd drunk in the cities.


14th August 2007

Great to hear it's going well!
Hi Zoe, glad to see you're having lots of fun. Just to cheer you up, having had about four days of lovely sunshine, it is pouring with rain and blowing a hooly in Christchurch. I have to tell you though, its still fab to see the sea from my bedroom window! Keep in touch - it's great to see what you're doing. S xxx

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