Day 15 – Irkutsk and departure

Today, I went according to yesterday’s plan. It was nice and sunny, therefore a good day to go out and explore. So I took a stroll around Irkutsk city and took shots where I pleased, while trying not to stand out too much as a foreigner. I didn’t trust this place.

I took a walk along the Angara river as well, which was pleasant. I watched a few planes fly over before heading back to the centre.

I saw the Changing of the Guard infront of the government building, then spent the remainder of the day in the city centre.

I was reminded of my previous experiences in the former Soviet Union for sure.

For dinner, I went to Pervat again, this time trying some fish from Lake Baikal; popular among foreigners and locals. Omul. It was raw fish, and it tasted quite nice. Definitely something to remember. I’ve never tried raw fish in my life before.

After my day out, it was time to head back to the homestay and relax until it was time for my pickup. I sat down on the bed, put my iPod on and listened away, until 5pm.

I was taken by my agent, and transferred to Irkutsk train station. The station was quite busy. I’ve enjoyed my stay in this part of Russia so far. Onwards, it’s a non-stop three day journey to Moscow.

My agent helped check me in, and took me to the train at boarding time. I was shown aboard by the attendant, and I found myself to be sharing a cabin with three other Russian passengers, so I’m probably not going to have someone to talk to. Not only did I think I was going to feel bored, but also, slightly scared. I was hoping these guys weren’t going to steal any of my stuff while I was asleep, or worse. I felt alone. Many thoughts went through my head.

Thankfully though, at the next station, two of the passengers got off, and I was left with the one man. He was middle-aged, and of slight build.

Anyway, I’m going to be here for three days. He tried to converse with me, but we barely understood eachother. With a few Russian words, I was able to communicate on some level or another, and I was able to understand some of his questions, such as ‘Where are you from?’, and ‘Where are you going?’. I was able to answer in Russian. He asked a few questions that I didn’t understand, but some that I understood were among ‘How old are you?’ and ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’

For dinner, he shared some of his bread with me, and also offered a glass of vodka. I sculled it down, and it was quite good. Even while not understanding eachother completely, we still managed to get along fine. There were definitely lots of smiles happening. I asked if he was going to Moscow, and he said yes. So it looked like I was going to spend the whole journey with him. At least I felt better though. With the other two passengers in here, it might have been very awkward and uneasy on me. I was hoping that an English speaking tourist would join the cabin at some point though. Still, this is experience, and I’m grateful for it.

Before deciding to sleep, I set my clock to Novosibirsk time, to help myself adjust to the new timezone.

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