Poland/Belarus (Sun) 3 May 2010

Dude, this old lady in front of me isn’t friendly at all. I smile at her and she gives me a blank look.

Got woken up at about 3am by the carriage attendant. No idea what’s going on. He just barged in.

Haven’t been able to sleep well at all coz I kept expecting that we’ll be crossing borders and I have no idea if I’ll be expected to get off the train or anything. So it’s been pretty light sleeping all the way through.

So I got woken up, and just sat in the dark waiting to see what happens next.

Then the attendant stuffs the old lady and an old man into my cabin. I thought they’re new roommates but she seems to indicate that they’re just here to go through border control.


Then immigration officials made it down the aisle, fairly quickly, until they got to me.

The old man’s passport was straight-forward, then it’s my turn. The official flicks it back and forth and back and forth.

He asked me where I live. He speaks really good English! He asks me if I have anything to show for my time in the UK, so I dug out my UK passport, which caused even more confusion.

He now flips through both of the passports, examining them closely, literally holding them about an inch from his face. The female with the portable scanning machine and stamp arrives and lengthy discussion ensues. I have to explain why I have two passports.

After a long time, he gave it back and I’m left staring at Old Lady again.

The train moved on slowly for a while, and then stopped again. I think we just left Poland and were now entering Belarus.

The Belarus guys came on, one of them asked me about my luggage and wine (I don’t have any), gave a hearty laugh, and then moved on. A Mr.Grumpy then took our passports away and disappeared.

4.30am. Just got my passport back. Old Lady seems to tell me that we’re in Brest, which should be right. It’s a Belarus town on the border with Russia.

I wish I know what’s going on. It’s like sitting in a black hole where no one understands you and you understand no one and you don’t know where you are or what’s going on…you’re basically just waiting to see what happens next.

5am. After the Belarus passport control, the train has pulled into some sort of service station. I think this is where they change the European bogies into Russian ones. (One is wider than the other. Forgot which though.) The attendant indicates that it’s over (passport control) and that I should go back to sleep.

If I could.


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