At the moment, I’m having the whole compartment to myself, which is pretty sweet!
There are four berths to a compartment, two to a side, with a small table in the middle. Sliding door. Bottom berths can be lifted up to reveal a storage box, which is very good to store valuables when you sleep at night.
Toilets are reasonable and clean. Well, it’s still Day 1 anyways!
The Chinese attendants are friendly and helpful. There’s also a timetable in the corridor, showing in both English and Chinese all our stops and the durations we’ll be stopping for! Absolutely brilliant! Nothing beats being literate!
I’ve just come back from the restaurant car.
About two hours ago, we stopped at a place called Balyezino. While stretching my legs on the platform, I struck up a conversation with this Swedish guy called Ronan who’s a tour guide leading a group of 25 people from Norway, Finland and Sweden, through Moscow, Ulan Bator (capital of Mongolia) and Beijing.
The group apparently eats three meals a day at the restaurant car (posh!) and so the guide knows the proprietor well.
After the train got moving again, he came by and asked if I wanted to eat. Although I’ve just eaten, when you’re on a journey like that, you don’t want to refuse food, so I said sure, esp. when he said he could get me food for free!
So away we went, my first foray to the restaurant car. I got a borsch and salad. Wasn’t fantastic, but sufficient and not bad. Hey, beats instant noodles ok?!
We chatted for a long time. It’s not like either of us have anywhere to go. But it was very hot, the windows were all closed and I was dripping sweat.
We talked about traveling through China and then he asked me if I would like to travel with him. Ummm. No?!
Is there really such a thing as a free lunch? ;)