Friday, 22 June 2007
quick update in yekaterinburg
We are now in Yekaterinburg after a 26 hour train from Moscow. Rusians are some of the most daunting people to initiate conversations with as they see smiling before you know someone as insulting. however, break the ice and their generosity knows no bounds. Mikhail, an old dude on the trans-siberian, was initially very scary. Eventually we got chatting and he bought us food here and there and was generally a nice bloke. Unfortunately russians are alcoholics. Before 9am he had drunk two bottles of beer. Now, when you stop at a stations its a big thing in russia. Everyone gets off the train to buy food and souveneirs, and unfortunately Mikhail bought Vodka. There of two main rules of etiquette in russia. Turning down something is very rude and once a bottle of vodka is opened it must be finished - oh dear. So one bottle later (of the only brown vodka i have ever seen anywhere including the rest of vodka) everyone was more happy. By the second bottle the vodka wasn't going down so easy. Mikhail wanted to toast international relations, the train, katherine, everything so i resorted to pretending to be asleep. They really don't take no for an answer even if you say you're on medication. It is such a way of life for them it's crazy but if you're going to sell a bottle of vodka for a quid it's always going to be.