On the 17th of August, at 2:30 a.m. we boarded a train, prepared to live on it for the next four days. It was on the train that my reoccurring nightmare began. I kept dreaming that I had to go back to Japan. That I was not making a one-way journey. I would wake up relieved.
Everything that could have happened on the train happened before 5 p.m. on the first day. Some Russia people offered us their pickled vegetables and potatoes. We drank vodka with them as an old sailor played the accordion. Two women spoke English and translated questions. The English speakers were teachers and we talked about the Russian education system pre and post communism. As we were singing and dancing to the accordion music the Russian police walked through our train car and tried to tell us that our documents were not legitimate. Our new friends asked these corrupt police officers to please "not do international scandal." They left us alone and we went on eating and drinking.
Our days consisted of when we were going to get hot water for our cup of noodles. And what block of cheese we would cut to put on the bread. I bought a blanket for $20 one day. These four days of Siberian scenery kept our budget where we hoped it to be. When I got off the train in Moscow I had a fever and wanted to spend the entire day in the shower. That evening when I laid on the bed it felt strange not to gently rock back and forth.