Novy Urengoy, Russian Federation
Пермь (Perm) 22:17 (local time which is +2hrs from Moscow), 25 June Western Siberians Valyera, Vera and grandson Ruslan were my kupe companions. Thin chested and moustachioed Valyera patiently held the bottom bunk bed up for a while a second time while I extracted my necessary things from my stowed backpack. After getting a tall glass tumbler with the accompanying РЖД (Russian Iron Roads) ensignia metal glass holder from the young provodnitsa (she was like many young 20 year old uni students doing this thankless job for some money in the summer break) I had a warm cup of green tea from my stocks. Vera kindly gave me a doughy plain bread disc for my tea and it was time for bed. My right shoulder was quite sore and giving me pain. Sleeping was hard as the bunks were too short and lying on my back gave no relief to the shoulder, caused by weeks and weeks of loaded daypack carrying. Тюмен 00; (Tyumen) 09:35-10:35 local (+2hrs from Moscow), 26 June After spending an entertaining morning with my kupe companions Valyera, Vera and grandson Ruslan, Aleks a geodesic cartographer also heading to Surgut to undertake surveys for railway maintenance purposes had overheard our stilted conversations from the corridor. He spoke good English and offered to help. At Tyumen Aleks and I had a walk into the brand new Tyumen railway station terminal. Flash alright. I noticed again the security people at the entrances like at all stations I’d been to so far. Metal detectors stood in place and people walked through setting them off beeping. No one said anything. As Aleks explained the government under Putin had ordered municipalities to install security systems at all terminals, due to resent past terrorism acts in Russia. The equipment was duly purchased but no enforcement took place. On the way back to the train Aleks shared with me that he and us wife were having trouble getting pregnant. So he had ordered that they both start a strict exercise regime waving at his own slightly overweight physique. Tоболь 089;к (Tobolsk) 14:00 local, 26 June A 15 minute stop enough to alight and stretch legs. I think this is where I bought the price of whole dried fish that looked very interesting, as much as to make the young girl selling to me feel less offended when I asked to take a photo of her very interesting table of different fish species all dried slowly in special ovens. Демья
85;ка (Demyanka) 18:24 local, 26 June A brief pause in a music making to stretch the legs on the platform. Сургу
90; (Surgut) 23:40 local – departed after 67 minutes in station Said good bye to Valyera, Vera and Ruslan. As I was too busy playing music with Peter I didn’t get to see Aleks before he got off. Когал
99;м (Kagalm) 03:30 local, 27 June Still light outside. Taiga thinning out. Парка (Parka) 07:30 local, 27 June I wondered if this was where the word ‘parka’ jackets came from? Пурпе (Purpe) 08:55 local, 27 June We’re early in and a guy wanting to get off had to wake the little thing of a provodnitsa to let him off the train. Already hot outside in the bright bright light. My first horse fly with big iridescent green eyes landed on me – taste of things to come. We left at the prescribed time of 09:41. The place wasn’t exactly deserted, with railway workers measuring tracks and people milling about the platform. But the medium rise apartment blocks, despite their new appearance had the feel of emptiness all around. The signs of industry were prevalent though. Cranes and workshops. I figured it was all supporting the oil and gas industry. Across the workshops roofs and thought the criss cross of aerial telegraph and power cables there were the gleaming gold onion domes of an orthodox church. Пуроб
89;к 10:55 local, 27 June Peter, the petroleum geologist /engineer who wanted to be an archeologist, alights. We’d had some good chats and he knew a lot about languages and Russian history. And he was amazed to be finding an Auatralian on board a train heading north in Western Siberia! Сывда
88;ма (Sivdarma) 11:50 local, 27 June After this small siding a couple of guys from some kind of police force walked through the train. They told me something I couldn’t understand. Eventually I understood them to be telling me not to leave my stuff in full view on the beds on the kupe with the door open. I was in the corridor looking out a window when they came and has left my kupe’s door open. But my carriage was empty now anyway. Корот
95;аево (Karotchaeva) 13:30, 27 June ************e left on this train. I feel I’m heading into nowhere. No one seems too concerned and the provodnitsa doesn’t do much work anymore. After a turn on the long platform I couldn’t get back into my wagon because she was elsewhere. The young male provodnitsa on Carriage 14 was in attendance at his wagon door so I was able to get on there and walk back through. The different smells of carriage 14 were stark. More perfumed – one of the provodnitsas was prettying herself up.