In this continuing series, we cover my move from San Diego to Chita, Siberia to be a professor at Chita State Technical University. We pick up story going to train station in Khabarovsk to catch Trans-Siberian Railroad.
If you’ve been reading this series on NomadJournalTrips.com, you know my original travel estimate was 2 ½ days from San Diego to Chita, Russia. Well, day 4 has arrived and I am just getting on train. This horrible time estimate is evidence of a poor math education. I blame American education system!
I never could figure out those math hypotheticals, “If a train is going south at “x” speed and a cyclist is going north at “x” speed, when will they meet?” When are they going to meet? More like, “What heck is cyclist going to look like WHEN they meet?” What about his family, not to mention nightmares suffered by conductor. I mean, really, who can do math under such circumstances?
Stairs…Evil, Evil Stairs
At Intourist hotel, we arranged for train tickets to Chita. By we, I mean my friend Grae did everything. For $27, “we” had arranged a private berth and all was good. With a good nights sleep, we headed down from room and out into the…pouring rain. A local was kind enough to give us a ride to train station and all seemed good. After a bit of pointing, extreme facial expressions and so on, we discovered our train was running about an hour slow. We hunkered down and did a bit of people watching.
As we sat, I pondered my luggage. I had a large hiking backpack and something I called “the lump.” The lump was an extremely large duffle bag with tiny wheels on one-end and plastic bars running down flat side/bottom. In theory, you could roll it or drag it anywhere. Mine was black, wet and weighed about 70 pounds. Before you snicker, keep in mind I was going to Siberia for a year. What would you take? Still, I had an uneasy feeling, but couldn’t really figure out why.