The Trans-Siberian Railroad

I just departed Moscow on the Trans-Siberian railroad. There seems to be a mixture of Russians, Mongolians and Chinese on board, plus a few westerners. I opted for a first class cabin (two beds) when I booked, knowing that it could detract from my interaction with the other passengers, but I'm looking forward to a little privacy as I'm sure I will be meeting plenty of people in the dining car and about.

Russia is tough for me. Even though my experiences one-on-one have been great, there aren't many English speakers (I know it's a bad thing to rely on), and I received plenty of stares. Actually, in Moscow I received more glares than just stares, and as I had heard, Russians don't seem to smile very often, which kind of took the spirit out of me as I roamed the city and rode the subways. Upon thinking about it more, I remembered that New Yorkers in public are the same way...I also think understanding a bit more of Russian history would help.

I just met my roommate for the next five days. He and his family are from North Korea. I am well aware that this could be the only time in my life that I have the opportunity to speak with someone from North Korea, so I'm pretty excited. I spoke with his daughter, Un zo Kung, for an hour about the election (everyone I've met overseas asks about this and Obama seems to carry widespread support), music, and the financial crisis. My roommate and his wife work at the North Korean embassy in Moscow, and Un zo Kung has been studying English and Russian in Moscow and is returning to Pyongyang to finish. She wants to be a diplomat. I told her that I might be interested in that someday as well.

I purchased a hat, gloves, sweat pants and socks at a local market in Moscow before leaving and I also stacked up on a Ramen noodles equivalent and cereal for the train ride. I'm going to hit the sack so I can get up early and make some rounds. Peace.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


l i t t l e said…
Hey there...

How long will you be on the train till it stops next? All together? I'm curious about this ride.