She Who Must Be Obeyed
16.11.2019 -5 °C
Due to no lights or cold water we have to run across the hallway to use another bathroom, this place is beautiful but lacking in services of any kind. Never mind we survive, still beats a tent and long drop in the snow.
A short stroll around the block sees us freezing our butts off, lucky for the corner kiosk selling everything warm to survive the winter onslaught. Fur padded bum thermals, woollen knee warmers and gloves for the small sum of $15.00 to add to our bulky collection.
The next leg of the mega train journey sees us arrive early at the station, we are sooo excited to get back on board, newer train this time completely staffed with women. Very efficient and stern Russian provodnistas (a carriage attendant), she who must be obeyed. They take great pride in their carriage like it’s their home, cleaning, polishing and providing exquisite but stern service. This includes vaccing as soon as we board.
Apparently Mongolia’s backbone is women, sadly there is such an alcohol problem with many men that women are considered more trustworthy and reliable workers.
They stand guard in soldiers uniforms in minus twenty degree and freeze while crisp uniformed customs and immigration staff inspect the carriages as we exit Mongolia. They are strong and tough as nails, wizzing along on the train they can be seen standing in the snow working as railway workers in high vis. jackets. Oh and also did i mention that a lot of the men smoke and they stink.
Crossing carriages one takes their life into their own hands, the steel of the train is freezing and snow and wind rushes around, it’s scary but exciting. We stop at stations to pick up and drop off, Lyn decides to rush off the train to get some noodles for dinner and I have a panic attack as the train is blowing its horn and I cannot see her, imagine if she gets stuck here. She strolls back without any concern, she meets Albert at the kiosk.
Oh dear where do I start, Albert is a total wanker from of all places - Napier Street, Essendon. We all but know the house he has recently sold to move to Mongolia to wed a woman twenty years his junior. He invites himself to our carriage mid noodle slurping and sits on my bed preaching to us and telling us how he doesn’t agree with the Catholics allowing alter girls. What part of fuck you Albert don’t you get, I have just been blown away by the women in Mongolia keeping the country moving and you dare to say, some things should stay the same for a good reason. Time you left dead shit and never return. Stay in Mongolia loser.
We arrive at the Russian border at midnight, little sleep and feeling dazed and out of it we have to stand outside our cabin as a very efficient solider inspects our carriage for illegal stuff, lifting our beds just in case we have smuggled something or someone. It goes without drama and in fact the head dude laughs at me with my eye mask on top of my head.
Again we end our day rocking to sleep in the toasty warm train in comfort realising that outside is freezing over.