A celebration and moving on to Volgograd

Close to Rostov na Donu

Rostov celebrated its 250th birthday and in the evening a lot was happening in the city’s parks. Jazz bands where playing, there was an open air theater and, as in every other Russian city I had visited so far, the whole town seemed to be out on the streets. When I came back to my hotel, my floor lady had disappeared and, after trying to find her for some time, I bumped into the old woman on the stairs. She was puffing badly, waving a handkerchief in her own face to cool off and after slowly walking to her room and handing me my key, she secured me she was going to take a cold shower immediately. I shuddered at the image that involuntary cropped up in my head. This big bad floor lady, puffing and moaning under an ice cold shower.

I had ended the evening in the ‘Bar Kino’. Resembling your average expat bar (but without expats), the bar was very expensive and filled with young Russian men carrying mobile phones and young Russian women trying to seduce them. In one of the corners, a TV was showing Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer in ‘the Russia House’.

In the morning, after grabbing a coffee with some pastries in a nearby (and very good) coffee shop I spent most of they day relaxing, reading, generally not doing very much, basically waiting for the time to arrive to walk to the train station.

The suburban train station was much more of a chaos than the long distance train stations are. No one speaking anything but Russian, I was actually checked by a very old policeman before getting on the first platform. He wanted to know whether my backpack was allowed, being at most 36kg. I said that of course it was and that settled it.

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When I entered my compartment, it was empty. Not minding at all, I soon minded less at the fact that a gorgeous blond entered the compartment. Almost immediately followed by a very angry looking young man and a little fellow of about four. I left the compartment for them to pack.

After coming back, seconds before the train left, the man left (but the boy stayed) and the girl seemed to become seriously more happy at the man having left. We soon started talking, helped by the fact that she was an English teacher (although I would have expected more knowledge of English from an English teacher). Jolla, only 24 years old, was married to the guy she left behind, had one son (Tsenia (sp?)) and was going to live with her parents in a small village close to Derbent, a two day train trip from Rostov. It seemed she was leaving her husband since when
I asked when she would return to him, she said ‘in five months, maybe two years’.

Jolla was a really lovely girl. Her kid was a bit of a bore, since he couldn’t stand that his mom was constantly talking to this foreigner that he could not understand at all. He constantly was trying to get the attention
of his mum. Running through the compartment, the wagon and screaming at his mother. We really hit it off and after the boy had fallen asleep on the upper bunk, I considered seducing her and bedding her right there. Her being married and having a little boy, me having no protection and a very nice girlfriend at home kept me from doing so.

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