4. Finding the Right Train
I realize the path I took to the Omsk was a bit dangerous, especially when you are not able to communicate with others, no sign in English you can follow, and rarely, you find someone who can help you. This was happened to me when I was trying to seek help in Novosibirsk train station. As I don’t know how to read my ticket and where I should go to reach the Peron, I asked an old officer lady many times, and she was keep speaking in Russia a bit angry I guess because I didn’t understand at all what she was talking about and I was keep asking and asking. So I stopped and went back to the waiting room.
Again, what my good friend did, Dias, helped me again. Actually he gave me a book of Russia, so I was continuing reading it and found out guide how to read the train ticket there. It was so relieve. While waiting, there were two men who were approaching me and he keep pointing out to my bag and keep asking me in Russian. I didn’t know what they were talking about, but I met one of them before, the porter who was talking to Anatole. I guess I know what they wanted. So I gave them the Russian simple phrases I have. As I knew that I need to pay for their service so I told them that I have no money by pointing money picture and phrases no. Afterwards, they just left without words.
If you thought that the problem I faced was end with how I can read my ticket, that the answer is wrong. I wouldn’t feel secure until I could get into the train. The matter was, I didn’t know the way to go to the Peron. Since there are no English sign at all, I didn’t know where I should go to catch up with the train. I notice that everyone was staring at me with a strange look, a bit suspicious I felt. Especially when I asked someone about where I should go to reach Peron by showing my ticket, some people just avoid to be asked by me, some just didn’t answer at all, some just staring at me without words, some people answer me but in Russian.
Hadn’t got any answer, I went through almost 15 to 20 people to ask where I should go to reach Peron. And finally, there some old man helped me because we had the same ticket. Ooow thank you God!! It relieved. So I went with him to reach the Peron. He also helped me to carry my suitcase and helped me to settle my bag. Then I entered the platskartny gate and continue my journey to reach Omsk.
Since Russia is a big country which has quite a lot time differences, the train schedule used in allover Russia is Moscow (GMT+4) time, not Novosibirsk (GMT+8) time. It means that I will arrive at Omsk pass midnight, not 21.30 as printed in my ticket. That time I even didn’t know exactly who would pick me up at the station, where should I go in that very late. I asked several times, who will pick me from the Omsk train station; they answered “maybe your host family”, though that time I hadn’t known who my host family is and hadn’t got any information at all for this matter. Honestly, that time, the situation even tenser. My phone couldn’t be used because my provider doesn’t have any service in Russia. So I can’t make any call. The only one I could do that time was trust one of my friends who is always communicating with me in LC Omsk that there’s someone gonna pick me up and she also will be there. I really wish to meet her at the train station. She is the only one who communicates with me a lot than the others AIESECers and I often asked her for help and dropped her many questions. I saved her phone numbers and several important numbers in case I need an emergency call just like what happened in Novosibirsk.
After moment, the train was speeding. The bunks aren’t compartmentalized and are arranged in blocks of four down one side of the corridor and in twos on the other. For me, especially as a woman, travel with platskartny becomes a better option than being cooped up with three (possibly drunken) men in compartment. Besides the journey only take one day, so I think it’s okay. Also this is the first time for me seeing an ice inside the window. Really feel that I’m in the freezer.
I was staring at the window. All I can see is white field and frizz trees. The sky is really clear and The sun set make it glows like amber. So this is what the winter looked like? Amaze.