Moscow to St Petersburg
I’d read two and a half books by the time the train reached Moscow and watched the scenery change from what eventually became the tedium of snow and taiga trees punctuated by dramatic blizzards and colourful wooden houses in impossibly remote villages into the large often jauntily coloured apartment blocks and well-to-do houses of the more moneyed Muscovites. Moscow looked to be a vibrant and impressive city through the window of the train but around the train station, as it seems to be almost everywhere in the world, it was a little more grim.
I had intended to put my large bag in a locker and take a walk or short underground trip to Red Square to compare it with its Chinese equivalent Tiananmen, but I couldn’t find any lockers, probably as Leningradski Station was being renovated. I decided instead to just get pissed in the train station for a few hours and do some people watching until my overnight train to St Petersburg was leaving a little after midnight.
I got myself a souvlaki and a beer in a 24 hour cafeteria around the corner from the station before going back into the station and buying a few Baikal no.7 beers which had become my weapon of choice on the Rossja. The souvlaki shot through me within an hour leaving me dashing drunkenly to the public toilets. While there I realised I’d left my large bag there in the cafe unattended and so dashed drunkenly back to the spot to find it still there. Maybe I have terrorism to thank for that stroke of good fortune.
I really was rather drunk by the time I got on the train. I’d again foregone what some people might say was the unmissable sight of a world class tourist attraction in the Red Square and decided to simply drink beer and people-watch. I don’ remember much of it to be honest. I think there was a pickpocketting gang operating in the area. There was an Artful Dodger type with a Bill Sykes handler walking back and fourth, eyeing the foot-traffic. They may have just been lost or huge train station interior enthusiasts, but those thoughts didn’t entertain me nearly as much.