This is from my first leg on the Trans-Siberian journey from Vladivostok to Irkutsk – three days on a train with mad Russians.

The last (or in my case, the first) kilometer stone on the Trans-Siberian journey: 9288 km to Moscow.

My provodnitsa (carriage conductor) who warmed up a bit in the end.

I had ordered (on the web) the luxury 2-class ticket, which included meals… actually not that bad.

Otherwise the train stopped every couple of hours, where it was possible to buy… well, next to nothing.

My two roomies; Palev (military guy with gold teeth and camouflage clothes) and mr Trouble, Sergei. Sergei managed to dig out vodka bottles from his bag and then find trouble – which the next picture shows. His first gesture to me was a flick on his throat which I then figured out meant “let’s drink vodka”.

Oh boy, Natasha. Well, actually Olga to the left and classy Natasha to the right. Boy, where to begin. Olga was the ordinary service lady who rolled by with her little wagon full of drinks and snack. Natasha, on the other hand, also sold drinks. She only had three beers in her basket, but she apparently also sold other services. It was Sergei, who though we needed some company and invited her into our compartment. Palev and I then witnessed, as flies on a wall, the art of Russian-mating-rituals. Apparently they never agreed to the terms, for nothing came out it besides embarrassing fumbling and not-so-lady-like moves by Natasha (sucking on a sausage and stealing my tea bags????). She did manage to offer herself to me (which I politely declined), before taking off and leaving us to our vodka bottles.