Dear little baby laptop diary,
I titled this post after one of the most random Broadway plays I’ve ever seen, “Three Days of Rain”, with Julia Roberts making her lackluster debut, Paul Rudd just being our universal boyfriend, and a not-very-famous Bradley Cooper, whom I knew from Alias and was super excited about. Who knew that in a few short years he would be the biggest star of the bunch! Anyway, it was a kind of boring show, and that’s all I remember, which is a shame because I am currently on a train with two days and two nights left to go, and I would like to be thinking about a play instead. How is it going so far, you ask? Let’s just say if I didn’t want to talk so much about Broadway whenever I had the chance, this post would have simply been called Three Days of Pain.
I thought the unwritten but definite rule of these cabins was that whoever is on the top gets to sit on the bottom bunk on their side during the day and use the little table for their meals. Each side keeps to themselves. I begrudgingly learned this on our first long train when Husband and I both had bottoms so the woman on top of mine sat on my bed a lot. I learned, great, that’s how it’s done, she can’t prepare her food and eat up top. OK, I got it, sorry I gave you a bad look. But this morning, after I exercised outside our door in the hallway (there’s a bar running down the hallway of our cabin, it’s tight but it’s enough space to do barre exercises like I’m a GODDAMN BALLERINA and lots and lots of squat variations and calf raises. No one was up when I was out there so I also got out my resistance bands and worked my back so darn happy about that I think I’d go insane if I was cooped up here and couldn’t at least try to work a muscle), I came back to sit on my bed and read and Shirtless Youth was sitting on my pillow by the table making his breakfast. Like. NO. You get the bottom bunk and table part from the guy BELOW YOU. That’s the rule!! Omg! I guess he literally couldn’t because the Giant Flesh Ball Man was oozing out everywhere you turned and they couldn’t both sit on that bunk, but still, that’s not my problem man! I waited outside and did more calf raises and then when he got up I claimed my spot back and haven’t left since. Except to pee in the literal pits of despair. These toilets are so grimy and sludgy and I’m spending so much time in there because I pee a lot and Husband and I brought 15 liters of water on this trip with us and I have to drink it even though I fear it’s not enough for three days. That’s for two people! (We each carried a 5L jug and had three 1.5L bottles between us and I also had about 1/2 liter left in another bottle. Hey I guess that is 16L maybe we will make it.)
OH MY GOD Giant Flesh Ball just went to the bathroom and came back shirtless and is now putting deodorant on while sitting next to me I am going to vomit. OH my god Shirtless Youth is also still shirtless and just got down from his top bunk by jumping onto my bed with his smelly feet right on my sheets, right next to my physical body. He was just ‘cleaning’ his grundle with his towel I cannot believe this. GFB Man is still humming and now is drumming his fingers in rhythm the whole time on the table omg I am going to LOSE MY MIND.
Oh wait. Oh my god they both seem to be getting dressed! And not in their smelly sleep clothes, in real clothes with buttons and things! Ahh praise Jesus are they disembarking? Did we reach their stop? Or did we reach my melting point? We don’t stop for like 30 minutes I cannot wait to see how this goes! I’m so nervous and excited and scared that I’m getting my hopes up! Are they going?? Will our new neighbors be even worse? Even smellier? Even more in my personal space? Why do men think they have the right to my personal space? I guess we will see what happens in 30 minutes when we stop at some combination of letters I already forgot. I have to go pee before they lock the bathrooms at the stop (they get locked at every stop because, well, because everything ‘flushes’ onto the track, so at least it’s a civilized reason). We will see what happens.
Oh my god she already locked the bathroom! We don’t arrive at the stop for another 30 minutes this is INHUMAN. GFB Man is brushing his crumbs from his side of the table towards me and the computer. That’s just swell of you. He’s still humming. Shirtless Maybe-Not-So-Young Man is now shirtless again, despite having dressed himself five minutes ago, so I have less hope of his departure now. He’s also sitting on his top bunk with his feet hanging off pretty much in my face (it’s tiny room) and they smell so bad my eyes are tearing. I’m also equally frightened that if they do get off, our newbies will be even worse. What if THEY reek of smoke? Ughhh that would be worse. And we have TWO FULL DAYS LEFT. Two more sleepless nights. Two more days of having to time my bathroom breaks between frequent stops. Two more days of constant Purell because there’s no soap in the bathrooms. Two more days of using precious bottled water to brush my teeth and wash my face because the train water would give me cholera. Two more days without contacts because no way I’m touching my eyes. Actually that last one is good, my eyes need a break from contacts.
While I wait on my ability to pee and breathe from the smelly guys maybe leaving and cry from possibly worse new cabinmates, I will tell of all the food we had to buy and bring onboard for 3 days. No meals are included in our ticket and the dining car is very expensive, but also I think they have zero options for me anyway. Husband will check it out later or tomorrow I’m sure (we can’t both leave, someone has to guard our stuff). So in Yekaterinburg, we found a few giant supermarkets that were very expensive (they had no cheap supermarket, so weird! No little bodegas like have been all over the rest of Russia either). We found lots of good treats and bought a lot, but considering it’s three days worth of food for two people it’s probably just right. We bought jars of white beans in tomato sauce with some veg in there, which I’m sooo pumped about. Like mamma ‘taliano looking stuff, I hope. We also found vegetarian grape leaves in a can, another tomato sauced bean thing in a can, and lots of bread. And we brought that fantastic Russian staple, instant kasha! Sooo good. I used to think kasha was just a part of that disgusting Main Line Jewish dish of kash' n' bowties but aside from that it's actually really good. And good for you! Along with cucumbers, tomatoes, and pickles (probably not the best idea because they smell, but if people don't care how their bodies smell why should I care how my food smells), and more apples and orange, we are set. Plus we found a lot of chocolate in Yekaterinburg so happy dance. And cookies! Every city we’ve been in so far, I’ve scoured ingredient labels and found one package of accidentally vegan cookies. Never the same one, so we’re on our third try. The chocolate chip ones in St. Pete’s were still the best, but the cinnamon ones in Moscow were very yummy too. I will report back on these weird blueberry puffballs I found! I hope that when we eat all this stuff I don’t have a Meg Ryan in “French Kiss” train moment (LACTOSE INTOLERAAAAANCE who knows it? best movie ever I pretend Kevin Kline won his Tony a few weeks ago as a belated gift for “French Kiss”).
Well, back to reality. The two smelly guys did indeed get off. But we immediately got two new Russian men who...I’m not yet sure, but I think they might be worse. They’re meaner, that’s for sure. When they came by, I said hello (in Russian) and smiled and they didn’t even blink or glance at me just threw their stuff on their bunks and went back out. WTF. A few minutes later, Husband did the same thing when they returned and again, no eye contact, no utterance of any kind in our direction. Stupid Russian jerks! Fine don’t talk to us, that’s good for me. But they smell a little smoky, which better not get worse. I’m promising myself two things: If they ‘magically’ get smokier (meaning they’ve smoked on the train, which is not allowed), I am going to say something (I am able to say ‘you smoked? where? not allowed!”); and if they sit on my bed at any point I am putting my foot down and getting super scary and yelling “NYET! that is your side, and this is our side.” I think I know how I say that. They know each other so that makes it easier. I hope it doesn’t come to my having to yell in very poor Russian at men I have to sleep next to for at least one night. Their phone noises are on, too, which is a big no-no, and just as the icing on the cake, their phone noises are incredibly loud bits of very bad songs.