When you travel through so many time zones, you often lose track of what time it actually is. You're exhausted and it feels like you're living in a dream. That's mostly the case right now and I simply try to enjoy every moment as much as I can. It was time to leave Russia though. From Irkutsk I had my last train on the Russian rail, the 002 M Rossiya which was best train I had in Russia, to Ulan-Ude to travel from there on to Ulan-Bator. The Icelanders came along as well and we certainly did enjoy our last Russian city, except the dead man that I saw in one of the backstreet's. Quite shocking yeah. We had our last dinner at a typical Russian restaurant where I had my best value ever. For 100 rubles (that's 2,50 euros) I had the Lake Baikal Omul, including a delicious tea. We stayed at a wonderful old soviet hotel which did indeed live up to all my expectations, which were none. Anyway I didn't book the train to Mongolia since it would save me several thousands of rubles, I decided 'How bad can the bus be?'. Well that bad. I'm quite tall and that meant that I couldn't really move for 12,5 hours. With me on the bus were: A Mongolian wrestling team, a crying baby and a Mongolian man in front of me that insisted on having his seat so far back that I almost couldn't breathe. Well that's my limit, so even though the man was twice my size I simply kicked in his back every time he made a move to cut off my air supply. Then spending almost four hours at the border wasn't ideal either and trying not to laugh when they ask you if you have any weapons or drugs with you. Ah well I've arrived in Ulan-Bator and arrived in my hostel. Guess who was there? The French guy from Tomsk, so obviously we went out! I've been amazed by the Mongolians here and they sure know what decent music is! We've met so many new people, with so many different nationalities. The clubs were amazing and I've had a wonderful evening! You can imagine that when I finally went home the sun had already set! I'll leave the details of the evening out haha. For now, my last words for Russia.
Remember my passion for Russia? If I even had any doubts, they've simply dissolved by now. It's a complicated culture, so we usually don't take the time to understand it. We have this idea that Russians are disrespectful and drunk. Perhaps that is sometimes the case; nonetheless most Russians are truly heart-warming. Once you understand their culture, you suddenly realize that they're only interested in you. If you're open-minded they'll share anything with you, including the vodka of course. They'll be there for you, even if you've only met them once. You don't see that kind of character often anymore and therefore I deeply respect it. I'll miss Russia and goodbye for now.