We arrived in Chita at around 10:00, and the first thing that I wanted to do, after checking Facebook of course, was to have a very hot shower. We were vaguely aware that there were some facilities in the train station, but after wandering around aimlessly for 15 minutes or so, the only thing that we had found was the attention of one of the station guards. When he asked what we were doing, I simply said doosh (Russian for shower) and mimed taking a full body wash. Rather than arrest us or have us commuted for indecent proposals, he instead showed us to the station’s facilities, where for a couple of quid we were able to wash off the dirt of the past few days; a courtesy which I repaid by almost ripping the shower door off.
It had to happen eventually, because as Josh and I went to book our tickets for the next leg of our journey (an 18 hour overnight train to Irkutsk) we were allocated seats at almost opposite ends of the carriage. Josh was bedding above a middle-aged lady, but my sleeping arrangements involved an elderly drunk man whose belongings were arranged so that I couldn’t get my bed down for quite some time, still the corridor was a comfortable place to stand. As soon as people found out that Josh and I were travellers they wanted to know all about us, and ply us with vodka. After telling them that I was an alcoholic (the recommend advice so as not to cause offence) they simply laughed (thanks Lonely Planet) and insisted that Josh join them instead. This seemed to placate them, and the rest of the evening went along merrily, well as merrily as an evening can do when your only form of communication are smiles and a phrase book.