Friday 12 April 2013

What happens if you oversleep on the train?

We made it from Beijing - St. Petersburg on the train. Across 6066km, 5 trains travelling for 3 weeks. But as we reached our final desitnation before the relatively easy transition into Europe (more English spoken and booking our own train tickets) we messed up. Big time. Let's first make this clear; on every train we took from Beijing - St Petersburg the train attendants had made sure passengers were awake and ready to disembark before their desintation. So we assumed our train from St. Petersburg back to Moscow would be the same. Oh how wrong we were. Don't get me wrong, we'd estimated when we'd be arriving, had set an alarm, but this was a back-up. The alarm went off, and we waited, dosing, for the attendants to knock on the door. The train seemed to slow, but we couldn't be in Moscow, no one had woken us. The train stopped for longer than normal, and people were moving around outside the carriage. I poked my head out of the compartment but still no one seemed too bothered that we weren't getting off. We decide to get dressed because it wouldn't be long until we were in Moscow properly. Then an attendant spots us, and comes in waving arms around and hurriedly trying to gee us up. We're confused, still a bit sleepy and not in the correct frame of mind for rushing. The train begins to move. We are done for! Panic starts to seep in. Where are we going now?! How are we going to get off? They (kind of) tell us/motion that we will have to walk back to the station when the train stops - it's a long way. Oh dear.
The lady in blue behind Mary is our train attendant.

This is what happens when you oversleep on the train:
The train goes off into the sidings and (thankfully) one of the attendants walks you from the train, that you've had to clamber down from (no platform to step onto - the drop was massive) past trains and across tracks to the platform. Miles away!! You're dodging rubbish, broken glass bottles and muddy puddles and in my case you're wearing sandles not suitable for rambling along beside train tracks. Mary had a wheely case. And you get the picture.

My advice; try to avoid oversleeping on the train. Particularly if you're in Russia.

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