I woke up this morning feeling quite warm and cozy. This is slightly surprising since I slept in my swim suit, a sheet and a small blanket I stole from Aircanada. I managed to find all my belongings, my electronics were charging and I even woke up 10 minutes before our alarm went off. Off to a good start. As I casually brushed my teeth, I noticed some white fluttering outside the window. Frost! How exciting. With my new mink hat purchase, I am ready to brave the cold.
James: “Erica, remember when we thought we would take the Trans-Siberian Railway and make it to Moscow before it got cold?”
Erica: “Ah yes, what were we thinking.”
I love this weather; I enjoy long coats, fur hats and gloves. There is something incredibly classy about the attire. Besides, I would feel like I cheated if we came to Siberia when it was warm.
The club we were at was fun, though slightly different than I imagined. Maybe it was the girls in the tennis shoes that threw me off. After an hour or so of dancing and drinking a couple beers, we resolved we would walk back to our homestay. James went to the restroom, and I pulled out my cell phone to finish a game of Solitaire. Before I knew it, I was surrounded by Russian boys, or men? I am not sure. They looked young, but I am very bad at the “Guess my age” game. James came back and we all chatted in Russian until the bottle of vodka arrived. I am lucky that my Russian tutor, Olga, taught me the ancient Russian shot taking method; the Russians thought I was a pro! We each took a couple of shots, had some laughs, and before we knew it, as quickly as the materialized, they were gone. Fearful that they would come back with another bottle, we made our escape.
Irkutsk is a beautiful, calm, and clean city.
Today we go to Lake Baikal – one of the oldest known lakes on earth.