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- Step 2: Where the train can take you

- Previously on the Mystery destination -

Have found Where the sky is blue and the the grass green:
1st Emmanuel G
2nd Aurelie G
3rd Marie J

 

Step 2 - Where the train can take you

 

Vokzal - 17h33 - Friday July the 29th.

It s a long time ago I dreamed to take this kind of train with little bed inside. Now I m about to take it. I have some food with me and watter for the travel. It s pretty hot and I hope I’ll have enough to drink.
The blue train is trembling, then moving. Here we are. After the departure, one of the 2 men responsible for the wagon go to the people, take their ticket and give to each one a package with a towel and sheets of cotton for the berths. As travel mate I have in my compartment two old women, a man and a woman about 40 years old and a little girl. 20 min after the departure the old woman in front of me is eating a big peace of chicken with her hands and the other old lady on my left is in bra, changing her t-shirt. Well, I think this travel will be interesting.

In France I love watching the land through the windows when I travel by train and I can do it for hours. That s what I gonna do in this train but it will be also interesting to see what happened inside, on the corridor, looking at the people living there, eating, drinking, talking and sleeping. For each wagon there is 2 toilets and a tank where you can take hot watter for tea or coffee. The down beds oriented on the length of the train can be transformed in 2 seats and a little table in between. Some ingenious system I ll have to experiment the next time I ll build a mezzanine floor.

corridor in the train

 

The wagon is about 10 box, each box for 6 people but you can have more if there is kids. With the summer outside and all this people breathing inside it s really hot at any time of the day or the night. Anyway, I slept very well compare to the bus travel. I had my foot going 10 cm over the bed in the corridor so sometimes I felt the hairs of the people passing by on the go to the toilets. Because of the warm microclimate inside, most of the kids wear only underwear and men do not wear T-shirts.

My alarm clock ring, it s time, I draw a cross on my notebook, X.
I have two crosses left.

The two guys responsible for the wagon are very friendly to me. One of them always tell me a jock when I cross his way but he use a language I don't really understand. Each time, he finish his story with a great smile showing me the 8 golden teeth he has on the lower jaw. In this moving sauna everything is in low motion, people are mostly sleepy and looks like sweat zombies. A young man celebrating his 20th birthday in the train invite me for a drink. The home made wine he gives me is good but quite sweet.

My alarm clock ring, it s time, I draw a cross on my notebook, X.
I have one cross left.

All the passengers of my box have changed now. The new ones are a couple with a two years old baby, a woman about 50, a young man about 25 and a funny old man that try to catch black flies around. Fortunately for the flies, his moves are in low motion x4. In this train hot like hell, you are sweating when you walk, when you seat and even when you sleep. The only way I have found  to feel better is to go to the toilet and wash ma face with the water from the tap. Unfortunately the good feeling is for 15 minutes and no more.

The average face of the people has change a bit so I really don't feel in France. Out of that, not so much appends in the train. Now the baby in my box start to say "beebee" every 15 seconds. I don’t know the meaning in his language but it should be something like "car" or "truck" because each time he says that, he shows with proud a little toy with 4 wheels to the people next to him.

My alarm clock ring, it s time, I draw a cross on my notebook, X.
It s the last one.

I will arrive soon. Then it will be 77 hours I have spend in this blue train. It has been a good experience but now I m sticking and stinking, looking forward for a good shower. The night is here and I hope it wont be too difficult to find the right bus to go to my CS host in town.

a building on day light

 

First time in town:
After arrival I feel lucky. I find quickly about 10 ATMs at the same place in the train station, one ATM next to the other. Easy for me to take some cash. Then I find a tourist info where I buy a map of the town and I get to know the bus number I need.

I go outside and the time to find the right bus stop it s already 11:30 pm. No more buses for today. The second bad news is that I cant SMS my host because I don't have network here. Maybe the place is too exotic for my telephone provider.

Taxi guys start to come to me and ask where I want to go. I m abroad in a town I don't know at all, and I look like a perfect foreign tourist with my backpack so I don't even want to here the price they ll ask.
I m outside, it s dark, my mobile phone is not working but I have a map and the exact address of my host so let's go on foot to the other side of the town. Then it started to rain...

a building at night

 

After getting lost in the dark I find the right direction. The previous main street I wanted to take was under renov-construction, no public light but projectors where giving light to the trucks and engines working there.
I m walking and walking, the time goes very fast but I finally find the right address at 1:20 a.m. I take the lift to the 4th floor. I knock the door of one apartment I supposed it s my host's because no name on the bell neither on the post box. It's late, I newer saw in my life the person which is supposed to open the door and I didn't have contact with him for 3 days. I take a big breath before knocking the door a second time a bit stronger...
Nothing happened, I m back to the lift and while it's door closes for going down, another opens. It's my host.

the mosque at night

 

The town:
My host had one more guest the day after. An Italian guy traveling by motorbike. He had like me, the same first impression about the city, the feeling that you are in Las Vegas. The river divides the city into two part. The north-east side is the "old town" and I would say there is not so much to see there. The south-west is the new and touristic part of the city. I feel the tourism mostly local cause I didn't hear in the street foreign languages. On this side of the river everything is brand new build, hight buildings, many big shopping malls and artistic buildings.

statue in the old town

 

Uncommon site-seeing:
The day after my arrival my host took me for a little tour outside and we went to a shopping mall he wanted to show me. The outside of the building was interesting but the inside was not really special. It was a bit strange for me as a first site-seeing tour. Anyway, my host is someone very nice and helps his guests in any ways he can. Maybe he is too nice cause he let me used his bed while he was sleeping on the couch.

main square/pedestrian avenue on the new town

 

Public transport:
In each buses you have a man selling tickets that go to every passenger asking the money for the ride while the bus is going.
When I took it the second time I went directly to the ticket man and gave him the money. Few stops after, a man was smiling to me so I started to search my mind where from I should know this person. The guy started to tell me "are you foreigner?", I answered "yes, from France". Then he told me "comment ca va?", I was surprised of his French speaking and when I said "ca va bien" it was already his stop so he exited the bus still smiling.

This nice micro meeting made me happy for the rest of the day.

 

 

 

Another day, another feeling: disappointment
I was completely disappointed on the train when I new I won't make the step 3 as expected. I don't know the destination right now but ...
A thought crossed my mind. Let's go more east.