Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bake at 95 Degrees for Sixteen Hours or Until Done

95 Degrees and the Window Won't Open
95 (35) degrees and the window on the train won't open

We returned late last night on the train from Southern Ukraine where we had spent some time with a couple from our church, Tanya and Kolya. We had fun getting to know them a little better and look forward to spending more time with them. What we aren't looking forward to is another train ride like the one yesterday.

We knew the ride home wasn't going to be very pleasant when we realized the window in the little section with our four sleeping "shelves", was nailed shut. Not a good sign since the window was also our emergency exit, although we were more concerned with the lack of air flow.

Aside from the fact that we simmered in sweat and I was made painfully aware that our sleeping berths were not designed for anyone over 5'5" (165cm)(Edna and the boys had no problems), it was an interesting trip. If the train stopped for more than a few minutes, we could get off and buy water and homemade foods from people selling them along the tracks. I even ventured out to buy a bag of "rah-kee" (craw fish) at one stop. They were good, but they could have been better with some Tabasco sauce. This wasn't our first time on a train in Ukraine, but it definitely was the hottest.

The train we were on was set up with four sleeping "shelves" to one side and two to the other, two berths high. Our carriage was full and there is little room between berths so you really get to know your neighbors. This isn't such a bad thing because people will often share their food with you. It was a good experience in Ukrainian train culture for all of us. The only thing I can really complain about is that for the $14 that my ticket cost, I expected my window to open.

So what do you do when it's 95 degrees Fahrenheit on your train and the window is nailed shut?

Making Friends on the Train
You make some friends and...

Playing Cards on the Train
play cards.
(Vika, Stas, and Joshua)


Jake Knotts said...

Gotta love it. I took a few similar train trips in the past.

I like the "southern Ukraine" description and all, but you got to throw some photos of Yalta up!

Greg and Edna Silva said...

I'll gladly post some pictures as soon as I can get them uploaded. This is a slow process for those of us who don't have high-speed internet. :(


Little Viky said...

I used to have the same trips every summer. It is hard but there us great plus - you are very grateful to God when it's all over.

Greg and Edna Silva said...

That is a great way of looking at it. Trips like that make us grateful to God when they are over. I will have to remember that next time.


Will and Ira said...

When I took an overnight train to Moscow 2 years ago, the first half of the night I would lay on my top bunk, miserably sweating and trying not to move (as movement produces heat, any amount of which is critical at that point), with only one window open in the whole car - and that is near the bathroom and trash; the second half I would meditate on whether I should go ask for a blanket because it's freezing cold. And yes, I was SOOOO grateful when it was over!!!!

Greg and Edna Silva said...


On the first half of the trip, I froze all night because the window was open and I was sleeping on the upper shelf. By the time I had to wake up at the break of dawn, I was a popsicle!


Anonymous said...

Curious what class train this is 2nd 3rd or 4th? because it looks like 2nd, but 2nd has AC I believe. Last I was there was winter so we did not need AC. But we will if we travel in summer. I always thought 2nd was more comfortable. Third even looks different..more barracks like.