Friday, February 18, 2011

The first interesting thing about going to Moscow in February... that I spent Valentine's Day on a train with my fiance.

Well, sort of. We were headed to Moscow to do paperwork, and it was already 11pm when our train departed. We had "platzkart" tickets (see details here), and that meant bunkbeds in an open cabin. I had traveled platzkart to Moscow by myself before, but this time I had Andrey to protect me, drink tea with me, and tuck me in before getting into his own bunk.

Valentine's Day is usually referred to in Russia as "Lovers' Day." In the past I would wish people a "Happy Valentine's Day" and they didn't really get it. They would ask me, "Have you found someone?" It wasn't the same holiday I knew from home that was full of chocolate, conversation hearts, and movie night with the girls. But this year, I fit the Russian description.


  1. Love the post and the heart on a stick!

  2. The donut looks great, and I just love thinking of the romantic train trip,and Andre being there to protect you. I LOVE traveling on a Russian train through the night, and even occaionlly put myself to sleep in my own bed, by imagining it. The crisp, rough sheets. And the good, hot tea....

    On probably our third trip someone advised us not to drink it, for some reason, but I absolutely ignored them.

  3. Oh Annie, you're such a romantic! :) I like the rattling of the train a little, as if I'm being rocked to sleep. But the hard mattress and no room to even sit up (and my feet hanging out into the aisle) keep me from getting a good night's sleep. We took our own tea bags and asked for boiling water. I'm not sure where they got the water, but hopefully since it's boiling it's fairly safe.

  4. Last train trip I got a glance into the conductress's room, which is where the industrial sized hot water urn was steaming away. And, SHE was drinking it..... When we adopted Nastya she was scared and slept in that narrow bunk with me. I didn't sleep too well that time! Especially as she didn't know where the bathroom was, and was afraid to ask, and wet the bed. Somehow that incident made me love her even more, however uncomfortable it was.

  5. I can relate to Nastya! When I was in school I was always afraid to ask to use the ladies' room, and during breaks I was afraid of being late to the next class. That's true even in adult life, especially in another culture! How to be discreet about excusing myself and asking where the ladies' room is located? I hate all the negotiating related to getting in line for the train bathroom. Airplanes can be awkward too.


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