The sun is shining super hot above Russia! The cabin of our motorhome is air conditioned, so we’re nice and cool while we’re driving, but the living space heats up during the day, to the point that by evening it feels like the sauna we got used to at home!
Immediately after the Ural mountains come the huge marshlands. The warm and moist air is buzzing with little “friends”. As soon as the car stops a black cloud of horseflies surrounds it and countless numbers of these sizeable insects start attacking our windows. We don’t bother setting up the table and chairs outside around here, even for meals.
Our beds are great. Despite that my sleep is largely broken. The lorry parks we camp at are often situated by main roads and the traffick is busy. Even with earplugs it feels as if you’re sleeping on train tracks! Like tens of tons of steel were rolling right above your head! Pekka however, snores like thunder on his side of the bed! As an ex-lorrydriver he doesn’t appear to be bothered by the noise of heavy traffick.
There’s another little surprise at breakfast. I’d always thought that eggs didn’t need to be refrigerated, but it seems that the 30+ heat was too much for them. Now the air is filled with the putrid smell of rotten eggs!
We’ve started really misings our friends and family. We spend a big chunk of the day stopping at little cafes with Wi-fi signs on the door, only to hear that in actuality there’s no internet connection at all, they’re just adverts! Once we finally find an internet connection, I sign in to my Microsoft account only for my brand new Office-package to stop working…. Tech support informs me that this is due to me signing in to the account from Russia. So now my flashy new laptop that I bought especially for the trip, lay dormant, waiting for our return back to a more tech friendly area.
Customer service here makes us smile, but perhaps for a different reason than you’d think.
The staff in cafes and small restaurants, with that “sick of this job”-look on their faces remind us of characters from an educational video on how NOT to serve customers, where even the only customer of the day is an unwanted disturbance to the staffs mealtimes, manicures, mobile gaming or magazine reading.
In the first couple of weeks of traveling our old routines from previous trips come back to us and by now we’re both doing our own share of the chores very naturally. The storage space has also been carefully split between us. It makes me smile when I open our wardrobe and see Pekka’s shelf, on which five polo shirts lay neatly folded into a ruler-straight pile, whereas on my side in the same amount of space there’s fifteen tops, five dresses, four skirts and three pairs of jeans all crammed into a pile of chaos. Both of us are content with our own ways.
The sheer size of Russia is starting to dawn on us. We have traveled for 5000 km in Russia so far, the same distance as from Kuopio to Sahara and we’re only half way across the country!