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Tarvos - TAC 2015 Pushkin/Scan

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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 785 of 1511
13 August 2013 at 5:06am | IP Logged 
In Vladivostok. At the End of the Road. I have
been able to speak all of the languages under
speaks plus Hebrew and Portuguese. Tomorrow I
start my journey home.
1 person has voted this message useful



espejismo
Diglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 3159 days ago

498 posts - 905 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: Spanish, Greek, Azerbaijani

 
 Message 786 of 1511
13 August 2013 at 7:39am | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
Moscow makes a wannabe
impression. Everything here is trying to be
hip and trendy and it just is not.


Haha, ain't it true...

I look forward to reading your travelogue!


1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 787 of 1511
14 August 2013 at 5:44am | IP Logged 
Through customs. In a few hours I will be in
Korea
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 788 of 1511
16 August 2013 at 12:24pm | IP Logged 
I've come home! Now, I have written a travelogue, but it's all by hand. So it may take
some time before I have typed everything up considering I did not bring a laptop (I
never do anyways). But in any case, I decided to write some parts of it up today.

Day 1: The Journey Starts

Left home an hour early. Wasn't necessary; the train to Germany was delayed at
Amersfoort anyhow. Quiet between the Hague and Amersfoort. Got onto the train to
Hannover - the seat next to me was unoccupied when I boarded. Decided some music would
fit my solitude. Kamelot was my choice (although I could have put "the Road" on
repeat). Still hot inside the train though. Here's hoping that a fun character lights
up my evening. I am anxious to practice my rusty German, which I have only done when
buying the Hannover-Moscow ticket. No luck or assertivity so far.

Seat next to me remained unoccupied. However, across sat two French-speaking ladies,
but I didn't really talk to them (maybe I ought to have?) The journey remained quiet
largely thanks to my in ear-headphones. I also found out that this IC has functioning
electrical sockets, so I could charge my phone before the next leg - a blessing! The
train did encounter some more delays though. Not too fussed though, that means I have
to wait less in the darkness of Hannover Hbf.

Got onto the train much delayed. Fell asleep somewhere around 3 am and slept poorly.

Day 2: I like Trains

Day started with the dumb error of closing my bed before taking out my money belt. Got
the provodnik to fix it. Entered Poland in the morning. Looks somewhat dilapidated -
reminds me of Wallonia.

Went to the restaurant car - Polish - and had excellent breakfast. The waiter was
Polish, but I do not speak Polish, so I ordered in Russian (he answered in a mix of
Russian and bad English). I insisted on Russian with a Polish thank you. He was quite
pleased with the attempt. If I ever return to Poland I surely need to be able to do
more than read the menu.

Realised I still feel sad about things that happened years ago. I hope this journey is
the first step to getting my life back on track.

Met some Germans in the carriage, happy to see that language still functions. My
Russian is good enough to understand what is being said ot me; my responses tend to be
slow though, but I eventually manage.

I am looking forward to waking up in Moscow tomorrow. Only they can leave out the rain.
That does not impress a true Dutchman. We get enough of it at home.

Day 3: Arrival in Moscow

Arrived safely at Moscow station, Belarusskaya to be exact (so named for the trains to
and from Belarus that come and go from here I guess). Had a decent night's sleep on
this train. The hostel was hard to find, mostly because Muscovites have yet bothered
with road signs, to my general dismay.

The hostel is quite relaxed. Many French people (/speakers) here, which is nice because
I otherwise rarely get to practice at home.

Walked around the Red Square for a bit. Moscow is either nouveau riche or hipster (this
hostel obviously falls more into the latter category). Haven't had the chance to go out
with anybody into town yet. I hope that will happen soon because I don't want to spend
three days alone. Perhaps that's just a lack of good social skills though.

I am happy to be able to have a good shower though. And the broad Aussie that I am
hearing is quite pleasing to these ears.

Day 4: Moscow's French Table

Woke up refreshed after an all right night's sleep. Some person in the dorm was snoring
horribly loudly though; luckily I have sleep superpowers.

Last night I learned that my French is still in good shape. I hope to prove it tonight.
I even found a Swede to speak Swedish with - that also functioned!

The hostel personnel speak English, but I have up until now preferred to stay in
Russian. Which is probably a good decision to make here. If only because it will
improve that level of Russian I have. I seem to perpetually struggle with it.

The French meetup group was interesting not so much because of the French I spoke (and
the French people in attendance). It was more interesting to hear the local Russians
struggle with it (although some admittedly did quite well).

I then had fun drinking and talking, although I managed to knock over a glass of beer
and cut myself on one of the shards. I also got a few FB invites out of the whole
thing. In fact I also spoke German and improvised some Spanish/Italian mixture later on
(I speak neither really but...) Afterwards, I had to walk back to the hostel alone -
never doing that again at night, Moscow is fine by day but by night it's another story.

I did not manage to buy a SIM-card today but I did manage to buy some good lavash from
a roadside stand. Not unlike the Turkish bread we get at home.

Day 5: The Kremlin Is Closed

After a vodka-inspired night (apparently the other people decided an alcohol binge
would be a good idea), I woke up in time for a short guided tour of Moscow.

Unfortunately some of the interesting sites (GUM, Kremlin, Lenin's Mausoleum) were not
open to the general public (in part because it was Thursday I think but also in part
because the Red Square was occupied by a grand party for GUM's 120th birthday). We did
visit Novodevichy Park and Cemetery, and a couple of nice cathedrals, one of which was
due to host the arrival of patriarch Kirill later that day.

I then went to buy a SIM-card on the way back - with success, although it took some
confused stars and explaining to the sales assistant to make everything in order. I
then texted my Tomsk friends to say I had the phone card, although it seemed to act up
a fair few times (I eventually would later ditch the sim-card because of this).

Tomorrow I will need to buy some supplies for the next leg of the journey - Siberia
cannot be experienced on an empty stomach in platskartny.

I then went out with hostel friends to cook dinner and buy ingredients. Excellent fried
rice made by a Taiwanese girl. The rest of the night was spent drinking Russian beer
(Baltika in fact I guess...)

Day 6: Ticket Scare

I woke up at noon realising I'd killed my day before it had even started. So I managed
to eat someone's leftover sausage and bread for breakfast (thanks Dan the Australian!)
and I found out I printed the wrong document for the flight home - the hostel fixed it
for me (спасибо большое чиллаксу хостелу!) Legends!

I then decided to go out for a bit and see the Gorky Park, but I ended up taking a
whole load of bad turns and ended up the cathedral of Christ the Saviour. That's not
entirely what I planned, but hey, it works for me too.

I then went to Му-Му (it's a Russian fast-food chain, cafeteria style). Not that good,
but cheap as hell. I then said my goodbyes to the hostel; the receptionist Katja (who a
few days earlier had spent some time with me offering me tea and choclates and speaking
in Russian - there's actually another funny anecdote about that I can share on request)
gave me a hug, pretended to cry (I pretended to offer paper handkerchiefs) and asked me
to come back.

I safely got to Yaroslavskij station, managed to get on the train to Tomsk (the
"Tomich") and met Vova, Sasha and another man in my compartment who f**ked off
somewhere only to come back some hour later. I then fell asleep.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Hekje
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2811 days ago

842 posts - 1330 votes 
Speaks: English*, Dutch
Studies: French, Indonesian

 
 Message 789 of 1511
16 August 2013 at 9:44pm | IP Logged 
Fun travelogue! Please share the other receptionist anecdote.
1 person has voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3117 days ago

3277 posts - 6778 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 790 of 1511
17 August 2013 at 4:27pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for sharing, looks like you had awesome time!
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 791 of 1511
17 August 2013 at 5:40pm | IP Logged 
There's 20 more days to write up. I'll write up the Tomsk bit this weekend.

As for that other anecdote, there were some problems with the towels when I went to
take a shower, and with the bed sheets... so I spoke in Russian. They also forgot to
give me a key to a locker. So I complained in Russian, we got talking (they asked
whence I knew Russian so well). At some point during that conversation, the girl asked
me "what's your secret?" (I said there are no secrets, only practice, I just speak
Russian). We got talking, they offered me tea and chocolate and everything.

Two days later when I walked into the hostel (I'd gone out somewhere and came back in),
another receptionist (who I'd also addressed in Russian), she whispered to the first
receptionist (who was also present) "he speaks Russian splendidly", but so loud I could
obviously hear it. Then the other girl answered "Yes, it's a curious secret..."
1 person has voted this message useful



Via Diva
Diglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
last.fm/user/viadivaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2342 days ago

1109 posts - 1427 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: German, Italian, French, Swedish, Esperanto, Czech, Greek

 
 Message 792 of 1511
17 August 2013 at 8:00pm | IP Logged 
oh, I wish I could hear that I speak foreign language splendidly. But I have problems in general, hence even in Russian... If I were you I'd be proud to hear that anyway :)


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