the day we travelled from Moscow to St Petersburg on a day train instead of sleeper so we could see the countryside – guess what – pine trees and silver birches!
“Won’t you be lonely travelling for a year?” someone asked before we left. Lonely doesn’t figure when you are regularly sharing eight beds amongst eleven people! But even if we were on our own, there are still friends to be made along the way.
Take a peek into Jgirl14’s journal from a few days ago:
Who would have thought that while we were in Mongolia I would make a friend? Even though I can’t speak much Mongolian and she doesn’t speak any more English, we became friends.
Tuya was born on the 20th of April 1986, which makes her 24 in four days. If you write her name in Mongolian it looks like this: (no can do on blog!) Tuya lives at Anak Ranch and she is among three other girls, who are hired to work on the farm. The first day we arrived Tuya taught me how to milk a cow and also how to hold off the calf while she did the milking. That evening she and Alma showed me how to fold fancy dumplings. Together, with the aid of a Mongol-English dictionary, we taught each other new words.
We both enjoy cooking and so we had a good lot of fun cooking together, trying to tell each other stuff in our own language that really didn’t make sense to the recipient! So out would come the dictionary or Lonely Planet phrases pages. And so it continued. A couple of days ago we swapped photos. Today, the day before we leave, we swapped email addresses. Thankfully Minja is able to translate for Tuya, so we can be penpals.
Also in Mongolia we connected as a family with the passions and causes Bergzsuren and his family and living for. Our first Mongolian friends.
We made friends in Laos when we lived together with an extended family for three weeks. “One family” was their daily call.
We made a friend one night sitting on a bench outside our guesthouse overlooking the Mekong. After our initial two days together on a boat, we would bump into Bettina a few more times. And she was so nice about our kids – look what she said! (Hi Bettina – took a while to link to ya, eh! Hope you liked NZ)
More recently we have made new friends in Moscow. Tatiana and her family took us in and fed us amazing Russian food and showed us around the city and helped us purchase train tickets (taking up two hours of their time that they could have been doing something more interesting I am sure) and transported us to the station and told us about traditions and stories and broke eggs with us and gave us a beautiful blue and white handmade salt shaker – they did so much for us, packing our short Russian stay with enough culture to make it feel life we had been there a week.
More world friends.
Yet another family saw our profile on couchsurfing.com and invited us to come and stay with them. That’s why we’re heading to Latvia instead of Denmark!
Just because you’re wandering, it does not mean you’re lost.
Just because you’re travelling, you need not be lonely.
Tags: children, postcard: Laos, postcard: Mongolia, postcard: Russia, quote, tradition