Report 19 - 30/12/2003

Babuskin at the road to Ulan Ude

Click for large image! Today we depart late. Pasha wrote us a letter of recommendation telling the reader to help us finding fuel and a sleeping place. It's beautiful weather and by a temperature of minus 16 degrees not really cold. "At Babushkin there is a gastinitsa," Nadia (Trans-Sputnik) told us. Knowing this gave us a safe feeling when it starts to become dark.

At the policepost we are allowed to drive on. In a nearby dinnerplace we ask for the gastinitsa. The people tell's us there ain't one. We stay in the dinnerplace to eat a little and decide to ask the police for a sleeping place.

We show them the letter Pasha wrote and they ask us if we are looking for a hotel or just a bed. We agree with the last question. The officer tells us to follow him and we drive to their apartment. This wouldn't be possible in The Netherlands: driving behind a police car on a illegal combination and stay a night in they policemen's apartment.

In the apartment a party is going on. They are celebrating new years night, officer Slawa explains. We join in at the dinner table and meet the other officer and their wife's. They all wish to be a gangster, but because that is to difficult they decided to choose the other side and became policemen.

Slawa, is already getting drunk and pours Rob a Wodka. "Robert, you must drink!" Rob feels is stomach asking for food instead of wodka and explains we like to eat something. Happily there is plenty of food and we taste pork, chicken and fruits. Also there is a new years cake, with a bright pink sucker top. Rob agrees with Slawa to have a Wodka, and drink further on only tea and cola. Slawa agrees, but for the rest of the night still keeps Rob asking to drink Wodka.