After a long day of classes I watched the English department girls win the basketball championship, then rushed back to grab my things to catch our 12 hour overnight train to
Train travel isn’t too bad so long as you have a sleeper, but the bed seemed to be harder and smaller than I remembered. Unfortunately the movement of trains makes me a little dizzy. Fortunately, being dizzy makes me feel tired, so I was able to sleep okay until the woman on the bunk below me started yelling on her cell phone at about 6am. Apparently the early cell phones had very bad connections so people had to yell to be heard. Now they connect just fine, but people still yell. And I do mean yell.
Our train was supposed to arrive at 6:45am which would have given us enough time to get across town for our 9am embassy appointment. Unfortunately, at 8:30am, we were still on the train. We called the embassy and they didn’t seem too concerned. They just started this whole appointment system, and they must realize you can’t expect too much from that in
We arrived at the embassy about an hour late, but the appointment didn’t take long. Soon we were off on our way to IKEA, which was supposedly close by. Half an hour later, though, we were still in a taxi driving back and forth down the same road and looping around in frustration. The map from the IKEA website was surprisingly bad and the taxi driver kept thinking we wanted to be on a different road. We were frustrated and he was frustrated and it just wasn’t working out. Finally his face lit up as he thought of a plan, “Maybe you want to buy some stuff!” He took us to a big shopping mall area. It wasn’t where we wanted to go, but this was clearly the end of the line for us. He deposited us on the sidewalk and sped away.
We did eventually get to the IKEA, which was not that far away. I adore IKEA, despite or because of its massiveness. We were starting to wilt pretty quickly though, so we headed back to the far other side of town to shower and rest at our organization’s guesthouse. Two taxis, two subway lines, and an hour and a half later we were happily washing away the travel dirt. We collapsed on the couch for a short nap, then headed back across town once again (and by “town,” I mean the city of 17 million people), this time to our favorite Mexican restaurant in