­

Couchsurfing in Ulan Bator

By |August 9th, 2013|

An American guy on the train told me: "Don't stay too long in UB." I wasn't planning on, but I ended up staying over a week and a half in Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia. Why? - Circumstances. Now I'm sitting here, in Sun's Nomads Guesthouse (10 U.S. dollars per night with breakfast), located [...]

Olkhon, Lake Baikal

By |August 7th, 2013|

  "You want to travel all alone? Wow, you are so brave. - That's what they said at home," says Johanna. Ruoyin and I are laughing: "Same here." The three of us met on the bus to Olkhon. This is the island in Lake Baikal - a hot tip by Sasha, my "couch [...]

Couchsurfing in Irkutsk

By |July 27th, 2013|

"Das ist mir scheißegal! " Sasha shouts, pulling his eyebrows together. We laugh. "That really sounds German" I praise him. Sasha is my "couchsurfing host" in Irkutsk. He lives in a large two bedroom apartment in the city center. He is a programmer and speaks excellent English - a welcome change from my previous encounters [...]

Trainride from Moscow to Irkutsk

By |July 27th, 2013|

  Our train stewardess is holding two bags under my nose, one has black instant coffee, the other one has coffee with milk powder and sugar. "With milk, but no sugar," I say in English. She looks at me confused. No one seems to order such a thing. She takes the initiative and [...]

Moscow

By |July 24th, 2013|

  The driver repeats her sentence in Russian for the fifth time, I repeat mine in English for the fifth time: "How much does it cost to Yaroslavsky Station?" We don't understand each other. By her tone, I realize that she is getting angry. She opens the door and points her finger outside. This is how I get thrown out of a Moscow street car. "You can't get far with English in Russia", I heard this before. How bad it really is, however, you can only feel when you're actually there. Whether it's the street car driver, the cashier at the supermarket, the kiosk person or train station staff, they all speak Russian and Russian only. Somehow you can make it work anyway, you just shouldn't be under time [...]