Muralishwar Prabhu and I are roused from our slumber by the Ukrainian Border Police. I look at my watch: three o' clock. It is pitch black outside. The train has stopped, in the middle of nowhere, it seems. After a cursorily checking and stamping our passports, the guards alight and the train continues.
I lie awake, thinking that we will soon have our passports checked by the Russian Customs officials, but I finally fall asleep; it is not until five-thirty that the Russian border guards board the train. Just how far is it, I wonder, between border posts? I set my watch forward one-hour, to Moscow Standard Time.
It is much colder in Russia. Oh, it is warm enough inside the train, but outside, everything is covered with a fine layer of hoary frost, rather like iron filings on a magnet.
We arrive at the Moscow railway station at three-thirty, twenty-six hours after we left Odessa, the "Pearl of the Black Sea," in the Ukraine. We are met by Braja Sundar Prabhu, who drives us to the new Moscow temple.
The last two weeks in the Ukraine — visiting Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk, Kiev, and Odessa — have been great, but it's good to be back in Moscow.