Early in the afternoon, Ashutosha Krishna Prabhu and I get ready to travel down to Moscow. We will spend just one night inMoscow, and leave early in the morning for the first city of the tour: Tambov. I hope it is warmer in Moscow: it is -3°C here in Saint Petersburg.
I am ready early, but we only leave for the train station at 3:15 p.m. We have just forty-five minutes to get to the station, so of course, we get stuck in traffic.
We finally get to the train station just as the public broadcast system announces that our train will be leaving in two minutes from platform four. A mad dash along the icy, slippery station platforms. Our carriage is the first one at the end of the platform. We're not going to make it!
We jump into the last coach at the end of the train just as it starts to pull away, and six boxes of books, in addition to our luggage, are thrown in after us.
Ugh! I'm too old for this! Why can't they get us to the station on time? Now we have to walk through twenty wildly swaying cars, past burly passengers, through meaty-smelling restaurant cars, all the way to the first carriage at the head of the train. I would really prefer to have missed the train.
This is not a good start to the tour! Sundar Ananda Prabhu picks up from the Moscow station. We get to Moscow temple in Kiselny at eleven o'clock.