Dinashraya Prabhu (who has been translating for me) and I have been here at the temple in Moscow for eight days. In the afternoon we get a ride to the Ladozhsky railway station to get the 4:30 express back to Saint Petersburg.
I like this afternoon express because at just over five hours, it is the quickest train between the capital and former capital cities. Another thing I like is the seating. Instead of being stuffed into some stuffy overnight compartment with who knows who, you get to relax in wide, comfortable seats — very similar to the airline business-class seats — two on each side of the aisle.
But the coach we are in today is more luxurious. There are only three seats in a row: two on one side of the aisle, and one on the other. But somebody has messed up these tickets: although the seats are numbered 41 and 42, they are situated one behind the other, so Dinashraya Prabhu and I cannot sit together, and the train is full, so there are no empty seats.
And above the aisles are three flat-screen TV's. Although we are all handed earphones, the TV's blare distractingly throughout the journey. Three movies are shown, and all seem to involve some, um, shall we say, intellectually challenged individuals, so there is lots of shouting and gesticulating.
And just to top the trip off nicely, the guy in the seat in front of me promptly falls asleep — and snores the whole way...