From St. Petersburg to Moskva

It was insanely early to be having a flag-off, but then again it wouldn’t have mattered anyways because a grand total of one person came to send us off. And who did the flag thing? One of our own… 😛 I’m guessing the whole oil-price-hike crisis thing is bigger on the minds of our sponsors than our little jaunt. The sun was high and bright in the sky though, it is summer in Western Russia…

On the move towards Moskva, or Mockba, what Moscow is know as in these parts, I came to see the ‘real’ Russia. So far, from Finland to St. Pete, we have been seeing the ‘sanitized’ version of Russia – roads are relatively decent, not too many trucks driving like they’ve been to tea with the Mad Hatter, and the weather is quite pleasant, probably the reason why St. Pete was seen as the equivalent of what Southern Thailand is to Malaysians, to the well-off Europeans.

Driving towards Moskva however, the roads got narrower and the trucks crazier, more and more so as we drove along. Nasty, bumpy road conditions coupled with roadworks stretching for miles, made for insane driving. Distance to Moskva – over 800 horrid kilometers.

There were countless abandoned homes along the way, and even those that were occupied, looked empty and haunted. Is this the remnants of the socialist Russia? Many babushkas along the route eke out a living by selling tea and cakes to the endless stream of truckers. I feel for these ladies in their twilight years, struggling to survive in capitalist Russia.

The lack of sleep is getting to me, so today I spent most of ‘moving’ time asleep, uncomfortable and unnaturally curled into odd angles. Waking from the unsatisfying sleep heralded the beginnings of a massive headache, I’m assuming caused by my sleep pattern falling into disarray.

Another thing that has been bugging me is that no one seems to notice that I’m doing the writing for the website. Two people have been credited for my work publicly, and they’re quite happy to leave it as such. Why is my writing and creative output always credited to others? Am I so unlikely to have come up with these snappy, witty and intelligent sound bytes? I may be relatively quiet and reserved in person when on the expedition, but some appreciation and recognition would be due, no? *sigh*

I miss home and everything related to it, and I might add, find that beginnings of the elusive ‘homesickness’ disease is in the making. I am particularly upset that I cannot begin making the preparations for a certain ‘thing’ happening at the end of the year, simply because I’m not where I wish to be. Well, at the very least, it’s one week down and six to go…

At this moment, there is still about 200 kilometers to go before we reach Moskva. The traffic is in a standstill. According to the GPS, we have been on the road for 14 hours and 49 minutes, and we’re only 3/4 of the way done. There is yet more to come. My only consolation is that tomorrow is a rest day, one I might add, is well deserved by all in the expedition, for more reasons than the obvious… Maybe some time apart is what everyone needs, after having to share my breathing air with 49, no, 48 (one person is out my hair, at least) other people for the past 8 days or so…

Can’t wait for the comforting sight of the Kremlin tonight – Jasmine.

ps – Not many photos today, spent most of it asleep. Will make up for it tomorrow, when I explore Kremlin and the Red Square by foot…

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