Many people write to me and ask more or less the same questions so my idea with this post is to answer them. The questions are just random so, no sorting order here
- Did you get happy ending on the Chinese massage?
No, this was a true massage institute with no intentions of anything except massage. There are however plenty of places which more or less wide open say that you will get happy ending and you cant walk down the street in Beijing without at least some people ask if you want some.
- Hows the toilets?
Russia use the same standard as western Europe and that includes the trans-Siberian train too. There was no paper on the train though so bring your own and you will flush everything just straight below the train which means that the toilets are closed while the train has stopped on a station. They were always decent clean though! On our camp in Ulaanbaatar we had a classic toilet chair over a hole, when its time to close the camp you just fill the whole with dirt and move your chair to the new place. In Mongolia and China we have seen all kind of toilets, from just a hole in the ground to regular toilets like the one we are used to.
- Can you take a shower on the train?
No, at least not in second or third class. Third class which is the cheapest means its more or less just a lot of beds in a wagon. You will more or less be sitting and sleeping at your neighbor and this is the hard core class. In second class you have 4-bed compartments and if you want to sleep or relax you can easily close your door. Of course you might share your compartment with some other people but at least its a limited number of people. First class might have a shower but I doubt it and I assume its kind a luxury. I went by second class and even if that means that I didn’t took a shower during those four days it took to get to Irkutskt it wasn’t that bad and everybody on the train were the same. I did enjoy the shower once I took it in Irkutsk though.
- Hows the food?
The food is far away from the “Swedish Chinese food” you can find and it taste really, really good. Every dish is like an explosion of flavors and its cheap. Normally you order a couple of different dishes to the table and then you eat from the one you like most. I must however give the advice to learn to eat with chopsticks before you go, Anton didn’t and he struggled before he learned how to eat. I must confess that neither the Russian cabbage or Chinese rice breakfast is a favorite but you can always eat something else.
- Does English work??
Sometimes but in Russia mostly no. In Mongolia and China many signs are in English and you can actually speak with people however there is many typos and you may not get answer on the question you asked. With some sign language and good will you will manage anyway.
- Do you recommend the trip?
Oh yea but do not expect an all inclusive trip. You will be confused, live like a bum and meet a lot of different people and different culture