China Mongolia

End of Transsiberian Express

en nl

Yes, yes, man! Really fat, fun that I see you through face chat, super man! A Dutch boy is talking hard on the platform while everyone is waiting in the queue to get on the train to Beijing. We are in Ulaanbataar and are making the last ride of the Trans Siberia Express to China. When we are allowed into the train the boy crawls in front and is one of the first in the train. Visible to the annoyance of tourists who also queue up for the train.

‘My god! Who is that Swedisch guy?,’ says a young man when he enters my coupe. I’m sorry, he’s Dutch,’ I say, ‘like me’. The young man is David from Ireland, 38 years old and lives in Qatar. His dream is to go to Australia in a few years’ time when he has six tons together, the requirement to live there.

The boy who sleeps above me is Tom from England. He is still studying, computer science. He hopes that this will give him a good job – according to David he is a student at the top 10 university in England – and who knows, he can still travel for work, but he can live in England. He has a girlfriend with whom he goes to America next year. That means working hard on his job in the supermarket and as manager for people who sell tickets to a discotheque.

The last member of the coupe is a boy from Germany, Hendrik (not short for Heinrich). Sound as always, nineteen years just like Tom, but significantly less talkative. I think he has just finished his secondary school and starts after the summer with Siemens, where he will continue his studies as he works, if I understand correctly. To do so, he must live close to the Czech border, where Siemens is located.

Bringing in

Tom suggests that we spend his Mongolian money. He still has enough left over and invites us for a beer. We have to be there for six o’clock, because then the diner wagon closes, because we are crossing the border.

At half past three we are already in the diner wagon on our beer. It is a beautiful Mongolian wagon and we are very happy. It turns out that you can also pay with euros and dollars, so it doesn’t stop with a beer. When we have four of them behind us we go back to our coupe and not much later we have to take our bags, because they are going to change the wheels and we have to get out of the train.

Changing wheels

The tracks between Mongolia and China are not the same, so someone came up with the brilliant plan to just change the wheels, so every other day – when the train goes – the wheels of all the wagons are changed.

About 300 people get out of the train and we wait in a hall. We are already in China. Behind the station you can go outside and there are people who buy beer and other refreshments. So our drinking adventure continues. The German boy has vodka with him, so he also opens it.

French Doctor

The French doctor with whom I was on the train from Russia to Mongolia is also on the train – not by chance – and we talk for hours. We have to wait about five hours. When we decide to join the group of which my coupe are the gang makers, Tom is already pretty drunk.

On to the Moijitoman

At two o’clock in the morning we are allowed to go back on the train and drive again. The German boy is lifting Tom into his bed, which immediately falls into a coma. An Australian boy comes to our neighborhoods we chat until four in the morning until I say I want to lie down.

The Irishman still has ‘plenty’ of drunkard stories and continues in the corridor, I go to sleep. With the doctor, my coupe and a number of other Dutch people I have previously met I meet to see each other at the Moijito man in Beijing, next Tuesday, who knows then goes through our adventure….

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