Saturday, December 12, 2009

Midnight Train Ride (written on 12/10)

So we rushed out of our apartment and jumped in a car to head to the train. It was about 9pm. Hopefully we didn't forget anything at the apartment. We arrived at the train station at around 9:20 and it was beautiful. The building was large with neon lights shining on it. We entered into a grand foyer with a high vaulted ceiling. It was a challenge to keep up with our driver who was leading us to our train. Up one escalator and down another to a tunnel where the train was. Our driver walked us to car #4 and explained to the attendant that we were American and might need some assistance. She agreed and led us to our room.... or was it a closet? She offered us drinks and we took a stab at ordering. Water and apple juice...... As we opened the drinks, we said a small prayer, hoping we would not be surprised. The apple juice was good, but one drink of the water and we knew we had messed up again.... YUK, it was carbonated...... AGAIN! We always make that mistake. The room was approximately 6' by 7' with 4 beds. It was stuffy, but we figured it would get better when the ride started. At 9:50 the train took off. Emma sat in the window mimicking the train sounds.... chug-a-chug-a-choo-chooooo! chug-a-chug-a-choo-chooooo!

The train rocked quite a bit, as it moved forward. As we looked out the window we could see glimpses of snow on the trees and hills we passed. Every so often we would see an old farm house with snow covering the roof. After a while it became just black outside. We turned on a movie on our laptop and began watching. Grace sat on the upper bunk playing on the macbook while the rest of us watched "RV" on the bottom. I (Tony) dosed off about 30 minutes into the movie. Leah and the girls watched until about midnight and then settled in to sleep. The rocking of the train put everyone to sleep except for Leah. She was up most of the night probably because it was so hot on the train. It was 20 degrees outside and felt like it was about 85 on the train..... go figure. A few hours into the ride, the train began to stop. Uh oh, we didn't realize there would be multiple stops. We started wondering how we would know when it was our stop. Would someone wake us up.... had our driver told the attendant that we would need help..... would we hear the name of the town we were traveling to? We knew we were to arrive at 6am, but what if we were asleep? So we woke up at every stop and checked the time. At about 5:45am, the attendant knocked on the door and said something we could not understand, but it ended with the word Odessa. Whew! We made it.

As soon as we stepped off of the train, a large man immediately grabbed our bags and introduced his wife as Sveta. She bundled our girls up better (the people here are adamant about kids being bundled up when outside). Call it faith, but we assumed this man was our driver, so we followed him to his van and got in. Neither the man nor his wife spoke any English, but they were very nice. We drove for about 25 minuted and arrived at our apartment. A nice lady met us the door and showed around the apartment. Again, she spoke no english, but was apparently the landlord who lived next door. Again, she was very nice. We were told that someone would come pick us up at 9:30am to take us to an appointment. We all took this opportunity to catch up on some well-needed sleep. Finally we were here..... close to our kiddos!

No comments:

Post a Comment