Again more kilomters from home. And now I can really feel it, because of the time difference which gradually increases step by step I travel to the east. In Omsk my Couchsurfer host, Alina, arranged her father and friend waiting for me at the railway station. Polina, her friend had the day off and took me around Omsk. It’s a wide spread city and it feels therefore unnecessarily big. As in all Russian cities Lenina Street and Lenin Square make up the city centre. Lenin statues are scattered all around the town. Unfortunately across whole Russia you’ll find only three different statues of this terrible guy. This is an example of the poor Soviet style which donated the many uninspiring concrete appartment blocks. With the usual grey Siberian weather it gives inhabitants a hard time to smile. Not for Polina, since we both challenged the snow. It was a great afternoon we spent together. She wanted to learn English and I a bit of Russian. With some hilarious moments that attracted the attention of passants in the street.
In the night I met Alina again at her private school where she teaches English. I was invited to give a presentation about my travels. Here I found out that students are in general shy if it comes to speaking. Although they were interested while seeing my photos and videos. For some reason I feel really comfortable and time flies. Time to go to Alina’s couch where I was welcomed by two really fluffy cats. One white one white a real big fur :). We spent hours and hours chatting, about so many aspects in life you come across. You can really learn from each other in this way. For both it is not sure if we want to stay in our country and doing the job we have been doing for the past years. An eye opener for me. By meeting so many great people my time is finished in Omsk and I need to continue to the next Siberian town. Of course not without saying good bye to Alina, who insisted to take me to the railway station and waited until I boarded the train to Novosibirsk. Now I will pass the “half-way obelisk” which means will be more than half-way on the TB.
“Omsk has character, a bustling nightlife and a lot of cultural activities. More time would have allowed me to taste more of these. It definitely is a worthwhile stop on the TB”.