...or like that one...
.... or this one.
No, Sture feels the chill in his bones.
Gösta advises Sture to get the hell away from here.
Sture & Gösta on the train. 7 days. Woods. Lakes woods. woods lakes. Sture Gösta. Gösta Sture. Alone in the compartment. Noodles from a cup. Gösta eats too much borstj. His stomach explodes. No borstj. The personnel: chinese. Chinese pop music is blasting from the speakers. The same batch of songs over and over again. Gösta hums along, already recognizing the melodies.
Gösta sleeps like a baby on the train. Sture listens to Nebraska. 'From the town of Lincoln with a sawed off .410 in my lap / Through to the badlands of Wyoming I killed everything in my path.' Sture listens to the ka-bom, ka-bom. Sture feels the contours of his bones on the hard bed. Sture peeks out the window. The ominous darkness. Gösta dreams about hippos and tax collectors.
Gösta & Sture are quiet. Outside: nothing. Gösta longs for the fresh air of the steppes. Next door: the smoking area. Their comrades are elderly Dutch people and a Russian middle aged couple who restlessly patrol the wagon. Gösta & Sture speak the language of their grandmothers. Gösta is Annie and Sture is Anna-Lisa. Anna-Lisa is younger than Annie and has a brighter outlook on life. Annie is utväntad while Anna-Lisa rustar sig. Annie is resignation and Anna- Lisa is action. Annie sighs and Anna-Lisa chuckles. Sometimes there is a little intermission of obscenities and sometimes they just say Yesno and Noyes. The nothingness of the steppe is filtered through a layer of window's dirt. At regular intervals, they fetch water from the samovar. They drink silver tea because there is no tea.
The fresh-looking water of the Baikal tempts Gösta. Gösta imagines a different journey, alone with the birds.
The border of Russia & Mongolia. The first creatures we meet are cows. The cows graze happily outside government buildings. I envy the cows. The cows are suddenly brusquely brushed aside by an angry bureaucrat. I buy beers from the store. Sibirskaja corona provides me with sufficient consolation to carry me through the six or so hours of waiting. The cows have disappeared. The mosqitoes haven't.
Morning. Day 6. Gösta & Sture are grumpy. A greasy sunset. Endless steppes. Bohren's Black earth sets the mood.
The Gobi desert. Sand storms. Every object in the wagon covered with dust. Gösta & Sture play Texas Hold'em with their new mates. A young woman from Ulan Baator and a packpacker who barely utters a sentence without the inclusion of "Austin, Texas". He talks about how he was food poisoned after a pig roast. Pig roast pig roast pig roast. Our Mongolian friend treats us to delicious meat rolls that her grandmother has made. She studies accounting but her dream is to study marketing. The guy from Austin, Texas chuckles & chuckles, flirtatiously teasing the girl. Gösta is an adventurous gambler of Texas Hold'em. Gösta is a stranger to fear. Gösta loses - big time. Gösta is in a bad mood until the border of China. They fill in 5 or six documents while border administration scurry through the corridor like rabbits. What is that noise? The formerly gravely border administration gang - are giggling! Our ears fall off.