Everybody has an age they are most comfortable in. Some people are always going act like kids, while others have maturity beyond their years.

I’m an old man, I think. Cynical, prone to complaining, reads a lot, writes letters to the paper, and enjoys trains. I’m not a fanatic or anything. I’m bewildered by the obsession some people (invariably British) have with railway gauges and such. I just really like riding on them.

some guy on flickr

The Trans-Siberian Express is the longest railway in the world, cutting across more than nine thousand kilometres of plains, taiga, farmland, mountains and rivers, a journey that takes several days and spans eight time zones. It was constructed in the 1890s as the Kremlin’s response to the bitter whining of eastern peasants about how isolated they were, and remains in operation today as one of the world’s greatest train journeys, its name second only in dashing intrigue to “the Orient Express.” My own nation’s “Indian Pacific” can’t even compete.

There are routes running into Mongolia, China and North Korea, and it’s the Mongolian one I’m interested in, since Mongolia is high on the destination list. We then have to get across to Europe/Africa somehow, and the world’s longest train journey seems the most appealing option. Moscow in itself would be a mildly interesting destination, and then it’s a much shorter flight to Paris or Istanbul or Cairo or wherever the hell we decide to go.

Apparently Russian visas are very difficult to get a hold of, more so than Chinese visas, which I found surprising. Failing a trip across the Siberian plains, I suppose we could fly straight to Nepal and then across to either Turkey or Egypt. It’ll sort itself out. Ah, daydreaming about travel and making blog posts while waiting for a goddamn phone call. What a wretched rainy afternoon this is.