Monday, February 8, 2010

Siberia 7th Stop : Goryarchinsk

a village we never planned to visit and never realized existed until 20 minutes before we arrived.

Gremyachinsk was the intended destination.Lonely Planet had dedicated 4 lines to this pretty little village.In the marshutka , all the russians discouraged us to go to Gremyachinsk and told us to go further north along the shores of lake baikal.Where its more beautiful and the people are much nicer.

A lady of the bus,turned around and offered to help us find accomodation if we agreed to go to her village just 20 minutes away from Gremyachinsk.We didn't know what the village was before we arrived.but for some reason,all 3 of us trusted this russian lady.We had pretty much nothing to lose,especially since we were in a bus in the middle of pretty much we don't know where.

Ola is her name.She brought us to her house to meet her family.It was not a fancy house from the outside but definately a decent looking one.And when we walked in,there was a huge plasma tv in the living room.Siberia, you amaze me once again.

We thought that she was planning to host us in her house after her mom offered us food.It was a really good spread with soup cheese,sausage and bread.And to my horror , i found out here how shitty my chinese language actually is.To think that 红茶 is called red tea.Don't they call it red pearl bubble milk tea?But 红茶is actually black tea.It's so ridiculous.Why can't they just call it 黑茶 if it's black tea.The cultural aspect of the chinese language,always a mystery even to the chinese people.

But no,she brought us somewhere else.A sanatorium.We later found out that this village was called Goryarchinsk and Lonley Planet has dedicated 3 lines in their 791 page book to it.A sanatorium is a place where the old, the ill come to rest.Normally situated near lakes and villages for people to escape the pressures of city life.I think some pensioners get government benefits to go to places like these.

Ola helped us with negotiating prices at the administrative office , settled all the paperwork for us and even translated the required information slowly to us.Never once did we ask her for help, she offered her time , her energy and even resources to make sure that we were alright and happy.

The weather was amazing when we arrived, no snow, cooling weather.Half an hour after we settled down in the room , it started snowing.What once was green grass became white.We spent our time here watching tv and recuperating from the long road trips we had.Somehow we got sucked into the resting phrase after walks along the baikal shores.The sanatorium was near the baikal shores .A quiet stretch of beach with a puppy tagging along with us and hoping to get a bite of anything that we have in our pockets that was edible.Selma and Therese surprised me with a easter cake , some balloons and a card on my birthday.And i left some lighted candles on the frozen waters of baikal:)

Meals were interesting here.we had to dine in a hall at specific timings.Dinner on the first day was interesting.Firstly, a good looking dyedushka was arranged to sit at our table and he had the privilege of speaking to 3 of us, young foreign girls.The sudden snow showers had wiped out the electricity for a while and cooking took a longer time.THe first meal was great.THere was some meatballs, mash potatoes and some healthy food.Kasha for breakfast.But we came to realize that that was about it that people here get to eat.People had to eat meatballs for breakfast too.The biggest regret was not joining the babushki and dedushki for disco night.

An old babushka approached us on the last day , before boarding the bus.She was an english teacher, with plenty of golden teeth and she spoke really slowly.Pretty impressive ....especially since, THIS IS's in a village ,that tourists hardly come to and this babushka is probably in her 80ties!

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