Russia, a confusing place

At times Russia can be a very confusing place, even if you know Russian (as in my case). I was planning to go from Arshan to Slyudanka, spend a night there, see Baikal and continue to Ulan-Ude the next morning. The bus schedule confirmed a bus to Slyudanka at 8AM. That is as far as the theory goes. The practical experience went like this. I came to the bus stop at 7.40 only to find a bus to Ulan-Ude. The driver did not know about any Slydanka buses and the bus terminal was closed (even though it was supposed to open at 7.30). So assuming that the bus will eventually come, I stayed there waiting. Several minutes later a woman working for the bus company appeared out of the blue and told me that there were no morning buses to Slyudanka, but there was one later in the evening. As an alternative she suggested to go to the place called Karantin (carantine in English, a cheerful name for a village,) and get a mini-van connection from there to Slyudanka. Well, screw that, I’d better go straight to Ulan-Ude. So I bought the ticket to Ulan-Ude and hopped on the bus. The real kicker waited for me several hours later, when we passed through Slyudanka, actually made a stop there and some people got off. I do not know whether that was malice, ignorance or plain misunderstanding, but the whole situation was rather surreal. Does not compute.

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