Christmas in Siberia

Moleskine entry: April 15th, 2011

My watch says it’s April 15th but honestly, it could be any time. Officially we’re into our second full day of train travel and, at 12:25pm Moscow time, we’re all very hungover.
Also, we’ve established a constitution:


Which so far have fared us well. Plus, to help pass the time (between the vodka and the beer) we’ve organised different things to look forward to throughout the week.

Last night was ‘dress fancy’ night. Seven of us in total ventured down to the restaurant car for an evening dinner and, for a time, we were the only ones there.

Much merriment was had…

Oly & Me

Oly & Me. Good lad.

Later, a fairly inebriated Mongolian woman came to join us at our table and, much to our shared amusement, we soon discovered that the only the only English that she knew was in the form of Christmas carols.

On a train, somewhere in deepest Siberia, in the middle of April, singing Christmas carols… with a drunk Mongolian.

Brilliant. I don’t even have a box for that but I’m ticking it anyway.


24hrs in San Francisco…

…and what a mission it has been!

I land and realise as I’m getting off the plane that I left my wallet next to the wifi hotspot at London Heathrow.


I check my emails and I have a converted voicemail – (cheers SpinVox) from someone who not only found it, but handed it in, got the details of the guy/department she gave it in to and then left her number too in case I was still around. Rock.

Go to customer services here – explain all, show them the email. They get on the phone. My wallet is fine but I have to pick it up in person.

Bugger. No money, no cards and no way of getting to the hotel.

The man standing next to me says:

“Where you staying?”
“The Clift”
says I.

“Oh, I used to run their Limo company. Give me two minutes…”

“But I have no money! I can’t pay you dude…”
“I’m sorry Sir, but you lost your wallet right?
“And how much was in it?”
“About $200 US.”
“And it’s been handed in and all the money is there and all is good right?

“Well that’s some good karma right there Sir so that means you’ve
obviously done something to deserve it. So hey, have some more –
Take the Limo to the Clift Sir, and enjoy your stay San Francisco.”

F**k. Me. Wow.

I get to the hotel. Can’t check-in, no credit card.

“But I have my passport?”
“No Sir, we need a card, sorry.”

I call up a random US colleague who I know is down the road at the conference. Explain all. He turns up, checks me in, gives me $200 ‘to last me’ and then rocks back to the conference!

I then unpack, shower and stuff (my room is awesome) and head on down to the Nokia party I got invited to. Get given a whole bunch of free phone stuff as well as an invite to their exclusive after party. Which I went to, made new friends. One of which I got really drunk with and we passed out in the hotel lobby in the hours of this morning.

Later that day, I get an email from my friend and colleague Dan Appelquist (Great guy, from Vodafone, runs Mobile Mondays) – he knows I’m in town – says would I mind picking up a parcel for him which he forgot when he
was here last week..

“Sure…” says I.

Dan then says I should hook up with this girl,

“Cathy, you guys are both in the messaging / Web 2.0 cross-over space. I think you would both enjoy meeting up and you might find some synergy to what you’re both doing. You’re both out at CTIA going to various parties (not that I’m jealous) so I leave it to you.”

I look at the email. I read it again.


The girl I got hammered and passed out with in the hotel lobby the night before? …Yup.



Small world or WHAT?!

And I’ve only been here 24hrs. Ha. Let’s not even talk about today when I rocked up the conference and EVERYONE is wearing a suit. Apart from….


Flipflops, torn jeans, sunny gs, t-shirt… Like this in fact:

Very amusing.

Felt like that scene from Pretty Woman..
Love it.

More to come soon – promise. But this place is awesome. At the time of writing I’ve been here 48hrs and I wrote this yesterday but lost my connection before I could post! Grr… Ah well.

More stories to follow…