Hello once again,
Just a quick entry about Ulan Ude, a relatively small city near the Mongolian Russian boarder (Russian side). The main highlight here is the world biggest statue of Lenin's Head. Who could resist such an attraction? Certainly not us!
As promised we won't go into the sightseeing details but if it's ok with you we will tell you about Pete joining the Communist Pioneers (n.b for those not up to speed with Soviet History the Pioneers were the Communist Party's youth wing - think boy scouts meets secret police and you're kinda there).
Anyway on our last night in Russia (where has the time gone?) we decided to round things off with a visit to a Soviet theme restaurant - oh yes comrades it's come to this. The restaurant was brilliant full of Soviet memorabilia - photos of generals, pictures of Stalin / Lenin / Marx and other Communist heroes. Unfortunately the food service was also authentic Soviet, but once we were done eating the fun really started...
...Next door to the restaurant was a similarly themed bar. Leading the way we persuaded a couple of our travelling companions to join us for a couple of after dinner Pivas (beers). The drinks were flowing and the Soviet tunes were blaring - all was good. Then a very middle aged very drunk woman grabbed Polly and dragged her up to dance - for all those who have ever been dancing with Polly you'll know she didn't need much persuasion!
We were soon joined by 3 or 4 other drunken Russian women (or Cougars as our Australian friend called them). We were all up dancing to the Soviet hits of the 1970s (rock on comrade). Then suddenly the music stopped an announcement was made by the compare (all in Russian of course) and then a drumming girl appeared and they called out Pete's name and he found himself at the centre of an initiation ceremony into the Pioneers!
The result is that Pete has now pledged to uphold the rule of the Communist Party and spread the teachings of Lenin. He has to subvert his own wishes to that of the Soviet state and to be honest we're a little worried he's going to start spying on us all! On the plus side he got a lovely red neck tie!
We're now in Mongolia after a horrendous 26 hour train journey - well we say train journey 7 hours of this were spent sat at the Russian boarder going nowhere fast whilst bureaucracy ran its course.
Only been here for 6 hours first impressions good - e.g. people smile more. But we'll report on this later.
Lots of love Polly & Pete