Hitchhiking Siberia: Gosha the Driver and The Prostitutes

The Hitchhiking Trip to Siberia – 2009
On the road from Moscow to Irkutsk
Part One

January 12, 2009. John Lennon’s “Whatever gets you through the night” woke me up at 8 o’clock in the morning. It wasn’t that easy to leave the warm and cozy bed, but I had to. Took me about 15 minutes. I washed my face, had a breakfast, said goodbye to my brother Sasha and walked to the subway. By 10 AM I was already in the bus going to Nogisnk, a small town 70 km east of Moscow. I was sleepy, but happy to start my second hitchhiking trip to Siberia. And a little bit scared. For the first time in my life I was going to hitch over 6000 km alone. Fifty minutes later I got off at the Noginsk intersection and walked to a good hitchhiking spot I knew from my previous trip a year earlier. It was snowing, but the weather was warm. In 5 minutes I got my first ride. Gosha, the truck driver, said he always picks up hitchhikers.
Hitchhiking in Russian, winter road.


“How old are you?” he asked, when we drove off.
“Twenty-three,” I answered.
“Wish I could be that young now. It’s been 25 years since I live on the road, just changing trucks. And you know what? I don’t want to quit this job, even though it’s a hard one. I just can’t imagine myself living off the road.”
“Yes, me too”.

By noon we were passing the city of Pokrov. I’ve noticed a sign on one of the old buildings that said “Russian Government for Russia”. Was it just a different interpretation of the neo-nazi slogan “Russia for the Russians”? Perhaps. About an hour later we turned onto the Vladimir (one of the medieval capitals of Russia) bypass. Around 4 PM Gosha received a phone call from a woman. They had a sweet and romantic conversation, but when the call was ended, the driver said:
“Gosh! I don’t want to visit her now.”
“Who was calling?”
“Just a woman. She works in a roadside café not far from here. I visit her sometimes, we drink “niegrousteenochka” (his own word for vodka) and then… you know, make love and so. But I have no wish to see her now. I better go home, hug my wife, we’ll drink vodka and everything will be fine.”

The weather was very warm for January in Russia, and perhaps that was the reason why there were so many prostitutes on the road, who did their best trying to attract truck drivers just as sirens hunting sailors. “Look at them, wow, they are like mushrooms after the rain. Usually, they take 500 rubles for their services. You can’t find a cheaper one here,” Gosha said.

It was around 6 PM when I got off the truck near a parking lot with few kilometers left to the city of Nizhniy Novgorod. I thanked Gosha and left him in his preparations for a sleep, since he was tired and had no wish to continue his trip. I was hungry. The vegetarian sandwich I had with me and the cup of hot tea made another simple dinner on the road. For about an hour I wasn’t able to hitch a ride. A small dog came to me. I fed her with cookies I bought back in Moscow before taking the bus. Finally, around 8 PM a cargo van picked me up. The driver was not that talkative, so we were just listening to some music, until the road police officer stopped us. He checked driver’s documents, then came to me.

“Do you have your documents with you?” policeman asked.
“Yes, sure!” I said and handed him all the papers.
“You are not a citizen of Russia?”
“No, I’m not. I study in Moscow, I’m a journalist.”
He looked at me, then smiled and returned my documents. Then he went back to the driver who was waiting for him by the police car. Policeman checked the van via computer, trying to find something wrong with it to be able to get some money from the driver, but everything was fine, so 30 minutes later he just gave up.

13 January 2009
It was past midnight when we drove in into Chuvashia, and an hour later I had to say goodbye to the driver, because he was going to Cheboksary. It was -10 -13 degrees outside, and after zero degrees near Nizhniy Novgorod it felt very cold. But I was lucky to get another ride just in 5 minutes. Another cargo van. The driver named Fyodor was a funny one! He was telling me stories about fishing and I was happy to be a listener, not a storyteller. We were in Tatarstan already, when Fyodor decided to take a little rest. The clock on my phone showed 5 AM. We stopped near the gas station. Two minutes later both of us fell asleep.

On the road from Moscow to Irkutsk: Part Two
On the road from Moscow to Irkutsk: Part Three
On the road from Moscow to Irkutsk: Part Four
On the road from Moscow to Irkutsk: Part Five
On the road from Moscow to Irkutsk: Part Six

Advertisements

41 thoughts on “Hitchhiking Siberia: Gosha the Driver and The Prostitutes

  1. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: Ganesha, The Cop Story and The Shivering Girl « On The Road

  2. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Urals, The City of Chelyabinsk and The Accident « On The Road

  3. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Pregnant Woman, The Names and The Goodbye « On The Road

  4. Nice story! Why did you decide to hitch-hike in the winter? Was it your only time off or for other reasons?
    We hitch-hiked in snow only once, coming from the New Year’s in Prague, 2 years ago and it proved to be pretty impossible. Nobody stopped for 2h (I guess they didn’t want any snow melting on their cars’ floor or I don’t know why…) and we had to give up as we were freezing to death.
    We are planning our trip to Siberia for spring, just to avoid the cold. Call us pussies 😉

  5. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Taiga, The Crows and The Traveler’s Fate « On The Road

  6. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Café, The $20 Girls and The Arrival « On The Road

  7. Pingback: The City of Chelyabinsk « On The Road

  8. Pingback: The Miracles of Lake Baikal « On The Road

  9. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Road Back, The Jailbird and The Kamaz Trucks « On The Road

  10. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Farewell, The Stranger and The Night « On The Road

  11. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Morning, The Driver’s Story and The Road to Tomsk « On The Road

  12. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Nostalgy, The Frozen Toes and The Curious Kid « On The Road

  13. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Cold Night, The Sunset and The Euphoria « On The Road

  14. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Corrupted Police and The Three Hitchhikers « On The Road

  15. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Robbery Attempt, The Café Village and The End « On The Road

  16. Pingback: The Siberian Hitchhiking Trip – 2009 « On The Road

  17. Pingback: The Siberian Hitchhiking Trip – 2009 | On The Road

  18. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Robbery Attempt, The Café Village and The End | On The Road

  19. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Corrupted Police and The Three Hitchhikers | On The Road

  20. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Cold Night, The Sunset and The Euphoria | On The Road

  21. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Nostalgy, The Frozen Toes and The Curious Kid | On The Road

  22. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Morning, The Driver’s Story and The Road to Tomsk | On The Road

  23. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Farewell, The Stranger and The Night | On The Road

  24. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Road Back, The Jailbird and The Kamaz Trucks | On The Road

  25. Pingback: The Miracles of Lake Baikal | On The Road

  26. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Taiga, The Crows and The Traveler’s Fate | On The Road

  27. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Urals, The City of Chelyabinsk and The Accident | On The Road

  28. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Pregnant Woman, The Names and The Goodbye | On The Road

  29. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: The Café, The $20 Girls and The Arrival | On The Road

  30. Pingback: The City of Chelyabinsk | On The Road

  31. Pingback: Hitchhiking Siberia: Ganesha, The Cop Story and The Shivering Girl | On The Road

  32. Pingback: Սիբիրի ճամփեքին. վարորդ Գոշան և մարմնավաճառները — Աշխարհի Ճամփեքով…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s