It looks like I have a companion for the rest of the trip. A man named Uri got on board this morning. He's been more talkative than the others who have been in my berth. He's told me his name for a start. We've also managed to exchange destinations (Moscow and Moscow) and book titles (War and Peace for me and a Bond novel for him).
During the day we've passed what seemed like a giant lake, quite possibly Lake Baikal. The track ran quite close to the shore and we followed it for a few hours. The lake was a huge white expanse with absolutely no vegetation at all on it. Most of the landscape has had trees or grass or something growing, but not here, just white as far as the eye could see. Occasionally I could see land on the other side rising up, but not often.
There also seemed to be a few cars and people out on the ice. I guess they were ice fishing. Someone must have been as at a recent stop there was a mass of people selling fish. Uri bought four and is keeping them cool by placing them next to the window. The window is the weak link in keeping the berth warm, and has got a fair bit of ice on it over the past few days.
I'm beginning to feel a bit grimy not having had a shower in three days. I have yet to work out the taps in the bathroom. No matter how I turn them, nothing happens and I worry I'm going to pull them off, and angry Russian sounds very angry, so I don't want to actually do that.
I'm also beginning to worry about money. It's not that I don't have enough, it's that most (all) the vendors so far have been reluctant to accept a 1000 ruble note (about A$40). I should try the drinks lady as she's obviously selling a lot (I've bought 125 rubles of stuff from her) so she should have sufficient change somewhere on board. As it stands now I only have a few hundred rubles left in small bills which won't last the whole of the rest of the trip.