The Japanese Sea
I still had to stay until noon in Vladivostok before sailing to S.Korea. Although I was eager to leave, the company of Катюша made me enjoy my very last hours in Vladivostok.
I met her in the restaurant at the hotel and the day after she was so kind to offer me a lift to the harbour.
Катюша symbolized the whole 4 weeks I spent in Russia.
Russians may seem cold, distant and also a bit scary to us, but they are nothing like this.
On the contrary, they are among the kindest people on earth.
Even when you are a total stranger to them, they offer you gifts, they invite in their house and show you around, they want you to meet their family, they invite you for dinner, they invite you at their table in a restaurant, they always help you when you 're in need and so much more...
Russia hurts you twice.
First time on arrival, and the second time when you have to leave.
Leaving the Vladivostok harbour, I ended up in a second class bunk with five Russians and two Tajiks. The Russians, even before sailing, had opened their bottles of vodka. I suppose this is pretty normal, but I wasn’t in for a rough night. Nor were the Tajiks, remember that Tajikistan is a muslim country. They had a few conversations, in Russian of course, and very respectfully the Russians disappeared with the vodka outside on the upper deck. Problem solved, and everybody seamed to be happy. Thus the night turned out very calm and silent. The only minor disturbance were the waves that rolled the boat slowly sideways.
This is normal when you travel by boat. ..