from russia with love

Greetings from Moscow. First of all, let’s get the cliches out of the way: Time taken to join first queue after disemabarking from aircraft: 1 minute. Length of queue: 90 minutes. Number of times approached by prostitutes in first 24 hours: six. Less patronsing reports to follow.

Tomorrow I embark to Ulan-Bator on the Trans-Siberian railway. Coming the other way will be North Korea’s mysterious leader, Kim Jong II, on a rare visit outside his own country. Apparently there’ll be two locomotives travelling ahead of his train, just in case someone has forgetfully misplaced a bomb on the track. I’m hoping this doesn’t occur just as we’re travelling past, but I guess the chances are pretty slim on a stretch of line 9000km long.