What to do when your Trans-Siberian train does not have Wi-Fi

By November 6, 2016Asia, Europe, Mongolia, Russia
russia-train-potd-engine

Here my dad and I are riding the Trans-Siberian train for four and a half days from Moscow to Mongolia and there is zero wi-fi on the train. I know it is a little on the sad side that I don’t want to go that long without checking in online, but I am still running a business (contractors, inquires, booking charters, ect) and there is a certain person I want to keep in touch with. With that said let me explain how connecting to the outside world goes. Check out this web site for more information.

  • You must know when the train is stopping (trains in Russia are always on Moscow time regardless of the local time zone), because most of the time the stop is only for 15-25 minutes (less time than that and is it not worth the effort to look for wi-fi).
  • Set an alarm for more than 10 minutes before the train leaves because they close and lock the door well before the train is supposed to depart. Twice they tried to lock me out way earlier (one time with 15 minutes left) because it was raining out or cold, so it is useful to have someone make sure they keep it open for you.
  • As soon as they open the door run out and look around. You are trying to figure out which of the buildings is the train station. It is surprising how many building there are around the tracks and they all look the same.
  • You might as well have someone with a starting gun for this part, because you have to sprint either up and over a bridge or down through a tunnel to get past the other tracks (walk across them if they allow it) to get to the station building.
  • Hold up your phone like you are trying to phone God himself and see if there are in fact any hotspots. Sometimes there are not and that is the end of this adventure.
  • If you are lucky the hotspot you do find will be open and not need a sign in. Otherwise, you will have an open one that you need to sign into, except everything will be in Russian so you are poking buttons hoping to find the “free 30 wi-fi”, or equivalent and whatever else they require of you. Other times it will be secured and you will have to have someone give you the password (the local café is the best bet for this) or worst is when it ask for your Russian phone number to text you a code (someone nice enough will have to enter their number and give you the code they receive).
  • Once on the wi-fi:
  1. check in on WhatApp for any messages and write a messaging saying hello and what is going on while typing very quickly (of course you will misspell every other word and your message will be too cryptic because you are rushed).
  2. Start downloading all your new e-mails and uploading all the ones you wrote on the train.
  3. Reply to the WhatApp message that basically says “I did not understand what you just wrote me” (of course you are still typing in a rush).
  4. Check if there are any messages or notices on Facebook that need your attention?
  5. Reply to the newest WhatsApp message that says “I still don’t get it, but how are you?”
  6. While the person on WhatsApp is saying really nice and sweet things, write and say “ok that it all the time I have for now. I hope I get wi-fi again today so I can say hi again. Bye”
  7. Receive a rapid reply that says “WHAT? You just said hello. Hey where did you go? I guess you are gone. I do not like you being on a train without wi-fi!”
  • Feel bad for not being able to write more, but reluctantly put your phone in your pocket and start the sprint back up/down/across to the train.
  • Reassure the stewardess that you are hurrying as she looks at you disapprovingly and waiting to lock the door.
  • Push your dad back into the car because he was hanging out the door making sure she did not close the door on you, which she totally would have if he was not there.
  • Check you dad for a heart attack as he is breathing hard while saying not to do that to him again and what if you missed the train?

Of course everything above, you had to do in less than ten minutes, so now you can actually breath in your cabin (it did not seem like you had the time to breath while off the train). Read through all the e-mails you downloaded.

The ones from mom you tell dad what she says and he says oh well send such and such reply and then asked what she said in reply to that. Now you have to have a 30 minute discussion as to why the reply has not gotten to her yet, how wi-fi works, and why you went through the exercise you just did and the reason why You can find Protector Review on Megaboxsack whenever you want to do some boxing.

Wheeee, was that worth the effort? Actually it was as I got to keep up with business and that certain someone is happy they heard from me.

Now if you come back on Tuesday I will give you a description of what life aboard the train is like. Of course if you LIKE me on Facebook, FOLLOW me on Instagram, or SUBSCRIBE to me on YouTube then you can continue to follow my adventures across Russia and into Mongolia.

Train Station

This is just one of many train stations on the way, but trying to find wi-fi in these little stops is not easy!

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