Showering on the Trans-Siberian

One of the longest stretches of time I’ve been without a shower was the seven days I spent on the Trans-Siberian traveling from Moscow to Beijing.

Although the train carriages were comfortable enough, each had only a single toilet, a horrible little sink, and absolutely no opportunity to shower–or so I thought.

Like most people on the Trans-Siberian, I slowly ripened over the course of the journey along with the three other passengers who shared my berth. But according to Vanessa Arrington writing for Lonely Planet, this simply wasn’t necessary.

The trick is to bring along a larger water bucket. Passengers can fill this with boiling water from the samovar, mix it with cold water from the bathroom sink and then toss it over their head while locked in the bathroom. The water will disappear through a hole in the floor and onto the tracks below.

While this seems a pretty decent idea, I see two immediate problems. Since there is only one bathroom, there will be some pretty angry people on the other side of the door waiting for shower time to finish. Worse, however, is that the bathrooms are very small and very dirty. I would not want to get naked in one of these things while the train is rocking back and forth. Ugh!

Let’s face it; if you can’t go that long without a shower, get off in Irkutsk or somewhere else along the line and lather up. Just don’t get back on board and turn up your nose at fellow passengers who aren’t going to smell as fresh and rosy as yourself.