My Forthcoming Book Extract Three – On A Tram In Odesssa

To set the scene, Hamish & I were headed to the bus station with dread in our hearts as we were booked on an overnight bus to Sevastopol due to all the trains being fully booked………

Odessa Train

We had arrived by train from Moldova, but there was no onward train available……

The tram ride to the bus station was hell. The tram was as packed as before, but this time we had our large and heavy rucksacks too. To say we were wedged in was an understatement. Incredibly more people got on at subsequent stops so we were now packed so tightly that we resembled one huge creature with dozens of heads & limbs!

For the entire journey I was dreading the moment that it was time to alight. Through the mass of shoulders, backs and heads packed around me, I somehow managed to spot our stop.

I was unable to get any where near a call button, but thankfully someone else requested the stop and I made my move, shoving all out of the way as I yanked my bag up and embraced it in my arms. Hamish preferred the dragging it behind him method, but the result was the same with bodies unceremoniously bashed out of the way. “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” I kept repeating with no idea whether anyone understood or believed me.

After what seemed a panicky age, we were at the top of the open door, just two metal steps between our goal and us.

Impatient new passengers were already clambering up those steps but if we didn’t get off now, we would be whisked to the next stop. There was nothing else for it but to dive for the exit. I virtually catapulted out to the pavement below, taking one of the ascenders with me, but miraculously somehow managing to stay on my feet.

Suddenly Hamish popped out behind me like he had just apparated using some of Harry Potter’s floo powder.

The startled passenger that I had taken with me gave Hamish the full force of his ire, much to my amusement as I recovered my composure. Hamish was a few seconds behind me in the composure recovery stakes and he simply went from red to redder in the face of the Ukrainian tirade, made worse by the fact that the tram doors had closed and left the commuter behind.

Hamish apologised on my behalf as I attempted to hide my mirth.

Footnote: The bus journey was every bit as bad as we feared, contributing to a hellish time in Sevastopol upon arrival….

Potemkin Steps

The famous Potemkin Steps in Odessa



  1. Reminds me of getting off the Trans Mongolian Train when we had to throw our bags out of the window then hope we made it out of the door to join them before the train took off again. Ah the memories…

  2. exsprepod · · Reply

    Sounds very familiar. I had a similar experience in the trolleybuses of Kherson – another city in the south of Ukraine. By the way, I wouldn’t say that Mumbai, where I’m staying at the moment, has nay better transport facilities 🙂

    1. Indian chaos is somehow more fun!

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