I took 6000 rubles out of the ATM machine at the Moscow Marriott, which should have been plenty of money for our six day trip across Siberia and into Beijing. I didn’t expect to need much Russian currency because I have hundreds of American dollars, a wallet full of credit cards, a debit card, and an ATM card.
Unfortunately, we went to the grocery store and picked up a lot of snack items for the train. The credit card we’ve been using for everything was declined, as were all our other credit cards, so we spent 2000 of our rubles on food. We also expected to pay for our taxi from the hotel to the train station by credit card, but it was again declined. Poof! There went another 700 rubles.
So counting all our spare change, we have about 4300 rubles to stretch out over six days. But, hey, no problem, because the concierge said we could pay for our meals aboard the train with credit cards or American dollars.
Turns out they take neither.
I’m an idiot. Many months ago we found a great website called seat61.com that details everything you need to know about traveling by train around the world. In the section on the Trans-Siberian train, it very clearly, says, “Bring your own food.” Jamie remind me of this a couple days ago but I said, “Nah, we’re in first class. They’ll have plenty of food.”
I was correct about that. They do have plenty of food, but they want to charge us for it and we don’t have enough cash to pay for all our meals between here and Beijing.
Well, this should be interesting.