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Friday, July 6 2012 | Cucumbers in Domodedovo

It seems like we’re jinxed. I get up early to sort out my meeting with Pepsi. No joy. I simply can’t get in touch with my contact. What do I do now?

After a short brainstorming session we make an inaugural decision to set off anyway for Domodedovo, in the general direction of Pepsi. No sooner said than done. On the way I keep trying to get through to my contact. In the end the bitter realisation hits us – it looks like it’s not going to happen today either. I take a couple of photographs of the plant from outside. Where do we go from here? In the meantime I’ve received quite a few emails about my meetings during the coming week. We drive into a secluded residential area which, going by our GPS, looks to be some distance from the noisy roads and close by a river and a lake. At the end of a street (in which there are some really lovely little houses) we find a good sized pitch on a swathe of grass. We adopt a proactive approach, speaking to the people in the surrounding houses and asking them whether it is OK for us to park up there for the time being and maybe even stay until the next day. They prove a friendly bunch and are happy to say yes. This is probably the quietest pitch of the tour so far. I settle down once again at my mobile workstation as there is no longer any need to leave things to do and arrangements to make until late on in the evening when I can do it now. Rolf and Felix busy themselves outside with electrical jobs to do with their own project, the “SiStour“ (travelling from Ekaterinburg to Vladivostok by e-bike).

In the meantime there is no shortage of residents anxious to satisfy their curiosity. Rolf explains to them enthusiastically and to the accompaniment of vigorous use of hand (and foot) gestures who we are and what it is we are actually up to. We are also presented with a batch of someone’s home-grown cucumbers! Now we seem to have been fully accepted as new neighbours. We are busy with work for the entire day. Today was also the first day I had called our office in Heidelberg to discuss the current situation and exchange a few ideas. In the twilight of the evening we get another opportunity to fill up the water tank when our car park owner takes a hosepipe to water his flowers, an opportunity too good for us to miss!