Instead, I cut my losses, met Julia (a couchsurfer and linguist) at the music school, managed to con/charm my way into a music practise room, where as soon as I touched the keys, all doubt was erased. The secretary then went from querulous suspicion to curiousity. I played some music and discussed musical theory and notation with Julia. After a few hours, I gave my splintered nails a break (this piano was not quite the Ferrari I had at my disposal in Magadan), and returned home.
At home I met Roman, a friend of the man who's flat I'm borrowing, and cooked dinner with what I could find in the fridge. It was rice boiled in juice, chopped tomato and egg fried on the stove, and sliced cucumber with salt - a winning combination. He showed me some photos from Mutnovsky - which may be as close as I can get if the current environment of tour paralysis continues, and then departed. I uploaded yet more photos, and have completed the section from Baikal to Yakutsk via the BAM. The next section will cover the trip from Yakutsk to Magadan via the Road of Bones. Be afraid, be very afraid. All these photos is one upshot of enforced idleness through a combination of uncertainty over tours, bad weather, and a sore knee (from cramped buses, funnily enough!).