This is a work-in-progress. As I write , I will be constantly updating this Post because I do not fully trust the computer that I am sitting in front of in a computer cafe in Ulan-Ude, a city in the Southern part of Russian Siberia, 220 Km North of the border with Mongolia.
Rhetorical Thought. Instead of spending time sitting here writing this Post, I could be out exploring Ulan-Ude.
Hello Hello Hello.
That, I have been told, is the ‘sound’ of the Russian word for : Thank You.
Spasiba. Thank You all for ‘bearing with me here’.
I am going to write a little. Then I am going to publish it.
THEN I am going to write a little bit more. Then I am going to update what I have written.
Why? Because I have no idea whatsoever if this is going anywhere. I have no idea of how long this computer session will last. So IF it suddenly ceases due to circumstances beyond-my-control, at least I will have published ‘something’.
Now here we go : I am going to press Publish.
When I have finished this Post, whenever that may be, I will write : The August 2nd, 2017 Post .. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE .. PART I .. is finished.
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 1st, 2017.
Yesterday, August the 1st, We left Ulaanbaatar right on time. In fact, I was walking out the door of my building at 10:23AM when Deegi called me (I did not, I could not with my luggage-in-tow, answer). I KNEW it was Deegi calling to tell me that she and Saina were ready, and waiting, out front.
First things first. Gas up.
With Deegi’s husband Saina at-the-wheel, we are rolling North for Sukhbaatar.
The drive from Ulaanbaatar to Sukhbaater is 4-1/2 to 5 hours. We left at 10:28AM. We arrived into Sukhbaatar at about 5:15PM. We took our time making several stops-along-the-way.
En route we stopped at Zoo Park for Cindy. The entrance is shown on the right edge below.
“Are you happy Cindy?”
Do you all see Deegi and Cindy in the below photo? Deegi is wearing a blue cap. Cindy a long ‘pony tail’.
Everyone loves a winner!
A young man and his sister.
He was very supportive of her.
One of a series of ‘Toll Booths’ on the road.
A few ‘scenes of the road’ between Ulaanbaatar and Sukhbaatar.
Cindy has adopted me as ‘Grandpa’.
Sukhbaatar, Mongolia, an old friend since July of 2015.
Patti, no couch above so no kitty is on the couch below as kitty was back in July of 2015 during my first ever stay here.
6pm, TUESDAY evening, AUGUST 1st, 2017.
“Cap?” .. “Yes Deegi?” .. “We are leaving Sukhbaater for the Russian Border at 3:15am.” .. “Wha.. ! I thought we were leaving at 4AM Deegi.” .. “The plan has changed Cap. We are leaving at 3:15AM. Be ready with your luggage outside of your hotel.”
I texted Patti saying, “This is NOT child’s play My Dear One.” .. “With us a mere 20-minutes from the border into Russia, I am not about to tell Deegi I won’t be able to leave at 3:15AM.”
I was able to ‘squeeze in’ about 7-hours of good, sound, restful sleep. I had no idea of what was coming tomorrow, Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017.
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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2nd, 2017. RUSSIA HERE WE COME.
As I now begin showing you some photos taken on Wednesday, keep in mind that I had a very full day Tuesday, packing my bags to meet Saina and Deegi at 10:30am and the drive North.
At this stage of my life, I liken myself to that of an elderly, major league, baseball pitcher. I AM on the team. That is for sure. The Team Manager uses me only in the role of a relief pitcher because he knows that, in the pinch, in the pressure of the final innings of a game, I will not panic. For a few batters, I can still ‘bring it’. Nothing will ‘rattle’ me.
“Captain!” .. “Yes Boss?” .. “I am starting you today!” .. “You are what Boss?” .. “Captain. I want you to go as long and as strong and as far into the game as you can possible go.” .. “Give it your all. Give it your everything. There is no game tomorrow IF we don’t win today. I’m counting on you Captain.”
“Batter up. Game on!”
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It was dark. It was on the ‘cool-side’ when the four of us headed for the border at (and I mean) 3:15am sharp.
It was ‘quite-the-process’. First we had to leave Mongolia. This was a real, and taken-for-serious, event.
Then we had to be processed into Russia. This was more of an event. This was much more of an event than leaving Mongolia.
I promised Deegi that I would put my camera inside of my luggage. No photos allowed in the check points.
A promise made IS a debt unpaid and I put my camera away. It was no time to risk the consummation of activities of the past 2 some years that finally had me AT the Russian Check Point. I did not want to even be thinking about a photo. The below photo was taken in Russian Siberia once we were past the check point.
I don’t know what to add. I did not take-notes. Then, after well over 1-hour, it was finished. Our automobile was even ‘x-rayed’ for suspicious, illegal goods in-hiding.
My first ever Russian money. Rubles. 3,000 Rubles = US $60.
I was shocked that Ulan-Ude was 220km North of the border. I just had not focused on the distance from the border.
The road varied in its condition.
We stopped en route at Gusinoozyorsk for breakfast. My first ever meal in Russia.
A small, quite pleasant restaurant with a full stock of liquor!
I had soup and bread. It was excellent.
The others had the below. I tasted each meal and they too, were excellent.
ULAN-UDE, Russian Siberia.
I failed. I totally failed in my endeavor to get a Russian Sim card for my cell phone.
This disaster was frustrating. What can I say?
My Host Sergey.
My second ever meal in Russia. Basic. Very tasty.
Then I gave an open talk.
AUGUST 2nd, 2017, was some ball game for yours truly.
Am I done.
Am I finished.
The August 2nd, 2017 Post .. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE .. PART I .. is finished.
- AUG 1, 17 .. Russian Siberia. At Long Last!
- AUG 3, 17 .. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE .. PART II