I’m in that time window when the date (February 8th) here in Asia and in the United States is the same. 

Patti has safely arrived into Seattle, Washington after her flight down from Anchorage, Alaska, yesterday the 7th of February.

I am safely sitting here in Seoul, South Korea, with my good friends Terry and Kathy.

It is 9:30pm here in Seoul (10:30pm in Irkutsk Russian Siberia) and I have been up on my feet and going since 3:03am this morning when I awoke and decided that the-time-has-come for me to pack for my flight to Seoul in a few hours at 10:40am. At 7:09am I was packed and out the door of my flat walking (it was -38°F serious cold ) to catch my scheduled 7:15am taxi to the airport when the following thought entered into my mind :

“Here I am, in the darkness of a very cold Siberian winter morning, knowing that if I were to fall down and hurt myself I could well freeze to death before anyone found me, I wonder if this will be my last trip over here.

And those haunting words from the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice came back to me :

You only live twice
Or so it seems
One life for yourself
And one for your dreams

You drift through the years
And life seems tame
‘Til one dream appears
And Love is its name

And love is a stranger
Who’ll beckon you on
Don’t think of the danger
Or the stranger is gone

IF I were to really focus on the dangers I face daily or even hourly, I’ll lose the love affair I’m enjoying.

One slip / A bad fall. One malignant microbe / Down I go. One night I sleep in an odd position / I awake with a knee that is killing me (and I really need two good knees trust me). I had a nose bleed as I was going through immigration to leave Russia, blood hither and yon (I thought my nose was merely ‘running’ as a result of the cold until I wiped my nose with the back of my left hand and ‘What’s this?’ A nose bleed!’ ). I packed my nose with toilet paper and got on with getting out of Russian immigration finally being able to stop and get a serious nose-bleed cylindrical compress (thanks to Zilla’s wife Kleiner Bär) that stopped it.

It sure is going to be great to have Patti over here with me this upcoming next Monday the 11th of February.

“The Time Has Come Captain to call-it-a-day and go lie down and sleep!” .. “These morbid thoughts are only because you are exhausted and dead-on-your-feet!”

I was staggering along with my cane (I’d tried .. I’d failed .. To get a wheel chair assistance from the Russian Airline S7) as I was walking from the arrival gate into Korean Immigration when two (2 count them) uniformed Immigration Agents rushed up to me, grabbed (took them away from me) my carry on bag and my rolling duffle bag ..


“Sir! We’ll help you Sir!”

Help me?

I went straight .. I went directly .. I did NOT PASS GO .. I was escorted by these two uniformed agents to the head of a back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth endlessly line of about 300 people and I was ‘whisked’ through Immigration and Passport control ..


Go figure.

I’ll willingly take all the help that comes rushing my way.

I get into the Terminal. The cell phone company will not even talk to me about a SIM CARD because I don’t have an Apple i-Phone! Even if I did, it would not text the U.S. without getting some ‘app’ or another.

I get to the Hamilton Hotel here in Itaewon ..


I walk up to the check-in counter to a nice looking Korean lady hostess and ask if she will make a local telephone call for me.

“I can’t do that Sir.”

I walk about 10-feet to her left and here is a grumpy-looking elderly gentleman. I asked him if he will make a local telephone call for me.

He lit-up like a Christmas Tree, smiled broadly. Says .. “Sure. Takes Terry’s number. Dials Terry. Hands me the phone. ‘Terry I’m at the Hamilton.’ ”

I reached over across the counter, shook the living day-lights out of his hand and profusely THANKED HIM about (rat-a-tat-tat) five times.

Terry picked me up. We went to see Kathy. Kathy was busily working the slot machines (well over U.S. $300 ahead). She kept at the ‘slots’ and Terry and I dined.

Back to their place.

“Captain! It’s now 10:25pm time to bag it.”

Done Deal. It’s Bagged ..

Cap in Seoul. Patti asleep in Seattle.

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