This morning, Saturday the 10th of August 2019, I suddenly ‘burst’ awake, obsessed ( and I mean obsessed ) with the below information :

1. Next Wednesday (the 14th) I am being interviewed by a local television station. No Big Deal but .. it will occupy some space in my mind.

2. Next Friday / Saturday / Sunday (the 16th / 17th / 18th ) I will be actively involved with the Convention in Baykalsk that I have been mentioning in some recent Posts. No Big Deal but .. 

3. A week from next Tuesday (the 20th) I am flying to Vladivostok. So I will return from Baikalsk Sunday evening late and then I have one day to regroup from the weekend Convention and then prepare for, and depart for Vladivostok. Vladivostok is looking to be a busy and intense experience.

4. Tuesday, September 3rd, I return to Irkutsk after my visit to Vladivostok. Experience has taught me that I am usually tired after such a trip.

5.  Thursday, September 5th, I will be participating (at his invitation) with Sergey (my host here for the past ten months) and his wife Rimma as they celebrate their Wedding Anniversary.

Oh-By-The-Way, on Thursday, September 5th, I will celebrate (with Sergey and Rimma) my own special day. I will turn age 83 years.

My Obsession ?

“Captain ? When-oh-when are you going to book your ticket-on-the-train for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia ?”

“Your Russian Visa expires on September the 14th Captain !”

“Sports Fans. Ladies and Gentlemen. In traveling with Mike for two full months, I learned that, here in Russia, one cannot just idly assume that when you show up to book a train ticket, there will be a train of your choice, with a vacancy of your choice, available!”

It became clear to me, I have got to do this NOW. Today. First Priority.

I already knew when I wanted to leave :

Hint : At least several days before my Russian Visa expires on September the 14th.

My Plan / Reality :

My Plan : Get ready and go to the train station.

Reality : I did just that with passport / credit cards /  and with cash  just-in-case I hit a credit card challenge. I can not have any issues, of any sort, stop me from getting a ticket today. I also called Sergey to know if he could take-a-call and translate for me IF things got challenging with the ticket agent. NOT all of them speak fluent English.

My Plan : Get to the train station.

Reality : I did just that.

My Plan at the railroad station : Figure out which button (twelve choices all in Russian) to push in the automated system to get a number in the queue for purchasing a ticket. Then take-a-seat, call Patti to check-in, and wait-my-turn. On some prior trips, it has taken as long as over-an-hour.

Reality : As I walked past the security scanner, a very Official-Looking Elderly-Lady walked up to me in a Uniform with a Name Badge.

“May I help you Sir?”

“Ma’am, I need help with this automated queue numbering system. I want to go to Mongolia.”

“Press this button to get a ticket to Mongolia Sir.”

“Go over there to Window 1 Sir. You will be helped immediately.”

I did (went to Window 1) and I was (helped immediately).

“I’d like a first class ticket, with a lower berth, on a morning train, traveling from Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on Sunday September 8th.”

“On Sunday, September 8th, at 0813 hours, we have a second class train, four people per compartment Sir. This is our only train that day.”

I got Sergey on the phone so he could talk to the Ticket Agent. Speaking fluent Russian, he could ask the Ticket Agent about options.

Done Deal : On Monday, September 9th, I will be in a first class compartment (only lower berths) for only two occupants, leaving at 0813 hours, arriving into Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on Tuesday September 10th. No issues with my credit card of choice. 

Reality : Then I called Patti and shared the good news.

I concluded our conversation with this : “Patti, My Dear One, I can still do what needs to be done can’t I?”

Sign me : One Full Month Early I Am Relieved to have this off-the-table.


And now ?

A little chit chat with Patti :

Back on August 1st I wrote :

My Dear One, YOU may be in Alaska but you are still here. So far, not one time, have I failed to completely close the refrigerator door with my foot. I can ‘hear-your-voice’ saying : “Cap. Completely close the door to the refrigerator.” Smiling along with you. Cap

I have taken it up one level. Now, after closing the refrigerator door, I gently place a 6-1/4 liter water bottle against the bottom of the door.

I can really tell the difference it makes. My water is much colder now.

Is Autumn really here? No more concessionaire tents anywhere. All of them are gone.

It was at the above location where we really focused upon them being erected last (was it) May.

Last night’s sunset.

Happy memories My Dear One.

Love Cap

Post Script : Go back to yesterday’s Post and look at the very bottom.


  1. Patricia Boone

    Yes my dear one, you CAN still get things done. Your primary practice is “Do it now,” and, once again, you did just that. The weighty water jug against the refrigerator door is a great idea. Nice, so very nice, to see the sunset over the Angara River. That certainly reawakened some wonderful, warm, loving memories! All in all, all of your plans in place makes me breathe easier knowing how well your remaining days in Siberia (and your train trip to Mongolia) are going to be full, but comfortably planned. Smiles, hugs, love. Patti

    1. cap chastain

      Man O Manischewitz am I relieved that my plans are in place to get to Ulaanbaatar next month. One month from today to be exact, September 10th. I am looking forward to a reunion there with friends that now date back four years (count them) to July of 2015.

      I giggled when over the phone you said that was the sunset we always looked at. Precisely. The universe itself places the sun there and so it remains. THERE. Special.

      Whew! Ticket in hand. Paid for and all set. Good to go. Much Love .. Cap

  2. zilla

    Sunday, August 11, 2019 – 6:00 pm
    Hi Cap,
    Actually being inteviewed on TV is really a big deal! That’s just great!! Of course, please summarize your interview so we can all appreciate your coments and all the “gliz” that goes with your interview!! That should be great!! You are a “star”!
    Your tales and travel are really nice and you do a great job in outling your travels and all the details that go along with your travels! Waiting for your next meal and details that accompany your visits!
    Have fun and travels and of course enjoy meals! Regards to Patti!!


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