AUG 13, 17 .. EVERY COMBAT TEAM NEEDS SEVERAL VERY SPECIAL MEMBERS..

In the riveting movie, The Man of La Mancha, which I saw back in the 1972/3 time frame, one line from one scene of the movie captured me. I will die thinking about that one single line.

The scene was set in a prison full of prisoners, imprisoned because of the cruel Spanish Inquisition.

Don Quixote de La Mancha, is about to testify on his own behalf in front of a mock trial, being conducted by his fellow inmates to determine whether or not he, Don Quixote de La Mancha, deserves to be in prison and to die.

Don Quixote looks around at his fellow prisoners and murmurs, mostly to himself,

“They will die,

NOT wondering why they are dying..

BUT WHY THEY EVER LIVED! ” 

I, your Captain on this ship, solemnly resolved, when I heard that line, that when my time comes,

that as I am dying..

I do not want to ask myself the question..

“WHY DID I EVER LIVE? “

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

COMBAT TEAM .. Every combat team needs the few serious members who will, with no notice, volunteer to go out on a suicide mission.

“Men we are in trouble here. I need someone to go out with me on a suicide mission. We may, we may not, return.”

Now I am  being slightly over-dramatic here. I am not talking about that kind of danger. I am talking about cleaning up dirty jobs and messes.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Back on the 3rd, 4th and 5th, of July, when I packed my bags in Royal Oak, Michigan, to make this trip, I took more than my usual care NOT to bring along any ‘strap-hangers’.I use this term here to describe any Bobbseys that did not have a specific and important place on my Oversea’s Team.

* Strap Hanger – The Bus Driver drives the bus. The ‘strap hangers’ hang on. They just stand in the aisle and hang on to the strap so they don’t fall down.

When I got to Hong Kong, I again ‘pared-down’ my team assembling what I would call, My Team of Mongolian Bobbseys. About 40% of what I carried over from the U.S. remained in Hong Kong.

“Yes ‘Zilla?”

“If 40% of my things remained in Hong Kong, why did those items even make the trip Cap?”

One of your usual excellent questions ‘Zilla. I brought 6-months worth of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D capsules. These supplements are heavy and I don’t need the 6-month supply on a 4-month trip. I don’t need many of the other extras (socks, underwear, shirts, dental spares, Hong Kong specific items such as electrical adapters, etc et al) that I brought along from the U.S. PLUS, when I left Mongolia in May 2016, your Captain left-behind a ‘stash’ of items here in Ulaanbaatar, more or less, planning to return.

I hope some of you noticed that one of my Sub Titles for this Post is Mental Illness.

Who knows why these things happen the way they happen to me. In my focus on NOT taking any ‘strap hangers’ up here from Hong Kong, I threw away a rag I had brought along with me.

“Yes Crocodile Dundee, so nice you dropped in!”

“Now THAT Mate, THAT is a rag!”

Those stains are real stains. They will NOT wash out no matter my efforts. I’m not at all sure how I acquired this rag.

Here is the odd circumstance. I rather unceremoniously threw the poor, little, sad, forlorn rag into a full wastebasket. Being in a full waste basket, he was prominently visible to me at all times, sitting on the top of the trash.

And so, being in full view of me at all times, he was afforded the opportunity to ‘plead his case’ to be rescued and join the Mongolian Team..

“Dad I know I am a mess. I know this, and you know this. That being the case Dad,

Why did you bring me all he way over here to Hong Kong..

Just to throw me away? 

Dad, that makes no sense whatsoever!”

The above three photos were just taken, on the floor (he feels right-at-home on a floor) here in my apartment in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Poor, little, sad, lonely, forlorn rag made both his case and he also  made the ‘A’ Team and traveled up here from Hong Kong with the Mongolia Bobbsey Team.

Oh no, he is not alone. There are others.

“I need help!”

“Right with you Captain.”

“Right with you Captain!”

“Right with you Captain!”

“Right with you Captain!”

“I need help!”

“Right with you Captain.”

 

“I need help!” .. “My shoes are wet and they are muddy.”

“Right with you Captain!”

  1. Health.
  2.  Money.
  3.  Guts.
  4. Friends.

I seem to have them all!

Am I lucky? Or am I lucky!

Smiles .. Cap

THE REST OF THE STORY.

Little, sad, lonely rag made the Russian Bobbsey Team! He proudly went along up to Ulan-Ude. This being a very small team, he now has a double duty. His other duty : He is now also a towel for certain tasks.


AUG 12, 17 .. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE .. PART VII .. THE TRIP IS OVER .. LETTING IT GO ..

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,

“To talk of many things:

Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —

Of cabbages — and kings

And why the sea is boiling hot —

And whether pigs have wings.”

Jabberwocky, from Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll, December 1871

“The time has come,” Your Captain says..

To put-to-rest my trip into Russian Siberia. I began the trip on Tuesday, August the 1st and ended it on Monday, August 7th, this year of 2017.

I have chronicled the trip on this website (Dot.net) and on Blogspot .. calling my Posts .. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE .. Beginning with Part I and now ending with this Part VII.

To satisfy myself that I have indeed completed the chronicle, I have carefully looked-through the one thousand, eleven hundred, thirty three (1,133) photographs that I snapped during the trip.

And?

Yes!  I found one special photo that I DID NOT Post.

To do this one special photo justice, I will include it as the final photo in a series of photos that I snapped en route North from Ulaanbaatar to Sukhbaater, Tuesday, August the 1st.

On this, the first day of our trip (with the word ‘our’ I am including Saina, Deegi, Cindy, myself and, most important, all of you reading along with me here), we stopped at a new-to-me special children’s zoo on the highway.

Two children captured my heart. A small boy and his younger sister. I have the feeling that they were not children of tourists. I believe that their mother is working at the Children’s Zoo.

The first thing about them that attracted me to them was his T-Shirt. Patti and I have been, for three years now, following the Golden State Warriors Professional Basketball Team. So I wanted a photo of his T-Shirt.

As I now again look at these photos, maybe, just maybe, I captured her little heart. She sure was looking-me-over.

Then the two of them got up and together, with her on her little tricycle and her big brother pushing her, the two of them went for a little ride.

Both of them were really-working. The dirt was strewn with small rocks and it was difficult going for both. Patti, when I was pushing her in a wheel-chair some years ago in Hong Kong, KNOWS what it feels like when a wheel hits a rock and jars the occupant. In the above photo, her front wheel is about to hit a rock!

A long ride, they finally got out onto the pavement.

They have completed the home-stretch.

Now we come to the final photo below. Looking at the little girl, I your Captain knew how she felt.

Back in the late 1960’s into the early 1970’s, when I was working full-time as a professional mechanic in big time automobile racing in the U.S., we would have to take the racing car(s) from our home shop to the racing track where we would be racing that weekend. The trip from South Carolina out to California was a long haul. Drive out, race, drive home. To do this the truck driver(s) would have to drive a long round trip. To stay awake and alert, they would ingest what we called ‘California Turn Around Pills’.

A ‘California Turn Around Pill’ would allow them to..

Drive to California.

Work the race.

Drive back home.

Then sit down and cry.

Exhausted from the trip, no where else to drive to, but unable to settle back down.

That my friends is exactly what my Young Lady below is feeling.

Her trip is over and there is nowhere else to go.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE is now over.

However, as with racing, there was always the next race. This upcoming Friday, August the 18th, if it be God’s Will, I’ll board a train and begin another trip into Russian Siberia.

And..

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE .. IRKUTSK.

Will begin.

I hope for the little girl and her brother, there will be other spins around the Children’s Zoo grounds.

With Love ..

Cap


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