Some, exciting-to-me, big news.

On Monday, February the 11th .. 

Patti will be, God Willing, joining me in Seoul, South Korea.

She has purchased her tickets for the two airline flights necessary to get from Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle, Washington; and then from Seattle, Washington to Seoul, South Korea.

I will fly to Seoul several days before Patti arrives and stay with friends. During these several days I will then find a place for Patti and I to stay until we fly back up to Irkutsk, Siberia.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Do all of you want an example of a post getting-away-from-me? Then just read on! This post went way beyond what I intended to write (that being the above news about Patti joining me here in Russia).

Here is one definition of being tired / fatigued / exhausted. On each of the last two nights, after I arrived home after a meeting, I did exactly and precisely the following :

I boiled some water.

I poured it over my nefarious instant noodles.

After I do this, I always let the noodles ‘steep’ for 15 minutes.

So I lay down to just ‘rest my eyes’ and relax as my instant noodles ‘steeped’.

Wednesday night I ‘rested my eyes’ for 2-1/2 hours then ate my (now luke warm) instant noodles.

Last night I ‘rested my eyes’ for 3 hours then ate my (again luke warm) instant noodles.

In my lifetime to this moment I’ve never ever done the above, let alone on two consecutive nights.

Deep breath. Keep reading.

Based on my Wednesday night level-of-fatigue, I decided to do just one meeting (6pm – 7:30pm) Thursday and NO meetings on Friday or Saturday.

My plan was : NO meetings on Friday and Saturday and only one meeting on Thursday. Got it?

I put my plan into action. Last night (Thursday) I spoke at a 6pm – 7:30pm meeting. I was then finished with my one meeting on Thursday.

“I’m out of here!” I thought to myself  “No more meetings here in Novosibirsk!”

But before I was able to get out of the room and into our car, I was asked to stay over and speak at a second (8pm – 9pm) meeting. So, my only one meeting Thursday became two meetings. After this the second meeting, (last night) I was asked to return at 9am today (Friday, my day of NO meetings) to speak again.

The (9am – 10am) meeting this morning lasted until about 10:45am. Then I was asked to speak (and I agreed to do so) this evening (now I’ve a second meeting on my NO meeting day Friday) from 7pm – 8pm.

Tonight’s one hour 7pm – 8pm meeting was in a hospital with 50 +/- patients in attendance. At 8pm I wrapped it up. No one moved. I looked at a hospital staff member, shrugged my shoulders (saying in body language : It’s 8pm we’re finished?) We then continued the meeting until 8:50pm.

Tonight in attendance was the-one-in-every-crowd  patient that I had to deal with.

I was introducing myself .. I have a set standard introductory statement I use as I am sizing up the audience. With experience, any speaker can pick out the 4 or 5 bright-beady-eyed attendees who are locked in upon you. You then focus on them. As a result you’re not speaking to 50 people, or 100, you’re speaking to just ‘your’ 4 or 5.

“I’m Cap from Alaska. Alaska used to belong to Russia so I feel like I am coming home to Russia The Mother Country . . Sorry I’m so late. I was born in 1936 and it’s taken me 82 years to get here!”

Don’t any of you reading along here laugh but I actually do feel this way! There most definitely is something very powerful happening here with me and Russia.

My about-to-become, dearly-beloved, one-in-every-crowd  patient suddenly shot up his right arm and interrupted me! “Do I have to believe in God?”

I silently thought a profanity or two or three in my mind about this age 40ish man and replied :

“No. You don’t have to believe in God. In fact you don’t have believe in, or do, anything! This is a program of suggestions. If you jump out of an airplane at 30,000 feet, it is suggested that you have and use a parachute! But even that is only a suggestion. I’ve friends who DO NOT believe in God and have more than 20 years sober. I’ve friends who lead pious lives, pray and believe in God and the Holy Trinity and they can’t stay sober no matter what! I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m here to tell you what I did and continue to do.”

Off again On again he continued to pester me and the other 50 +/- fellow patients who seemed to want to hear me and not him. I do NOT know why the hospital staff (this happened in Kyzyl also) don’t ask these chaps to ‘just leave IF you can’t listen’. But they do not do so.

Somewhere, deep into the meeting, it hit me to roll out a piece of heavy artillery, carefully aim it at him, then pull the trigger : I said (looking directly at him!) “Statistically speaking, in a crowd of hospital patients this large, there are going to be more than a few who have relapsed and who have been in treatment one or two or three or even more times previously.” Continuing to look directly at him I said (knowing what his answer was going to be) .. “Is this the first time you’ve ever been hospitalized for problems with drugs or alcohol?”

We, the two of us, both smiled. His jig was up. He knew it. Every single one of the other patients knew it.

Every hospital / treatment center population has one or more smart-ass patients who (They don’t try. Oh no. They really do succeed.) intimidate the other patients who are really trying their best to recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.

He and I then actually became quite friendly towards one another.

The meeting ended. We were driven back to our flat. The drive to the meeting (in Friday, Los Angeles, California Rush Hour Traffic Quality) took well over one hour. The drive home, late in the evening, with traffic moving-at-the-limit, took 40 minutes. It was a long way to go to the hospital. All of this becomes tiring.

We got back to our flat. I got my passport. We immediately went to the railway station and purchased tickets for our train connection from Mariinsk to Tayshet Russian Siberia.



Then we purchased tickets for our train connection from Tayshet to Irkutsk on January the 29th.



“You are correct ‘Zilla! It took an hour or more to purchase the above tickets.”

It was now well after 11pm.

Our landlord called. He wanted more money (and I mean he wanted money immediately, well past 11pm at night) from me for our flat. Over he came. For by this time sanity will have returned. I was flat-out exhausted. I did not talk to him. I did not even see him.  I can contribute absolutely nothing to an all Russian language debate / heated discussion. I DID hear he and Mike talking. Mike called our-point-man and he called our landlord. Back and forth into my room Mike came telling me what the issues were. I had no issues. We’d paid cash in full for our stay through tonight Friday. We owed him an additonal 2,000 Rubles for Saturday (tomorrow). He wanted more. I told Mike ‘solve this’ and tell me what I need to pay to clean this up!

Then, in a whisper that not even one of our gigantic resident cockroaches could hear, I mouth synced the following words to Mike : Mike, I hold all of the cards here! IF he tells you that he is calling the police, you, Mike, in an exceedingly polite and gentle voice whisper to him : “Go ahead. Call the police. DO IT. The police will come and the police will see that you are illegally renting your flat to a foreigner and you are not legally qualified to do so. You’ll go to jail on-the-spot!”

Friends. I am in now in the business. I know my business. 100% of the people I am surrounded by are addicts. IF ever in my life I’ve seen an addict desperate for money to get a fix you’ve just read about one. And an addict friend of our landlord asked him to rent us his flat. What does that make our landlord?


I wanted this to end friendly. I wanted this to end well for our point-man’s (who’d set all of this up) sake and for my sake. I’ve a reputation and I don’t want it tarnished over some idiotic spat by an addict desperate for money. And I really like and enjoy our flat. Mike came to me and said : “1,000 Rubles US $14.93 and he’ll be happy.” .. “Here it is Mike. In cash.”

Never Ever Again Am I Going To Fail To Get Some Kind Of Simple Receipt For Cash I Pay A Landlord!

I had not one iota of proof that I’d paid cash in full for our flat through tonight. If that (having no receipt) is not sufficient evidence for ‘one-enormous-pissing-match’ (I paid you .. No you did not ..) I don’t know what is.

Will he try to hit-us-up for more money tomorrow Saturday? Does The Shadow Know?

And NO, I did not get a receipt for the 1,000 Ruble pay-off this evening either.

Tomorrow, Saturday, is a .. I DO NOT HAVE ANY PLANS .. on the day-before-I-travel day!!

I NEVER MAKE PLANS on the day before I travel.

“Do YOU want to make God laugh?” .. “You tell God YOUR plans!”

“Cap?” .. “Yes Sergey?” ..

“Cap, tomorrow, Saturday night, will you please speak at my Home Group. I want them to meet and to listen to you Cap!”

“But you Sergey won’t be there. In a few hours you’re on a plane to Spain!”

“Cap please!” .. “Okay Sergey, I’ll speak at your home group tomorrow night!”

“Sergey! You cut your hair and shaved your face!”

“You REALLY DID! You cut your hair and shaved your beard!”

“Sergey, My Good Man, My Friend! Yes, only for you will I speak.”

For now THIS IS IT.

Over And Out.

Cap .. and Soon To Be Here With Me .. Patti

“Cap?” .. “Yes ‘Zilla?” .. “Cap? Is this all you did today? Just two meetings!”

“Now that you asked ‘Zilla!”

“After the meeting, two friends took me to see the largest Opera House in the world!”

“Is that all Cap? Two meetings and a visit to the Novosibirsk Opera House?” ..

“Now that you ask ‘Zilla, we also went to visit the Vladimir Lenin Monument.”

One great man in recent Russian history.

“To you Sir! We’ll take our leave!”

“Hum-m-m-m. Two meetings, the Opera House, the Lenin Monument.”

“Then we went to visit the incredible ‘Glory Monument’. Novosibirsk’s Victory Monument.”

From a distance as we approach the monument.

The World War II years.

The below photo looks back to where we began our above walk up to the monument.


The Honor Guard.

The Eternally Grieving Mother of the Dead Soldiers.

I snapped ninety seven (97) photos of the monument and of the immense enormous grounds.

World War II .. 1941 – 1945 ..

The United States supplied some aircraft to our ally Russia during WW II.

One last look, one last glimpse of the grounds.

“That all Captain?” .. “Not quite.”

A bite to eat.

Then I had about one hour to rest before going to the hospital meeting.

“Got it My Man ‘Zilla!”

Then a midnight snack at KFC.

“Cap?” .. “Yes ‘Zilla?” .. “What is holding you up?” .. “How are you even able to stand up after a day like this?”

” ‘Zilla Ol Friend Ol Buddy! Even I am amazed at my stamina.”

4 thoughts on “JAN 18, 19 .. SOME (EXCITING TO ME) BIG NEWS

  1. Patti Boone

    All these meetings you really did not plan on and then on top of the meetings you did this lengthy post. No wonder you are falling asleep as your soup steeps and then gets cold before you get to eating it! And then, in addition to the plethora of meetings, you went seriously sight seeing taking almost 100 pictures. You told me on the phone this post also took about 5 hours. Where DOES your energy and stamina come from? Feels good to have my plans to join you underway! Love and hugs. Patti

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      The 97 photos I mentioned were taken ONLY at the WWII Victory Monument. Additionalphotos were taken at the Opera House, the Lenin Monument, the restaurant we ate lunch at and KFC in the late evening. The total was one hundred and eighty nine (189) photos snapped on Friday. I also feel good you’ve firmed up your plans for us to meet in Seoul on Monday February 11th. Thanks for carefully reading this lengthy post and for your input about it. I sure am feeling strong. Much Love .. Cap

  2. Linda

    I have been following your posts since you were in Mongolia and enjoy very much hearing about your travels and experiences. Your posts are very informative, a wonderful travelogue. Your stamina and dedication are inspiring. God bless you and keep you safe through your travels.

  3. zilla

    Saturday, January 19, 2019 – 2:00 pm (California)
    You certainly are energized! I think it’s really, really amazing you are going like the “energized rabbit” that we see on TV – I guess like a Formula 1 racer at full speed-ahead, man the torpedoes! Your travels, visits, meetings and your write-ups are certainly entertaining and interesting! I really am amazed on your travels that you have done so much and your blogs are so very well written and cover such great detail! It’s really super-duper on the time and effort you take to cover your travels! I do believe you are on a 30-hour day, not a 24 hour day!! Keep up the terrific story-telling as your trips and visits – along with the great photos that really do share your travels on a great adventure!! I am sure you will enjoy your visit to Korea with Patti and will be worthwhile to share your time and possible a change of pace(?) Have fun!

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