Russian Women Discussion

RWD Discussion Groups => Married => Topic started by: SteveInBoston on May 11, 2019, 07:26:52 PM

Title: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on May 11, 2019, 07:26:52 PM
Hi,

I decided to start a new topic for the next chapter of our relationship/story/adventure. 

The first posts will be about our long distance relationship - T flew back to Ukraine on May 6.  I am planning to finish the IR-1/CR-1 spousal visa application for her to submit this Monday. 

But before that, I wanted to share some experience I had recently with flower delivery service in Ukraine:

Flowers.ua:  Pretty good.

I convinced T to send some flowers to her Mom in the Donbass region using this company.  They did a bang up job, but I noticed the prices of flowers were about 20% more if you select the English language and currency option on their website.  T used the russian version and used her PrivatBank card - no worries.


ua-flowers.com (UFL):  Poor

I purchased flowers for T yesterday.  Her favorite are peonies, and May is the only time they are in bloom.  Flowers.ua didn't have any peonies, so I went with ua-flowers.  My spidey senses should have gone off when the woman I texted with suggested some roses to fill the arrangement because they didn't have enough peonies.  I told them to select whatever flowers complement the peonies except roses and daisies (T's least favorite flowers).  The flowers were to be delivered to T's hotel this morning at 10:00.  They texted her at 11:00, when she was out for breakfast and meeting friends.  Surprise ruined.   

T told them to deliver the flowers to the hotel when she returns at 18:00.  They did deliver them then.  However, when T sent me a photo of the flowers....no peonies whatsoever.  Just some roses and lilies and filler greenery.  WTF.  Sort of defeats the purchase of the 15 white peonies arrangement.... :wallbash:


T, being great as ever, sent me kisses and hearts for the flowers...at least for the thought.  But she was rushed and we didn't get to chat much - she had to meet a second round of friends to celebrate her wedding.  They told her to bring the marriage certificate.  They said there was a tradition for her to buy a number of rounds of drinks for everyone that matched the last number of the certificate.  She took 1 of 2 that the town hall sent us, but didn't look at the certificate numbers.  I have the one that ends in 7, she took the one that ends in 8.

The last I heard a core group closed out the bar and continued the party at her room...
Title: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: 2tallbill on May 12, 2019, 03:02:21 PM
Flowers.ua:  Pretty good.

I've used people that I've met or that I knew to buy flowers and while I spend a
few more Rubles, it's worked far better than anything else that I tried.

I've met a number of Angel Eyes friends when I visited her and I had a friend in
Voronezh as well. Getting her friends to buy her chocolate, flowers etc was Easy
Peasy and they all went above and beyond.

I would send them an email say on February 25th for flowers/candy on March 8th.
I would give them a budget of $40.00 and then send them $55 or so. They would
always exceed anybodies expectations including my own.

I would bet that there are far more cost effective ways of doing this but I was far
happier with what I got for my money.

That's just my two kopecks

Bill
Title: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: 2tallbill on May 12, 2019, 03:23:21 PM
Poor

NOTE: I don't advise sending flowers to somebody that you have met 90% of the time

Having said that, I was exchanging letters with a couple of girls from Kiev.
One girl was named Betty (not her real name) and the other was named
Dorothy (not her real name either). I hired a total idiot named Delbert
(not his real name either) to buy flowers and a card for each girl and to
take a photo of the happy girl on this happy day.

Yes, 2tallbill was juggling multiple hotties back then.

So Delbert called Betty and gave her flowers and a card that said Dorothy on
it. Naturally Betty was pissed off and yelled at Delbert, picked up her phone
and yelled at me and then chased Delbert down the street swinging her purse
at him when he asked to take a photo.

So, what do you think Delbert did next? If you were me you would think that
Delbert would have learned something at this exchange, because he obviously
f#cked up royally.

However Delbert didn't learn a damn thing. As a matter of fact he got even
more stupid as he called Dorothy on the phone, arranged to meet her and
gave her flowers and a card with Betty's name on it.

Naturally she got pissed off and yelled at Delbert, then she picked up her phone
and gave me a piece of her mind and then Delbert who's tiny little mind was
incapable of getting anything right asked to take a photo so he could send it
to me and got chased down the street by another irate Devushka.

I called Delbert and asked him how was it even possible to screw up twice? 
I could see if he farmed out this task to two different people, but he did the
deed all by himself, twice in one day. 

If he had a brain in his head, after giving the flowers with the wrong card to
a girl, he should have said............. OH NO, I gave you Franks flowers for his
girlfriend. Please give them back and take these, I am so sorry I don't want
both Bill AND Frank to kill me.

But alas, no such luck.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Patagonie on May 13, 2019, 01:14:55 AM
NOTE: I don't advise sending flowers to somebody that you have met 90% of the time

Having said that, I was exchanging letters with a couple of girls from Kiev.
One girl was named Betty (not her real name) and the other was named
Dorothy (not her real name either). I hired a total idiot named Delbert
(not his real name either) to buy flowers and a card for each girl and to
take a photo of the happy girl on this happy day.

Yes, 2tallbill was juggling multiple hotties back then.

So Delbert called Betty and gave her flowers and a card that said Dorothy on
it. Naturally Betty was pissed off and yelled at Delbert, picked up her phone
and yelled at me and then chased Delbert down the street swinging her purse
at him when he asked to take a photo.

So, what do you think Delbert did next? If you were me you would think that
Delbert would have learned something at this exchange, because he obviously
f#cked up royally.

However Delbert didn't learn a damn thing. As a matter of fact he got even
more stupid as he called Dorothy on the phone, arranged to meet her and
gave her flowers and a card with Betty's name on it.

Naturally she got pissed off and yelled at Delbert, then she picked up her phone
and gave me a piece of her mind and then Delbert who's tiny little mind was
incapable of getting anything right asked to take a photo so he could send it
to me and got chased down the street by another irate Devushka.

I called Delbert and asked him how was it even possible to screw up twice? 
I could see if he farmed out this task to two different people, but he did the
deed all by himself, twice in one day. 

If he had a brain in his head, after giving the flowers with the wrong card to
a girl, he should have said............. OH NO, I gave you Franks flowers for his
girlfriend. Please give them back and take these, I am so sorry I don't want
both Bill AND Frank to kill me.

But alas, no such luck.
:ROFL:
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Patagonie on May 13, 2019, 01:23:24 AM
I remember one time. I was quite close to an ukrainian driver from Kiev with whom i had friendship (he came to my marriage).
He asked me to buy and bring some flowers to his girlfriend while i was in Dnipro.
I did, you have a a big shop almost on Karl Marx beside the restaurant "reporters", go there because the flowers are very nice.
I met his GF in Moct first floor.
I was quite in trouble because her GF was really georgeous and i also understood in few minutes that she wanted to leave Ukraine and date internationnaly. In few words she was with my buddy but not for too long.
I was in trouble and i couldn't do anything because i value and respect friendship very much.
So after ten minutes i left and all is history now.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on May 13, 2019, 06:28:35 PM
I missed my chance to line up local florists and other services when I was there last winter.  I am going to try to recruit her friend - specifically her friend's son who speaks and understands English really well.

T is currently in Cherkasy, collecting her car from her aunt and meeting some relatives.  Tomorrow she'll drive to Mariupol.

We have plans to meet in Copenhagen in August.  I have a rental car reserved and rooms booked in Oslo, Bergen, Gothenburg, and Copenhagen for a grand Norwegian fjord tour (plus 2 days in Gothenburg).

I am debating taking a short trip to Ukraine in June.  I can only do a long weekend with my current work schedule, but I want to surprise her on her birthday.  Flight costs being costly in June, for some reason, is not helping.


Has anyone here have experience setting up a Ukraine bank account?  Now that we are married, can I apply for temporary residency?  Krim? Mendy?  Rwd?  In the next few years I will have the option to telecommute and thought about living in Ukraine for several months each year.   If you have any information or tips, please send me a private message (to not clog up this post).  Thanks.

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: krimster2 on May 13, 2019, 08:45:44 PM
you need to get the equivalent of a social security number before opening up a bank account in Ukraine
don't deposit more money than you're willing to lose...
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: JayH on May 13, 2019, 09:07:08 PM
For the record--recent changes in the law in Ukraine allow "foreigners" to open a bank account.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Jamesukjames on May 13, 2019, 10:40:22 PM
Loved the flower stories.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: ML on May 14, 2019, 08:43:45 AM
Unlike most countries (outside USA), Ukraine allows for set-up of US Dollar accounts.

Be sure to do that, to eliminate loss of purchasing power from continued depreciation of hryvnia.

But, even with USD account, you will still have risk of fraud, bankruptcy, nationalization, etc., etc.

Yes, they have something like FDIC, but may take years to recover your money, if at all.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on May 17, 2019, 06:23:39 PM
More misadventures with flowers.


The other day T made it to Mariupol.  She got there late, at around 2 AM, because she escorted a combat vehicle to the military depot in town.  The combat vehicle had problems with it's electrical system and its headlights didn't work - T drove ahead of it to light the way. 

She doesn't have her apartment there anymore.  She cancelled her lease when she left to join me in Feb.  So she spent the night at a friend's house.  She was up late, so we chatted and chatted, talked about how we missed each other, and we ended the evening with me getting a roundtrip ticket on British Airways to visit her.  We are going to meet in June in Kyiv, with me flying in on Thursday and leaving the following Monday.  T went to bed happy.

The next three days she spent at her friend's house in Urzuf.   I asked T for her friend's son's number.  I met him in December in Kharkiv and was impressed with his level of English.  Anyway...


FLOWERS, ROUND 2:

So I asked P, T's friend's son, to work with his mom to get some Peonies for Tanya.  He agreed.  I texted T and asked her to give P 1000 UAH.  I was expecting her to ask why, but she just said "sure, right away".  I love her.

The next morning I got a text from P - "done".  About 15 minutes later T texted me, thanking me for the lovely roses.   Roses.   Roses?   I asked her about it, and she replied "Babe, this is a small town.  They don't have a great flower selection.  :)"  Did I mention I love her?

I realized it was my fault, for not explaining to P that it should only be peonies and to not get anything if they don't have them.  So I replied to him to thank him for getting it done.

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on May 30, 2019, 09:25:03 AM
In a couple of weeks I will head over to Kyiv for a long weekend.  Wifey sort-of surprised me with Kiss concert tickets.  They are performing Sunday night at the stadium.

I grew up during the time of Kiss-mania.  Lunch boxed, backpacks, bookcovers, posters, etc.  I wasn't interested in their music or their concerts at the time (I was in elementary school).  I wonder how they've aged - I guess I will find out.


Also, I have been planning for our August trip to Denmark/Sweden/Norway.   I booked the car rental and hotel/apartments first.  This weekend I purchased the plane ticket on Iceland Air.  I had to adjust the days of my flight to get a round trip ticket for less than $700.  Unfortunately, I had to adjust the dates for some of the hotels and apartments, and the car rental.


Time for some ranting: 

I used National Car rental to rent a compact SUV for 2 weeks, for about $550.  When I tried to change the pickup date by 2 days, the rate went up to over $790.   It only allowed me to reserve a compact car for the previous rate.  Why?  It's not a last-minute change - the trip is over 2 months away.  I ended up cancelling the car rental and getting one from Hertz.  The only problem is the car class is labeled mid-sized, but it stated "Nissan Qashqai or similar".  I hope I get a SUV...

The original plan was to drive from Copenhagen to Olso for 2 nights, then to Bergen for a week, then drive to Gothenburg for 2 nights there, then back to Copenhagen for 4 nights.  Because we are now flying 2 days early, and in order to not have to change the apartment rentals in Bergen and Copenhagen, we are heading to Gothenburg first.   Originally, I was able to book Hotel Bellora with a "friends of ESS" early reservation rate, which included a 25% discount.   The requirement for the rate was to book at least 30 days in advance.  With the travel still over 60 days out, I could not get the same rate when I tried to change the dates.  Again, why?  It showed it had "friends of ESS" rate rooms available, but not with the early booking discount.  I ended up booking an Airbnb apartment instead.

Rant off.


I also changed the Olso reservation.  I cancelled the place in Oslo and instead booked a night in Stavanger to hike to Preikestolen
the following day.  Then we'll drive to Odda to spend the night there to hike Trolltunga the following day.  Then head to the apartment in Bergen. 

I'm not sure what to do for the week in Bergen.  There are many places we want to visit, and half of them are 8+ hour drive away.  We might drive up, spend a day or two near Trondheim, and drive back.

I thought about visiting Tromso, but that is 26+ hour drive away from Bergen.  I found a local Norwegian airline that offers service to almost all the cities, but the round trip flight from Bergen to Tromso is about $350 each.  It's called Wildie.

I wish I researched this part of the trip earlier - that same airline offers an unlimited 2 week flight ticket for inter-city travel for about $550 each.  It also flies to/from Copenhagen and Gothenburg.  It might have been cool to just get this ticket and forego the car rental.  Then spend a day or two at each city - Bergen, Trondheim, Bodo, Solvaer, Tromso, etc.  And perhaps get a car rental in each or those cities for a day or two.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: msmob on May 30, 2019, 09:32:29 AM
Steve, sounds a good trip..

Most multi-national car rental companies driving you with the rack rate if you change a booking..

Car rental companies are the bane of my life...I always check for extra charges...
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: 2tallbill on May 30, 2019, 05:19:02 PM
Wifey sort-of surprised me

I haven't said congratulations on your marriage yet.

(http://congratulationsto.com/cards/marriage-congratulations-card.jpg)
Title: Off to Kyiv for the weekend
Post by: SteveInBoston on June 12, 2019, 06:40:55 AM
Thank you all for the Well wishes.


I am off to Kyiv tonight. Flying British Airways via Heathrow to Kyiv.  I have only 90 minutes for the connection - I hope the 1st leg isn't delayed.

I am going to take my Google Pixel 3 phone with the Google Fi plan.  It's supposed to cover Ukraine at the same data rate. Time to test it.))

Does anyone know if the KBP airport train is still operating?  Last I heard it was hit or miss - maintenance issues.

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: msmob on June 12, 2019, 07:02:33 AM
Wishing you a fulfilling trip..
Title: Re: Off to Kyiv for the weekend
Post by: Trenchcoat on June 12, 2019, 12:00:36 PM
Thank you all for the Well wishes.


I am off to Kyiv tonight. Flying British Airways via Heathrow to Kyiv.  I have only 90 minutes for the connection - I hope the 1st leg isn't delayed.

I am going to take my Google Pixel 3 phone with the Google Fi plan.  It's supposed to cover Ukraine at the same data rate. Time to test it.))

Does anyone know if the KBP airport train is still operating?  Last I heard it was hit or miss - maintenance issues.

All looked fine when I was there just a few weeks ago. They have about three terminal buildings from what I saw so probably will be fine.
Title: Re: Off to Kyiv for the weekend
Post by: Brillynt on June 17, 2019, 03:29:29 PM
Thank you all for the Well wishes.


I am off to Kyiv tonight. Flying British Airways via Heathrow to Kyiv.  I have only 90 minutes for the connection - I hope the 1st leg isn't delayed.

I am going to take my Google Pixel 3 phone with the Google Fi plan.  It's supposed to cover Ukraine at the same data rate. Time to test it.))

Does anyone know if the KBP airport train is still operating?  Last I heard it was hit or miss - maintenance issues.

If it is not available the Sky Bus is always there.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on June 18, 2019, 06:05:13 AM
Hi guys,

I just returned home last night.  Had a great trip overall with a couple of snags.

First was the flight over.  I flew British Airways, connecting in Heathrow. I had a tight connection scheduled - plane to land at 06:50, 2nd plane departs at 08:10.

My friend who dropped me off at the airport said BA had uncomfortable seats and horrible service.  I discovered the staff friendly - when I checked in, the agent upgraded me to window exit row seats free of charge.  However, the seats were uncomfortable.  They were very narrow.  I kept rubbing elbows with the skinny old man sitting next to me.

Also, the flight schedule wasn't very convenient.  Flight departed Boston at 19:10.  By the time I was tired enough to sleep, we were 1 hr away from landing.  Then all the announcements started, from the captain and the crew about the status and landing prep.

After we landed the real annoyance began.  We landed in Terminal 5.  My connection was in Terminal 5.  I thought "great" - I didn't have to catch a tram or bus or walk a mile.  But we landed in the C gates, and my connection was in A gates, which I found out by guesswork because the information board in C only showed flights departing in C or B gates.  I found out it was a partial list and the full list was in the A gates.

About 30 minutes later I got to the A gates part of Terminal 5, and found out I had to go through security again, this time through the slowest and the most thorough screening process I've experienced.  We were herded to a section with 2 xray detectors, but 1 wasn't working - either the machine was down or they didn't have the minimum required staff to run it.  20 minutes later I got to the area where you place your items on the bin. 

The staff made me take out all liquids and gels and place them in a separate plastic bag.  The made me throw out my toothpaste - even though it was clearly empty to about 50 g/ml remaining, with 3/4 of the tube flat and rolled up, the agent said the original container was larger than 100ml in size. 

Then I waited another 15 minutes to get my carry-on and backpack. There was 1 woman there going through everyone's bag one by one, opening and swabbing every compartment for the chemical analyzer.  She even had to process some bags twice, because of a limit of how many compartments can be swabbed with one stick?  I had to get a supervisor to get them to process my bags out of queue because I would miss my flight.

Fortunately I made the connection with about 5 minutes to spare. 

Then I discovered BA doesn't serve complimentary drinks or snacks on "short" distance flights.  Not even water or soft drinks.  Everything required purchase.

Anyway, out of an 11 hr flight, I was able to get about 2 hrs of sleep.  But it was all worth it to see T again, though initially I walked right past her because she remade her hair, wore sunglasses and blended into the crowd.  She never waits at the partition - she waits a bit back at the area where the taxi drivers start hustling you.

She was playing and wondered if maybe I was playing not noticing her.  I told her about the flight and that I was exhausted.


I will write more later about the tax id and power of attorney shenanigans.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Gator on June 18, 2019, 07:31:13 AM
initially I walked right past her because she remade her hair, wore sunglasses and blended into the crowd. 

NO WAY!!!!!!!   :ROFL:

I imagine the rest of trip progressed better than the anxiety filled connection through Heathrow.  At least the supervisor listened to you. 
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: ML on June 18, 2019, 09:02:31 AM
WOW nightmare regarding flights and changing planes !!
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: msmob on June 18, 2019, 09:33:30 AM
Dear Steve,

I have not flown BA within Europe as they went down market..charging for everything.

Sounds like there might be an even higher level of security than normal.

UK airports are more thorough re security than most...

That is either good or bad, depending how risk adverse one is.. ))

It is worth pointing out that if transiting via UK airports, that security IS likely to delay, but normally those on near departure schedules are taken to the front of the queue, if you point this out.

Glad you found T

Enjoy

@ML

What is ' a nightmare' about a good security check...as long as the staff are polite?

An empty larger than permitted toothpaste tube could be used as a 'reaction chamber'...The security officer was correct to remove it.(



Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on June 18, 2019, 09:51:09 AM
An empty larger than permitted toothpaste tube could be used as a 'reaction chamber'...The security officer was correct to remove it.(

I can agree with that logic, if they also prohibited my 500ml empty stainless steel travel mug.  But they allowed it without batting an eye.


Also, the bags exit the xray machine into a sorter that sends it to the chemical search line or to passenger pickup line.  On the return trip yesterday, they only chemically searched 2 of 7 bags.  Not sure why they searched all bags on Thursday. 

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: krimster2 on June 18, 2019, 10:07:37 AM
this is why if you ever want to leave Ukraine with "contraband" you take the train from Kyiv to Berlin and THEN fly to the USA

Ukraine won't search you at all
Poland WILL consider searching you to just to make sure you're NOT smuggling cigarettes, but once they see your nice American passport they will smile and move on
Germany won't search you XRay only
America won't search you XRay only

and now it's yours....
postcard or whatever....

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on June 18, 2019, 05:08:26 PM
On Friday a few things happened.

First, we got a call from Tís sister saying her son, Tís nephew, stepped on and cracked the screen in his brand new iPad T gave him.  He had it for less than a day.  T bought it for him in the states but held on to it because her nephew wasnít getting good grades in school.  Finally Tís sister agreed to let him have it on Thursday. 

We visited them Friday night for bbq.  I took a look at the iPad.  Tís nephew stepped on the bottom, to the left of the button.  A 1 inch section was caved in, and the cracks spidered up and across from there.  The iPad was still working, so they should be able to get the glass screen replaced.  Tís nephew looked so miserable.  He never broke other devices he owned, including smartphones.  Hopefully heíll take better care after itís repaired.


After breakfast we headed into the city center, near Shevchenko park, to go to a paralegal service that does translations and power-of-attorney forms.  They told us they only did POAs for their company, to perform actions for me.  They couldnít or didnít want to provide a POA that named my wife as the executor.  They said we could get it done at a notary.

So we walked a few more blocks in 30 deg C heat to a notary, to find they were closed.  Then we walked a few more blocks to another one, and they said they can do one only with a certified translator present.  We asked them if I could apply for a Tax ID if I went to the tax office in person, and they said yes.

I checked google maps and found a tax administration office near the Olympic metro station on the M2 line.  But T said they might have a long queue of people, and decided to go to an admin express service office, near the University metro station on the M1 line.  We were at the SW end of the botanical gardens and had to walk about 500 meters uphill to that office.

When we got there, they said they donít process tax id request forms.  Only the tax administration office handled that. So we took the M1 metro to transfer to M2 at Maidan station, to Olympic station.

Aside:  This was the first time I used the metro in Kyiv, and I was impressed.  The trains were fast, plentiful and relatively clean.  And the escalator ride was extremely long - must have been 5 or 6 stories deep in a few of those stations.  Also, itís extremely affordable at 8 UAH.))


When we got to the tax admin office, we had to take a ticket and wait at Window 8.  Window 8 was empty, with a sign stating the PC was being backed up (or something like that - T didnít translate it verbatim).  After about 30 minutes a lady showed up.  She called our number and T explained what we wanted.  The lady said we were at the wrong office - we needed to go to a central tax admin office.  The office we were in only handled tax issues for the residents of that district of Kyiv.

The lady gave us the address of the correct tax office.  On google maps it seemed to be near Zhuliany airport.  There was no nearby metro stop and it was too far to walk.  So we took an Uber.  Once there, T was able to get the form and fill it in for me to sign.  We had a translated copy of my passport with us (we needed one in November and had an extra one made).  It came in handy because the tax lady would not have accepted my information without it.

Success!!!....almost.  In order for T to pick up my tax id information, which would be ready after 3 days, she will need a power-of-attorney form from me. :wallbash:


Anyway, next time I visit I can pick up the tax id information, or have a POA document done here in Massachusetts and mail it to T to have her get it translated and apostled.

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: ML on June 18, 2019, 05:29:14 PM
Welcome to Ukraine.  It only took you what . . . 5 wrong offices?
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on June 19, 2019, 06:14:46 AM
Yes, 2 wrong gov offices and 3 wrong legal services.


The first 2 days we stayed at a hotel south of the city.  A place called Park Hotel Holosievo.  The building exterior is designed like a huge 5 story english tudor mansion, and it's in Holosiivskyi Park, in the shade of numerous trees which cooled the place down in the heat.  The place was a bit pricier than most, but had great service and a full service spa (which we didn't get a chance to use).  The had a restaurant called the Beer Garden.  The garden in the name fit but not the beer part:  they only had a selection of 5 beers.

For Sat and Sun night we stayed at an Airbnb apartment near the Rada building, a few blocks east of Maidan Square.  The apt was huge.  It was on the top floor of a 4 story building and had a built-out attic as a second level.  The main level was about 100 sq meters, and the second floor was about 80 (lost space due to the sloping roof).  The bathroom was huge, with a waterfall shower and a 2-3 person jacuzzi bathtub.  The kitchen had light blue cabinetry with off-white porcelain and brass fixtures.  Upstairs the space was an open studio layout with a full size bed, workdesk and second bathroom with just a shower but with a washer and dryer.  There were 4 AC units - kitchen, living room, bedroom, and upstairs.  T loved it and mentioned over and over that she wants a place just like it.  It was the best Airbnb place we have ever stayed.


Next post:  Cooking duty and Kiss Concert.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on June 20, 2019, 10:49:59 AM
On Saturday we moved from the hotel to the Airbnb apartment, and waited for our friends from Kharkiv - Vladimir and Julia.  I wanted to have dinner out with them when they arrived, but T wanted to cook.  Specifically, she wanted me to cook, with Vlad's help.  She and Julia wanted me to teach Vlad how to prepare and cook korean bbq short ribs.  Last winter, when we visited them for dinner, Vlad cooked while the girls kicked back with drinks.

I pleaded my case, being still a bit jetlagged and tired from the heat.  But I was outvoted. ((

Our friends arrived an hour later than expected.  They walked from the nearest metro station and took their time in the heat, stopping for ice cream and cold drinks.  The first order of business - snacks and shots of tequila and bourbon.  They brought the tequila, I brought Woodford Reserve (from duty free at Boston logan airport).  A couple hours later we headed out to get groceries, and a replacement wedding band for me (I lost mine last month somewhere between Maine and New Hampshire).

We stopped at Zolotyi Vik on Khreshatyk street and got one for about $150.  A similar ring in the states was $220-$250.  Now I looked married again.))

We walked to silpo supermarket in the Gulliver shopping center and bought about $100 in groceries, including beer and wine.  The meat department was closing when we arrived, and half the display case was empty.  I picked up a sirloin steak and several short ribs.  The short ribs were odd.  For korean bbq, you need thin (0.5 cm) cross-cut portions across 3 or 4 bones, or a chunky single bone cut of about 7 cm (3 inches).  The only choice available was 3 bone cross cuts that were 2 cm thick. 

We took an Uber back to the apartment, because from silpo the path was uphill and a bit arduous.  The girls started preparing dinner, to my surprise.  I thought they were going to make me and Vlad cook.  I showed Vlad how to prepare the marinade and he and I cleaned and cut up the beef as best we could.  It requires several hours to marinade properly so we decided to save it for lunch on Sunday. 

The girls made a warm vegetable salad with toasted bread.  Sort of a build your own bruchetta.  I pan fried the sirloin steak and sliced it in strips like beef fajitas.  There was also some dried fish to have with beer, which I avoided (the fish - I had the beer).  Later on we switched to bourbon and tequila again, and went to bed around 2 AM.

Sunday morning Vlad and I were on cooking duty.  Vlad made seafood omelet with shrimp and crawfish.  I made french toast and cooked up some simple cinnamon caramel glaze to substitute for maple syrup.  I also fried up some ham and prosciutto (the store didn't have bacon).  The girls made coffee and tea.   :D

I was still drunk from last night, so after breakfast I went to the couch and passed out.  When I awoke T was in bed browsing facebook.  Vlad and Julia were out shopping - they wanted clothes from H&M. 

They returned in late afternoon.  T and I prepared dinner:  T heated up leftovers and prepared a salad and cold cuts and cheese.  I cooked the korean bbq beef using the broiler function of the oven, after several tries trying to figure out how to set it to broil.  We ate and drank some more, with me sticking to beer and water while they finished off the tequila.


Next - the concert.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on June 25, 2019, 11:09:26 AM
After dinner we separated to prepare to head to the KISS concert.  I am a bit jealous how women can transform themselves through makeup and styling.  They went from pretty to hot in a matter of moments.

T had a KISS tshirt to wear, that Julia and Vladimir brought as a present.  The rest of us wore hard rock tshirts and jeans, with Vlad wearing knee length jean shorts.

It was a beautiful day, warm but not as hot as the previous days. We headed out at 7, which was the concert starting time.  I didn't notice any other bands listed, so I assume the start time equated to gate opening time and perhaps some DJ or taped music before the band started.

I was right.  We got to the stadium at 7:30 or so, and there was no one on stage except for the support staff (gaffers? grips?).  Canned music was playing in the stadium - a variety of rock bands. 

The place wasn't crowded - perhaps 1/2 the usuable seats in the lower bowl was filled, with about a 1/4 of the upper seats.  The 3 sections of the field were 1/4 full.  We had golden fan club tickets, which were the second best field section.  I think I would have preferred seated tickets, because we stood around for 90 minutes for the concert to start.  I believe our tickets were about $70 each.  Not cheap, but definitely less than comparable tickets in the states.

One awesome thing was the price of beer at the stadium.  Each field section had beer and drinks kiosks set up.  Beer was $2 (50 UAH), water was a little over $1 (30 UAH).   Last time I went to a Red Sox game beer was $8.50 for 12 ounces, for budweizer products.  Sam Adams was considerably more.

At a little after 9PM the concert started.  I tell you what, for a bunch of old guys they put on a fantastic show.  I am not a KISS fan but I loved the concert.  At one point the lead singer said he would go out to play in the crowd, but only if invited by the fans calling out his name.  T and I looked at each other and asked "What's his name?"  We googled it - Paul.

There were a lot of fireworks and flames.  We were about 50 feet away, but could still feel the heat from the flame jets.  Whoever choreographed the concert was bang on. 

I uploaded 2 videos to youtube, hope the links work:

Second to last song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2Cdw6DbTuk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2Cdw6DbTuk)


Finale:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYjxEGDecno (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYjxEGDecno)

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: BillyB on June 25, 2019, 08:58:59 PM
At a little after 9PM the concert started.  I tell you what, for a bunch of old guys they put on a fantastic show.  I am not a KISS fan but I loved the concert.  At one point the lead singer said he would go out to play in the crowd, but only if invited by the fans calling out his name.  T and I looked at each other and asked "What's his name?"  We googled it - Paul.


Paul Stanley is the lead singer for Kiss on most of their songs. Unfortunately his voice isn't as strong as it used to be and they're using canned music in their concerts because of it.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on June 25, 2019, 09:21:17 PM
Voice was live.  Too much variation to be canned, unless they are grand masters of lip syncing.  I thought the guitar and bass was pre-recorded at times, but some solos made me rethink that.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: BillyB on June 26, 2019, 09:43:40 PM
Voice was live.  Too much variation to be canned, unless they are grand masters of lip syncing.  I thought the guitar and bass was pre-recorded at times, but some solos made me rethink that.

Some guy took 4 videos of their live 2019 concert from 4 different cities and played it at the same time in a YouTube video. Vocals, beat and sound identical. It's canned. The band members are near 70 and they aren't the performers they once were. It's understandable they are using canned music to help out but die hard Kiss fans are hard on them because in their younger days, they ripped on bands that used canned music in their live tours and said they'd never do it. If they didn't do it, there would be no concert to see this year. Paul Stanley's vocal cords are shot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biukwyTzrZU&list=RDbiukwyTzrZU&start_radio=1&t=114
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: GQBlues on June 27, 2019, 06:01:56 AM
Weíve seen so many of these geriatric rock icons, and performing along with pre-recorded tracks is more normal than not. Doobie Brothers, Ozzy, ZZ Top, Axl Rose et al, they all do it. KISS is not an exception. Heck, even the Eagles do it. We did see Foreigners Unplugged with SoCal local boy Kelly on vocals in Thousand Oaks recently, while he did sounded superb, there was still sampling/dubbing/tracking. Not exactly one thinks of full blown lip syncing. Same with Gin Blossoms at the Canyon. Steven Tyler does and will do the same thing. Yes, expect Mr Jagger to do the same. Elton John did so recently at the Staples.

Itís the ĎSHOWí people go to see. Just relax and enjoy it.

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Gator on June 27, 2019, 08:00:28 AM
Yes, expect Mr Jagger to do the same.


Maybe.  Six weeks after heart valve replacement surgery, and he is still going......

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWu4vgC--7E)

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWu4vgC--7E  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWu4vgC--7E)


Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on June 27, 2019, 01:59:34 PM

Elton John did so recently at the Staples.

Itís the ĎSHOWí people go to see. Just relax and enjoy it.

Funny you say that.

I recently found out Elton John was touring.  I checked if he's playing in Boston - yes he is, on Nov 15.  Seats are sold out, but ticketmaster now does resale?  There's a pair of front row seats on resale for $7950.

Elton had to adjust his schedule for Feb show dates in New Zealand.  To compensate, he added a new date in Auckland.  It is cheaper to get VIP package with seats in the first 5 rows, plus RT business class airfare, than those front row tickets in Boston.

Mental.

Anywho....I got a pair of the NZ tickets.  I purchased the 2nd tier VIP package, which guaranteed tickets in the first 10 rows - I got seats 8 and 9 in the 6th row.  On Feb 16.

We'll sort out our flight and other details later.))  Probably not business class, but perhaps premiere economy.



Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: ML on June 27, 2019, 04:41:17 PM
I cannot even come close to comprehending this.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: BillyB on June 27, 2019, 05:03:44 PM
I recently found out Elton John was touring.  I checked if he's playing in Boston - yes he is, on Nov 15.  Seats are sold out, but ticketmaster now does resale?  There's a pair of front row seats on resale for $7950.


Always somebody that can't go to concerts last minute and put up their tickets on Craigslist or similar sites. Careful of scammers though. If you buy a ticket from an individual and they don't want to meet you at their house, you may want to ask for a receipt or some sort of proof of purchase such as a credit card statement they bought if from a legit site like ticketmaster.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Gator on June 27, 2019, 05:49:28 PM


Anywho....I got a pair of the NZ tickets.  I purchased the 2nd tier VIP package, which guaranteed tickets in the first 10 rows - I got seats 8 and 9 in the 6th row.  On Feb 16.

We'll sort out our flight and other details later.))  Probably not business class, but perhaps premiere economy.

You are a true fan.  Enjoy your trip.  NZ is beautiful, so do some sightseeing.  Out of curiosity,  how many hours of flying time. 

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Faux Pas on June 27, 2019, 07:49:45 PM
I cannot even come close to comprehending this.

I wouldn't walk across the street to see Elton John if there was free beer
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: ML on June 27, 2019, 08:27:24 PM
I wouldn't walk across the street to see Elton John if there was free beer

Same here.

And to go further, there is not an entertainer of any type anywhere in the world that I would do for as the OP is doing re Elton.

To go even further, probably only two persons in the entire world I would do something like that for.

Lost in all the talk of income inequality are the entertainers and athletes.
It is the stupid public that allows such ridiculousness to happen and exist.
I have never ever purchased any item with the name of someone attached to it.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Gator on June 27, 2019, 09:02:40 PM
FP and ML,

You seem judgmental about personal decisions in spending their own money.    We each are different.  Some of Elton's songs are classics, yet I questioned the $7950 for front row tickets unless it included a blowjob from Elton, not that I am into gay sex.

AS a student I stood leaning over the stage at a multi-frat party to watch Tina Turner.  Free, of course as part of Spring Weekend.    The point is front row seats for great performers is a lifetime memory. 
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: ML on June 27, 2019, 09:10:07 PM
Ike and Tina also came to University when I was student.

They were early in their career, so only got paid some minimum amount and were scheduled during some official 'free hour' for such events held in the gymnasium.

I  remember they arrived late (of course) and really just got going when the hour period was half over.

Right at the assigned (end of hour) quitting time, a University Administrator walked out onto the floor and tried to get them to stop playing and singing.  A lot of boos from the students and they played on a couple more minutes, but then did finally stop.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: ML on June 27, 2019, 09:16:52 PM
FP and ML,

You seem judgmental about personal decisions in spending their own money.   

But still we are just giving our opinions.

I think it is totally disgusting, as an example, that kids in the ghettos are going without proper medical care and nourishment, and probably stealing money . . . to buy for a hundred dollars or more the latest sneakers autographed by multimillionaires.

Same can be said for adults who spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to enrich a multimillionaire performer when such money could be contributed to homeless shelters for veterans, etc.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on June 28, 2019, 02:19:57 AM
I forgot to mention the cost of the normal tickets in NZ.  The VIP package I purchased is $450.

The $7950 tickets are not last minute:  the concert in Boston is in November.  Obvious scalper, but a legal one since they're reselling through the ticketmaster site.

The NZ trip is not just for the concert.  Wifey and I will plan a 3 week vacation there.  Flight time will be about 30 hrs, with a long delay in HK - enough to leave the airport and see the city. 
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on June 28, 2019, 02:40:37 AM
But still we are just giving our opinions.

I think it is totally disgusting, as an example, that kids in the ghettos are going without proper medical care and nourishment, and probably stealing money . . . to buy for a hundred dollars or more the latest sneakers autographed by multimillionaires.

Same can be said for adults who spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to enrich a multimillionaire performer when such money could be contributed to homeless shelters for veterans, etc.

Hmm.

Same can be said about any capitalist or entertainment venture?  Like $120 seats at Fenway Park, or $1500 seats at Yankee Stadium.  All that money going to the multi-millionaire owners and players, when it could be contributed to better causes.


Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: GQBlues on June 28, 2019, 09:03:43 AM
Funny you say that.

I recently found out Elton John was touring.  I checked if he's playing in Boston - yes he is, on Nov 15.  Seats are sold out, but ticketmaster now does resale?  There's a pair of front row seats on resale for $7950.

Elton had to adjust his schedule for Feb show dates in New Zealand.  To compensate, he added a new date in Auckland.  It is cheaper to get VIP package with seats in the first 5 rows, plus RT business class airfare, than those front row tickets in Boston.

Mental.

Anywho....I got a pair of the NZ tickets.  I purchased the 2nd tier VIP package, which guaranteed tickets in the first 10 rows - I got seats 8 and 9 in the 6th row.  On Feb 16.

We'll sort out our flight and other details later.))  Probably not business class, but perhaps premiere economy.

Good decision. Most folks doesn't understand being on the front row isn't always the best place to be at. One needs to understand who is performing before sizing up the best seat selection. In this particular case, Elton will spend all his time behind his piano, mostly on the left side of the stage - except after intermission when he plays 'Funeral For a Friend'. The piano will travel left to right, right to left. Awesome show! Still dig the Song 'All the Girls Love Alice'. Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboys, baby!

We have a suite at Staples for all shows that include Lakers, Clippers, Kings games plus all concerts. Suite holds 12 people so when I took 10 of our closest, plus wifey of course - everyone had a blast! If you like EJ, you will too..
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: ML on June 28, 2019, 09:18:04 AM
Hmm.

Same can be said about any capitalist or entertainment venture?  Like $120 seats at Fenway Park, or $1500 seats at Yankee Stadium.  All that money going to the multi-millionaire owners and players, when it could be contributed to better causes.

I already covered this in one of my earlier posts where I said entertainers and athletes.

"Lost in all the talk of income inequality are the entertainers and athletes.
It is the stupid public that allows such ridiculousness to happen and exist.
I have never ever purchased any item with the name of someone attached to it."
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: GQBlues on June 28, 2019, 09:40:39 AM
But still we are just giving our opinions.

I think it is totally disgusting, as an example, that kids in the ghettos are going without proper medical care and nourishment, and probably stealing money . . . to buy for a hundred dollars or more the latest sneakers autographed by multimillionaires.

Same can be said for adults who spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to enrich a multimillionaire performer when such money could be contributed to homeless shelters for veterans, etc.

Different strokes, man. I love going to concerts although the last time I ever paid for a ticket was back in the 80s when I was following James Taylor and Robin Trower. Trower San Bernardino, IINM.

The industry I'm in now have the perks for these entertainment accesses. I'm lucky in that way. Dodgers, Angels games - behind home plate. Staples Center season passes. I also have a lot of network for all other venues Hollywood Bowl, Forum, Gibson Amp, Honda Ctr, etc..none which I ever pay for. Sure, outside of Staples, it may cost me drinks, maybe snacks, even parking - but what the heck, yes? Some people who I knew from HS/University/etc..who works in the entertainment industry grants me additional accesses. Getting tickets for any shows in LA is as easy as a phone call away. Wifey already met Joe Walsh, Bon Jovi, etc..We try to go every chance we get.

Even the Pantages theater. We already saw Cats / Fiddler / Les Miserables, etc..

I remember back when at the Viper Room / Whiskey A were hot, there'd be popular artists that would perform in these small venues unannounced to the public. Sheryl Crow, Dishwalla, Adam Duritz (Counting Crows), John Mayer, etc...unplugged. I'd get a phone call in the morning, or even a day prior, to drop the news then just show up.

Today, I have a huge hand in the construction of this: http://lastadiumathp.com/gallery/ You talk about grotesque capitalism, that in a nutshell, epitomize the meaning of the term. 100% off the original budget. Whoever gave them the diligence before really needs to do some serious soul searching. When this opens next year, you bet I'm watching the Rams and the Chargers and whatever else performs in there...

But all of these aren't all glitz. We do have provisions. The city of Inglewood is already profiting from the development of the stadium. A whole lot of revenue are already hitting everyone, from the local government, county, state and even private  businesses and property owners. From our part - from San Luis Obispo to OC to IE...I've always been heavily engaged with habitat for humanity program. http://www.habitat.org/

It's all good, man.

Now, you want to know who the real capitalist whores are? Try the NCAA, baby. All those hundreds of billions of dollars they rake in every year from their sport teams, and they still charge students top dollars for their admissions.

Edit: Wanted to add, my biggest regret was skipping Tom Petty's last concert due to an engagement we committed to.

Also, last year's Arroyo Seco music festival was pretty darn good. Even MIL liked it. Robert Plant, Neil Young, Alanis Morisette, Bangles, Pretenders, Aaron Neville, etc..   http://www.arroyosecoweekend.com/artists/#/artists/alphabetical  Good time!
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Faux Pas on June 28, 2019, 01:35:30 PM
FP and ML,

You seem judgmental about personal decisions in spending their own money.    We each are different.  Some of Elton's songs are classics, yet I questioned the $7950 for front row tickets unless it included a blowjob from Elton, not that I am into gay sex.

AS a student I stood leaning over the stage at a multi-frat party to watch Tina Turner.  Free, of course as part of Spring Weekend.    The point is front row seats for great performers is a lifetime memory.

I'm not being judgemental, I'm just stating a fact. I really wouldn't. I wish Steve well and hope he enjoys the show. I wouldn't pretend to tell him or anyone else how to spend their money. I saw Elton many years ago and it was a good show, in the late 80's. I've liked a lot of his music mostly the early stuff but, I would not walk across the street to see him today. I especially wouldn't at those prices. IIRC, I paid less than 20 bucks to see Elton John. I do remember the day I heard a ticket to see Michael Jackson was 100 dollars. I thought then the world had gone insane.

The fact is, I'm not a cheap bastard. Up until a couple of years ago I had a standing order of tickets to the Sugar Bowl every year. First refusal of an 8 ticket lot. I'm almost a shame to say what I paid for some of those except, I made money on them every year. I just don't know of one entertainer that is worth those inflated ticket prices. Literally, there is nobody I wish to see that bad
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on June 28, 2019, 04:09:11 PM
Barenaked Ladies.  Best concert I've attended.  Queen with Freddy, which is not possible.((
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: GQBlues on June 28, 2019, 04:42:53 PM
I'm not being judgemental, I'm just stating a fact. I really wouldn't. I wish Steve well and hope he enjoys the show. I wouldn't pretend to tell him or anyone else how to spend their money. I saw Elton many years ago and it was a good show, in the late 80's. I've liked a lot of his music mostly the early stuff but, I would not walk across the street to see him today. I especially wouldn't at those prices. IIRC, I paid less than 20 bucks to see Elton John. I do remember the day I heard a ticket to see Michael Jackson was 100 dollars. I thought then the world had gone insane.

Holy cheap besterd Batman!  :P MJ for 100 bucks and he turned it down!!!

Before the digital age, JT and Trower were a major dig for me/us. As close to the stage as possible. It really was all about trying to snap some guitar licks and riffs to see how they do certain progressions. Back in those days, it's really all you have to go by during the learning days. Now of course, youtube, tab sites, programs, etc...is everywhere. Learning any instrument now is almost elementary.

Back to pre-recorded tracks, one performer we follow and enjoy is Jesse Cook. No track riding on this guy. Last we saw him was at Saban in Beverly Hills (yup. freebie). They always carry a segment in their set where they actually walk down to the audience and play, quasi-acapella. JC was 3 people away from wifey and she was just mesmerized. He's definitely tops in our current list right now.

The only other guy I know who did the same type of act was Chris Isaak when he played at Fred Kavli.  He did the Elvis #Falling In Love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibggo2ygmAw[/quote]
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: tfcrew on June 28, 2019, 08:19:15 PM
Went back to last year and reviewed the pictures.....
http://www.russianwomendiscussion.com/index.php?topic=22873.msg487682#msg487682
Congratulations from Texas....
                                                    (http://www.skyscrapercity.com/customavatars/avatar98_18.gif)
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Faux Pas on June 29, 2019, 07:15:39 AM
Holy cheap besterd Batman!  :P MJ for 100 bucks and he turned it down!!!

Before the digital age, JT and Trower were a major dig for me/us. As close to the stage as possible. It really was all about trying to snap some guitar licks and riffs to see how they do certain progressions. Back in those days, it's really all you have to go by during the learning days. Now of course, youtube, tab sites, programs, etc...is everywhere. Learning any instrument now is almost elementary.

Back to pre-recorded tracks, one performer we follow and enjoy is Jesse Cook. No track riding on this guy. Last we saw him was at Saban in Beverly Hills (yup. freebie). They always carry a segment in their set where they actually walk down to the audience and play, quasi-acapella. JC was 3 people away from wifey and she was just mesmerized. He's definitely tops in our current list right now.

The only other guy I know who did the same type of act was Chris Isaak when he played at Fred Kavli.  He did the Elvis #Falling In Love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibggo2ygmAw
Not only did I turn it down, I made fun of several of my friends for paying that price AND going to that show lol. That was the "Bad" tour IIRC. The white glove, Pepsi sponsor and the whole sha'bang. MJ was hardly my particular cuppa joe. It was in the Gator Bowl. I couldn't conceive 100 bucks (I really think it was $120) to see him especially in that venue that would hold about 100K people. I'm sure I'd never paid more than $25 for a ticket at that time and I had been to many concerts in the days of the 70's 80's and well into the 90's.

I must have seen 100+ artists of the day. I've always loved Trower sadly, never saw him live "bridge of sighs"
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on July 11, 2019, 12:15:48 PM
Well,

Trip to scandinavia is set.  I will meet T and our nephew at the end of July at Copenhagen airport.

Our itineray:

- Day 1:   Meet at the airport.  Spend night at hotel near airport.
- Day 2:   Get car rental, drive to Gothenburg, Sweden.  Maybe stop at Malmo.  Night in Gothenburg
- Day 3:   Day and night in Gothenburg.
- Day 4:   Drive 8 hrs to Kjeragbolten, Norway.  Bypass Oslo.  Spend night at a nearby campground that has cabins.
- Day 5:   Seceninc drive to Tyssedal.  Spend night at a guesthouse. 
- Day 6:   Hike Trolltunga.  Drive to Bergen.  Spend 4 nights there.
- Day 7-9: Bergen.  Perhaps day trips to nearby areas, including VÝringfossen.
- Day 10:  Drive to Gudvangen.  Take cruise on Naeroyfjord and Aurlandsfjord.  Drive to Slinde to spend the night.
- Day 11:  Drive to Geiranger.  Spend 2 nights at a tent/yurt in nearby Valldalen.
- Day 12:  Day in Valldalen/Geiranger area.  Maybe go rafting?
- Day 13:  Drive to Alesund, see the town.  Drive to Bruhagen area to spend 2 nights.
- Day 14:  Hike at nearby Trollkirka.  Drive across Storseisundet Bridge on Atlantic Road.  Perhaps take a viking boat to Haholmen Havstuer.
- Day 15:  Drive to Oslo, via inland route.  Stop to see Trollveggen.  Spend night in Oslo.
- Day 16:  See the Scream painting at Munch museum in Oslo.  Look around the city.  Take Stena Line overnight ferry from Oslo to Frederikshavn, Denmark.
- Day 17:  Drive across Denmark to Copenhagen.  Return rental car.  Spend 3 nights in Copenhagen.
- Days 18-20:  Copenhagen.  Fly back on Day 20.


It took a month to plan the above.  The first week we set tentative dates and I booked several places, with only 3 days left unplanned.  Then a week later T decided to get serious and researched for the trip, and rearranged everything.  The initial plan was to go clockwise around Norway, first goint to Stavanger, then Tyssedal, then Bergen.  She changed it to counter-clockwise: Oslo, then Otta, Kristansund, Alesund, Geiranger, etc.  She said the clockwise route was stupid - everyone was recommending counter-clockwise.  I replied, "f* convention, let's got clockwise."  She laughed.  She used that phrase more or less on me about getting in line first to board a plane on a previous trip - she liked to sit on a nice comfy chair and wait until the boarding line dwindled.  I asked, "But what about our carry-on?  There will be no room."  She responded, "Let the airline worry about that - it's their job to find luggage space."

I was able to convince her to keep the original route, more or less, and she shortened our stay in Bergen from 8 days to 4 and added several intermediate stops.

I am requested to bring some comic books.  Also, a strong flashlight for the troll caves, her hiking boots that she left here, and binoculars.  The comic books are for our nephew, who thinks they will help him to read and learn more english. 
Title: Re: Importing a woman and lots of baggage
Post by: ML on July 11, 2019, 12:43:33 PM
It is stupid.  Like some other posts here.

This post was doomed from the start by the choice of subject line. "Importing a woman and lots of baggage".

You are being to harsh on this man.
Sometimes there is the urge to be humorous in various situations.
And sometimes it doesn't sit well with the audience.
But that is more of a reflection on the audience than the poster.

Lighten up !!!
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on July 29, 2019, 03:43:57 AM
What is going on?  Why was the above post from ML moved from the original Topic and placed here?  It has no bearing on the ongoing relationship between T and me.

???
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on July 29, 2019, 03:58:23 AM
Anyway, back on topic...

In two days I am flying out to reunite with T.  I will arrive in Copenhagen via Iceland Air in the morning and have a full day before T and her nephew arrives. 

T and her nephew are taking an overnight train to Kyiv today.  Right now she is at a spa getting a facial and manicure.  Now that I think about it, every time we meet  T has gotten some type of beauty treatment done in preparation.   :D

Do your wives do this as well?  Not necessarily when getting together after being apart, but regular beauty treatments even after marriage?
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: msmob on July 29, 2019, 04:09:43 AM
Anyway, back on topic...

In two days I am flying out to reunite with T.  I will arrive in Copenhagen via Iceland Air in the morning and have a full day before T and her nephew arrives. 

T and her nephew are taking an overnight train to Kyiv today.  Right now she is at a spa getting a facial and manicure.  Now that I think about it, every time we meet  T has gotten some type of beauty treatment done in preparation.   :D

Do your wives do this as well?  Not necessarily when getting together after being apart, but regular beauty treatments even after marriage?

))

Steve, why do you think getting married means an FSU lady stops caring about her appearance?!

Enjoy Copenhagen... Take them over the ōresund Bridge to MalmŲ in a clear day...
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Steamer on July 29, 2019, 09:07:10 AM

Do your wives do this as well?  Not necessarily when getting together after being apart, but regular beauty treatments even after marriage?


You can count on this.
FSU women always want to look their best not only for you but for everyone.
My wife looks her absolute best when we go to family functions for the grandkids and my ex is there, hilarity ensues.



Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: GQBlues on July 29, 2019, 09:32:35 AM
Anyway, back on topic...

In two days I am flying out to reunite with T.  I will arrive in Copenhagen via Iceland Air in the morning and have a full day before T and her nephew arrives. 

T and her nephew are taking an overnight train to Kyiv today.  Right now she is at a spa getting a facial and manicure.  Now that I think about it, every time we meet  T has gotten some type of beauty treatment done in preparation.   :D

Do your wives do this as well?  Not necessarily when getting together after being apart, but regular beauty treatments even after marriage?

My wife, past girlfriends and AFAIK, generally most women anywhere period. Beauty salon, products etc...are a multi-billion dollar business worldwide. Hell, walk into a regular shopping mall and the shops are literally 10:1 in ratio geared for women v men.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: msmob on July 29, 2019, 11:03:21 AM
Not all of us have adopted Shopping Mall culture and I find that a pleasant alternative in E.European and rural UK/ IRL / Cyprus existence...
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: LiveFromUkraine on July 29, 2019, 11:12:11 AM
Congrats on the nuptials Steve. 


Your Kiss video brought back some fun memories.  As a youngster I was able to see Motley Crue,Van Halen, Rush, Dokken, Tesla, Def Leppard, Tom Petty, Jimmy Buffet (always a favorite), Kiss, a lot of other glam rockers like Poison/Guns&Roses.   
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on July 30, 2019, 01:54:16 AM
Thank you Live.

Last night T made me send her a list of our reservations.  She wanted the confirmation codes as well, which made me go through all my emails from the various bookings.  I discovered I booked two places for Aug 04 and no place for Aug 03.  Fortunately, I was able to contact the campground in Suleskard and change the reservation for a cabin to Aug 03.

At first I thought T had me on busy work. I already had the bookings marked on the calendar.  I am very glad she made me do it.!)
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Hammer2722 on July 30, 2019, 10:12:46 AM
Thank you Live.

Last night T made me send her a list of our reservations.  She wanted the confirmation codes as well, which made me go through all my emails from the various bookings.  I discovered I booked two places for Aug 04 and no place for Aug 03.  Fortunately, I was able to contact the campground in Suleskard and change the reservation for a cabin to Aug 03.

At first I thought T had me on busy work. I already had the bookings marked on the calendar.  I am very glad she made me do it.!)


Nothing like a good FSU woman to keep your ass straight!  ;)
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on August 28, 2019, 07:09:23 AM
Hi guys, I am back from Norway and Copenhagen (and a bit of Sweden).

It was a fantastic trip.  We really enjoyed our time in Norway.  Beautiful scenery, friendly people and pretty good food.  One thing I didn't expect was all the tunnels.  It started with a 7 km tunnel that went under the sea in Drobak.  When we planned the drive I thought it was a ferry route, then T said it was a bridge.  Found out when we stopped at a COOP supermarket just before crossing into Norway that it was a tunnel.

The longest tunnel we took was 14 km through the mountain from Gudvanger to Flam (which was followed by a second tunnel of 7 km).  That was very unnerving- about 1/2 of it was unpaved and under construction, which filled the tunnel with dust and reduced visibility drastically.

The coolest tunnels were the two that was in either side of the bridge across Hardanderfjord near the town of Eidfjord.  Both tunnels were huge, with a traffic roundabout inside each.

Two places stood out for T.  One was a cabin we rented on Airbnb near the Atlantic coast road.  It was a small dacha, in essence, but she loved the design and decoration.  There were hand painted wood vallances with scenes of giant women, dwarfs and trolls.  There were other similar painted woodwork throughout the place.

The second place was Copenhagen.  T really liked the architecture and lifestyle there.  She considers it second behind Athens as her favorite places to live.  I was impressed with the metro there.  We stayed at an apartment in a new development area near Vestamanger metro station, which also seemed newly built.   The station was the last stop of the M1 line, with a train every 5 minutes.  Copenhagen city center was only about 15 minutes ride.  The trains were new, designed more like the newer airport trams like the ones in Heathrow or Munich.  They had limited seats and more space dedicated to standing or bringing a bicycle or stroller.

Oh, and there were tons of bicycles.  Every metro station had dedicated bicycle parking racks filled with bikes.  Our apartment building had a courtyard filled with bicycle stands filled with, er, bicycles.



Title: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: 2tallbill on August 28, 2019, 10:06:41 AM
Do your wives do this as well?  Not necessarily when getting together after being apart, but regular beauty treatments even after marriage?

Does the Pope poop in the woods?

Angel Eyes has many regimens and beauty treatments for everything
from her face, her hair, her nails, her feet, to any cellulite (real or
imagined), her teeth, her breath, her skin, etc.

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on August 28, 2019, 02:59:12 PM
T had her hair colored and styled a day before the trip.  She went to a relatively high end place in Kyiv and spent about $130.  She colored it orange-blonde to "fit in with the Danes", but we rarely saw any red/oranged haired people (gingers?)

I think we would have had better luck in Scotland?  Anyway, by the 3rd week her hair was more orange than blonde and she fitted in by becoming a troll.   No, really.  During the trip she searched for a troll souvenir - keychain, statue, magnet, whatever - and couldn't find any she liked.  On the Stena line ferry back to Denmark, I took a 360 photo from the top deck of the ship as it steamed away from Oslo.  T stood next to me making funny faces for the photo, but because of the way it stitches frames together for the panoramic shot, her face ended up distorted.  Troll.

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on December 10, 2019, 12:45:58 PM
Hi guys,

Just a quick update.  It's been 3 months since T and I were together.  I am heading over to visit her in Ukraine for the holidays - Christmas to Christmas.

Last week T got her tourist visa for New Zealand (hooray!).  It was a pretty intense process - a bit more difficult than the process for a US visa. 

The visa is good for a single entry for up to 30 days, by April 7.  That is 5 months and a few days from the date when she applied, and 4 months and a bit from when she was approved.  Not 3 months or 6 months.  Odd.

We are planning a 3 week trip from Feb 14 to March 8.  I am flying to Frankfurt on Feb 14, for us to fly together from there to Auckland (on Korean Air).  We are spending about a week in Auckland.  We are going to the Elton John concert on Feb 20, then flying out the next day to Christchurch.

From Christchurch we are renting a campervan to tour the south island.  Nelson, Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers, Dunedin, Invercargill, Te Anau, Milford sound, Mt Cook, Queenstown.  Then flight back to Auckland to drive to Rotorua and Hobbiton.

On the return flight we have a 19 hour layover in Seoul, South Korea.  I'm hoping we have enough stamina to stay out all night to maximize our time. 

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SANDRO43 on December 10, 2019, 07:02:46 PM
Fortunately White Island is not on your NZ list ;D:

(http://www.repstatic.it/content/nazionale/img/2019/12/09/051254310-19c60383-7a46-47ab-b0d8-979edd8ca967.jpg)
Title: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: 2tallbill on December 17, 2019, 11:03:20 AM
It's been 3 months since T and I were together.

On the return flight we have a 19 hour layover in Seoul, South Korea.  I'm hoping we have enough stamina to stay out all night to maximize our time.

I remember those days just before going to see Angel Eyes. One time
we were playing a friendly game of Texas Hold-em with friends when I
lived in a camp trailer in the middle of a field in the winter in North Dakota.

There were two aces on the table and I had two aces in my hand.
I had a 4 of a kind. My buddy had cards which gave him a full house.
He would have bet all his chips but like an idiot I told him that I had
a pair of aces in my hand and he folded.

(http://media0.giphy.com/media/enrq327a3sMIJAS5jA/source.gif)

They all gave me grief but I didn't care.

Udachi!

Bill
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: ML on December 17, 2019, 09:00:14 PM
Don't tell us you had 4 eights !!
Title: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: 2tallbill on December 18, 2019, 10:31:36 AM
Don't tell us you had 4 eights !!

Ok, I won't
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on December 22, 2019, 10:10:14 PM
LOL, what?

I thought it was aces and eights.  I'm glad Bill didn't have pocket 8's.  ;)
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on December 24, 2019, 01:02:41 PM
I'm currently waiting for a sandwich at a restaurant at Terminal E at Logan.  In about 14 hrs I'll be meeting T on Christmas day.

I wonder if she'll wear a big red bow... 8)
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: BillyB on December 24, 2019, 03:40:34 PM
I wonder if she'll wear a big red bow... 8)


Hopefully the bow is on her and not on some boring voucher good for at the borscht of the month club.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: msmob on December 24, 2019, 09:45:10 PM
I'm currently waiting for a sandwich at a restaurant at Terminal E at Logan.  In about 14 hrs I'll be meeting T on Christmas day.

I wonder if she'll wear a big red bow... 8)

 :ROFL:

SC will ( hopefully) be in Germany to meet me in a few hours ... and has made a dress with the  mandatory bow - a feature of all her dresses... 


Russians call bows, Butterflies....  babochki  (бабочки)   They look must beautiful when set free !;)

Enjoy


Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on January 13, 2020, 06:28:35 PM
Back home.

I was supposed to return on Jan 8, but stayed two more days and returned on Jan. 10.  The change fee for the airfare was about $330, but the ticketing agent threw me a bone and gave me a free upgrade to premium economy on the return leg from Frankfurt airport to Boston.

I spent a little over two weeks, but time flew by.

T wasn't at the airport when I landed.  Her train arrived a couple hours prior, and she only had time to check into our hotel and catch the airport express train.  I walked over to the train station and bought 2 tickets - T was in the 2nd train car when it arrived.

We spent a couple days in Kyiv before taking the overnight train to Zaphorizhzhia.  The first night we went to the Odessa restaurant and had a nice dinner (on Christmas day - Dec 25).  I had grilled seabass with asparagus and T had brick grilled chicken.  Both dishes were great.

There was a group of women at the next table - girls' night out or a bridal shower?  At one point a guy came over dressed as blue santa clause - Grandfather Frost.  He even had a bag of gifts to hand out.  A few of the ladies took turns sitting on his lap to take selfies.  Perhaps some told him whether they were naughty or nice.

The next day we went shopping for a gift for Dad - a thermopot.  I checked online and found a nice model at Rozetka.  We took an uber to the store to pick it up, and while there got a few more things - a hand blender and electric toothbrush for T, and a laptop cooling pad for Nephew M.

That evening we went to the Last Barricade restaurant to meet T's friend Yana for dinner.  The restaurant prided itselft for having Ukrainian dishes and only Ukrainian dishes, as well as only Ukrainian drinks.  We shared 3 bottles of sparking wine between us as we ate, chatted and listed to a two person band playing Ukrainian instruments.  The only thing that spoiled the theme was the music selection - they played instrumental versions of Adele.  lol.

Toward the end of our stay at the restaurant the girls went out to smoke - for Yana to smoke and T to keep her company.  They spoke to the waiter about it, and for him to bring the check.  As they walked out the waiter came to me to explain (in good english) that the girls were going out to smoke and that I was to pay the dinner bill - was that OK with me?  I said, yes, of course (Da, kanyeshna).  I found it highly amusing.  Perhaps the restaurant was weary of dating scams?  I did appreciate that they looked out for me.)))

After midnight we took the metro to Yana's apartment. We stopped at a small grocery store to get rum, tequila, orange juice and pepsi.  I think we got to her apartment at around 1 AM.  We met Yana's husband there - Mike. He was a spitting image of Tsar Nicholas II, including the right style of beard.  Well, a ripped Nicholas.  Mike is a personal fitnes trainer, and he was/is on a restrictive diet to lose the last few grams of body fat he had left for a body building competition in February. 

He didn't join us for dinner because he had to get up at 5 AM for an appointment with a client at the gym.  But he stayed up with us, and he and I chatted while polishing off the teguila and rum.  That part of the evening is fuzzy.  Mike spoke english pretty well, and we must have discussed some interesting things.  I remember Yana playing music from a tablet and more drinking.  And then an Uklon back to our hotel at around 4 AM.

I didn't get up until way past checkout time - the hotel was nice enough to let us stay in the room. They charged for the extra hours at a prorated rate.  T texted Yana, and found out Mike got about 30 minutes sleep before going to the gym.  He was toasted but soldiered on with the training that morning. 

This was Friday, Dec 27.  We checked out at 3PM and took the metro to a salon for a 4PM appointment.  T had her hair cut and treated while I got a pedicure.  This time the pedicure only took about an hour, so I waited while T was finishing up.  They offered tea, which I gladly accepted.  I watched the other stations - on one a lady was getting her hair dyed, and at another a lady was getting makeup put on.  The girl doing the makeup was very attractive and seemed familiar.   After we left I realized that I might have seen her on TV - one of the programs on channel 1+1 or 2+2, the 2 main channels T watches.

We went to a nearby restaurant for dinner - Kachapuri and Wine.  Worst restaurant I have experienced in Ukraine.  The food wasn't bad (except the lamb), but the service was slow and items overpriced for the portions.  I ordered the rack of lamb - 45 minutes later I got a plate of mostly empty space and 5 mini lamb chops that were fried or boiled beyond death.  The meat on the bones were about the size of my thumbnail.  We should have suspected something when the menu didn't list portion sizes like in all the other restaurants we visited.

We didn't have much time left, so we went back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and took an Uklon to the train station.  I had about 30 minutes to go to KFC to get some chicken for take out and stopped at a kiosk for some bottles of water.  A few minutes later we boarded our train to Zap.





Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: BillyB on January 13, 2020, 10:09:25 PM
I had about 30 minutes to go to KFC to get some chicken


Did it taste like KFC back home? Did it even taste like chicken? I went to McDonalds in Kiev and the beef they used was different.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on January 14, 2020, 04:34:50 AM
KFC tasted fine, like here.  Same spices.  I got a bucket of chicken legs - drumsticks.  They were huge.  I think the chicken is sourced elsewhere.

Beef tends to be very lean over there.  That is, if it is actual beef.  Veal is more common.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: Lily on January 14, 2020, 07:46:22 AM
 :clapping: Congratulations T and Steve! More beautiful women for Boston!
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on January 14, 2020, 05:26:07 PM
Dec 28:

Our train arrived at Zap at 6 AM.  I didn't get much sleep - it was too warm for me.  T slept ok, which was more important.  I waited with the luggage as T took a taxi to get her car, which she parked a few blocks away.  When she arrived her Mitsubishi Lancer looked nicer than what I remembered - she had some body work done, had rust removed, got a protective undercoat applied and a new paintjob.

She drove the rest of the way to her city, which was a little over 3 hours away.  This time we took the new road that was finished in the summer - it was much better than the nightmare road between Zaphorizhzhia and Berdyans'k, which we took last winter.

We got to the city and stopped at Metro to get some groceries and some alcohol (Baileys, rum, beer, and sparkling wine).  Afterwards we got to her new apartment.  Last year T broke her lease on her old apartment when she moved to be with me here.  So when she moved back in May, she had to get a new apartment.  And go around to her friends and family to get her thing back (that she gave away).  The new place was a lot better - it was on the 1st floor instead of the 4th floor.  )))

It was still close to the city center, but on a different side from her old apartment.  We unpacked the car with the help of Dad and her Nephew M.  Her dad was there to watch over M while T went to Kyiv to meet me.  Communal parenting - T's mom or dad comes over to watch over nephew when T needs to travel to her business or elsewhere.  Normally it's not a bid deal, but Mom and Dad still live in the separatist area of Donetsk, and need to go through each side's checkpoints every trip.

Nephew seemed a lot better since I last saw him.  T has provide a stable home, enrolled him in university (he turned 17 in Nov), and signed him up for extra english lessons twice a week.  He seemed calmer and happier, and even has a steady girlfriend.

Dad was dad.  He drives T nuts.  He is living the fully retired life by spending his time in pajamas playing Call of Duty on the laptop I got for Nephew.  Nephew doesn't mind because he still prefers to game on his smartphone.  When T asked Dad to help out with something simple, like boiling potatoes (for 1 hour and not more), he forgot and let it overcook.  I think he messes up on purpose to not be asked to help out again.  lol.

He's great to me, though.  Very friendly and open to discussing whatever.

T got soup prepared, and let it simmer as we headed out by foot to the center.  I noticed a lot of improvements from last year.  They had a few streets closed off to traffic to set up a pedestrian friendly shopping zone, and had a christmas market set up.  There were more decorations and even a temporary outdoor skating rink at the park.  As we passed one building, T pointed to a sign on the balcony of the top floor corner apartment.

She said the sign was advertising that the apartment was for rent.  It was the same apartment T tried to rent back in June.  She said the owner was a little strange.  He renovated the place but had it sparsely furnished.   He wanted $400 per month.  In US dollars.  When T tried to negotiate, and offered him the equivalent in grivnas, the owner refused.  He countered by saying would accept UAH, but adjusted every month to equal exactly $400 on the day of the rent.  Then T offered more - 12,000 UAH - more than enough to cover for currency fluctuations.  He still refused.

The apartment T rents now is 11,000 UAH.  T pointed out the guy has lost out on 6 months rent so far - 72,000 UAH.  She browsed the local real estate listings, and noticed that the guy had lowered the rent to 7,000 UAH recently.  She thought about moving, but said the apartment, though larger, has an awkward layout.  And she really likes the one she's in now.

We walked back home, had the soup for dinner, and went to bed early.  It was a long day.  Dad was still playing COD.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on January 20, 2020, 11:49:50 AM
Dec 29 to Dec 31

Nothing much interesting happened from Sunday to Tuesday.  We went around the city trying to find prime rib for me to make on New Year's eve.  A couple weeks ago I asked T to go to the supermarket and ask about ordering the prime rib for the holiday, but she was sure they could get it for us in a day or two.  No joy.  I noticed the stores don't carry beef, other than pre-packaged steaks or ground beef (rarely).  On Monday night we got a 6 bone piece of prime veal, instead.  Best we could do.

There was a surprise waiting for me on Sunday afternoon.  T set up several spa treatments for my NY's gift.  The first was the pedicure on Friday.  I needed it. The lady went to town with a grinding tool (like a dremel) to power sand down the cracked calluses on my heals.  On Sunday T took me to her cosmetologist.  I was in for a 90 minute face and neck treatment.  At the end, when they asked me what facial cream I use, I stared blankly at them.  Facial cream?  Isn't soap good enough?  I use dove - it has moisturizers in it.  It says so on the box, and in the commercials.

I was mildly admonished and given two small samples for me to try - one based on aloe to be used after shaving, and one based on snails to be used on non-shaving days.  One was green and one was pink.

On Monday T took me to her spa, where she set up a 2 hour body rub and massage treatment for me.  The lady had the room romantically decorated with candles and rose petals.  I was a bit hesitant, especially when T stayed back in the lobby and it was just me and the massage therapist.  She told me to take off everything and gave me a disposable underwear to put on.  It was a paper g-string.  Man-string?  D-string?

I got on the table, and the first thing was a body scrub.  The lady was not shy - she scrubbed my legs and went really close to little Stevie.  Next was a body wrap - she applied special cream, wrapped me in plastic wrap, and covered me with a weighted and heated blanket.  After 10-15 minutes she returned, unwrapped me and told me to rinse off at the adjacent room with a tub.  It was a bit awkward because there was no shower curtain.  I just kneeled down in the tub and used the hand shower wand to get the soap/scrub/cream off the best I could.  She gave me a fresh paper D-string to change into.

The last bit was a 60 minute body massage.  At the end I was as relaxed as ever.  I could have slept on that table.  It was hard getting up and getting dressed to go out to the cold again.

Monday was also the day Mom arrived from Donetsk.  After looking at her car, I understood one of the reasons for the bad roads - studded snow tires, like on Mom's car.  It's fine if the country/state keeps up with road maintenance in the spring and summer, but not fine if the roads are neglected for a few years.

Mom's arrival marked the begging of a two day cooking marathon.  T has a small kitchen, and only 2 frying pans and 2 cooking pots.  After each dish was cooked, the pots and pans were washed, dried, and set to cooking the next dish.  T made hummus from scratch, as well as Olivia and Fur Coat salads (they replaced herring with smoked chicken, in order for me to enjoy as well).  Mom made a couple of pork dishes, including one with dried plums and cherries stuffed in pork cutlet rolls.  Also mushrooms, potatoes, and another salad.

T booked an apartment at a nearby building for her parents to stay the next few days.  On Monday night Mom and Dad went to the apartment.  Nephew M went out with his girlfriend, and then texted for permission to stay overnight at her place.  I told T it might not be a good idea, but she overruled me.  She pointed out that if Nephew stayed out, we would have the place to ourselves, and that she didn't have to worry about anyone coming into our bedroom (the door did not have a lock).  She made a very convincing argument.

On Tuesday the cooking resumed, with the dishes finalized.  I seasoned and roased the prime rib/veal. We had a great dinner, with one little controversy that I was not aware of until a couple days later. 

T's uncle called Dad, and we had a nice videochat with everyone.  The first thing I said to him was "Zdradvutsche, Z novim  rokim!"  T's uncle and his wife was very animated - I thought they were celebrating my brilliant russian.  It was a couple days later, when T was talking about it to her friend Julia, that she mentioned how she was amused by me speaking Ukrainina to her russian uncle (he lives in Kaliningrad).  Apparently they thought that T was corrupting me and making me speak Ukrainian.

In my defense, I realized then that the russian phrase is Z novim godim.  But for the last week, while the TV was on, I kept hearing "Z novim rokim", so that's what I said, not thinking about how the official language for TV is Ukrainian. 

There was no real trouble.  Everyone thought it more funny than controversial.

Anyway, after midnight Nephew went out again to be with his girlfriend and plans to stay the night over there, and Mom and Dad went to their place.  T had on a nice dress for NY, and she showed me she had nicer things on underneath...


One of the better New Year's Eve I've had...

EDIT:  Typos
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: BillyB on January 20, 2020, 03:16:21 PM

I'm surprised the masseuse asked you to put on anything. Usually the birthday suit is all that's required. Next time refuse the paper G-string and tell her you're into saving trees.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on January 20, 2020, 10:43:43 PM
Jan 1 to Jan 4

New Years was great.  We had a fantastic time, eating, drinking, walking to the nearby christmas market to visit the stalls and the displays, and eating and drinking some more.

Mom and Dad went back to Donetsk on Jan 2.  Before she left, I heard from the next bedroom a heartfelt talk from Mom (to Nephew).  Apparently she was imparting wisdom and cautioning him to be a good boy, do well in school, try hard, and not bang his girlfriend without protection because she wasn't ready to be a great-grandmother.   That last part may or may not have occurred...

I met Nephew's girlfriend on Jan 2.  I teased him a bit, saying his girlfriend is imaginary because he promised to bring her by a couple of times before but didn't.  Nice girl, very quiet and somewhat shy.  We met, she said hello, and the two of them went to his bedroom to talk, browse the internet and watch videos on his smartphone.  He used his smartphone instead of his laptop, which I initially thought odd but realized that it made her get real close to him to see the small screen.  Brilliant, actually.

I didn't see the two of them until the next morning (she spent the night).  I made breakfast, and we all got ready to go to a nearby seaside town that was 30 km away to visit T's best friend Katya (and her family). 

In the summer T spends a lot of time at that town, enjoying the beach there.  I wondered why she didn't go to the beach in her city, until she showed me the beach.  The huge industrial plant nearby, and the rail lines for trains bringing supplies and transporting products makes the beach very unappealing. 

Nephew's girlfriend came with us, not to visit Katya, but because her parents live there.  I found out girlfriend lives with her grandmother in the city while attending university.

We quickly passed the military checkpoint leaving the city, which the guard checking our passports (Nephew and girlfriend had national ID cards instead of full passports) and waving us on.  We arrived in the evening and I didn't get a good look of the resort town as we dropped off the girlfriend and went to Katya's house.

At Katya's we were welcomed by the boys - her two sons and her two cane corso dogs.  Very friendly, especially the dogs.  One was an 8 month puppy, almost full size and full of puppy exuberance.  I met Katya's oldest son (Peter) last year, but it was the first time meeting her and her youngest, Akim.  Akim was quiet but friendly and curious.  I found out he collected lego toys, and had several Star Wars kits on his display case.  When I gave him his present - a Levi's tshirt with a stormtrooper on it, he promptly went up to his room and returned with a lego stormtrooper figure to show me.  His way of showing he liked the tshirt.

Katya and her mom had prepared roasted goose and baked fish - a huge fish from either the river or the sea, I forgot which.  During dinner T told me something new.  When she first joined Royaldating (the website alias in Ukraine for dmnotify), Katya's mom advised her which of the men that contacted T seemed nice or not nice.  I think T was on the site for a couple of weeks before I joined and contacted her.  Katya's mom advised T that I was worth considering - she thought I had kind eyes and liked the photos of me with my dogs.

So, I have Katya's mom to thank for helping us to get together.

After dinner we chatted and drank, and we spent the night.  Not in Akim's little race car bed, which T uses when she visits.  But in Peter's much larger bed, thankfully.

The next morning we had leftovers for breakfast, with some sausages, which look and taste like hot dogs.  When we got ready  to leave and packed the car, Katya and her mom showed us her property.  The main building is a 3 bedroom house and she had a large tracked of land.  Part of it was a garden that T helped create - T bought and delivered several plants and bushes.   The other part was partly marshland next to a small river and uncultivated land that Katya was planning to build on in the future.  They already had a new 3 unit building they were finishing to rent out in the summer.  They were dacha style units - just studio style spaces with private bathrooms, but no kitchen.  It has a separate unit as a communal indoor and out door kitchen - summer kitchen.

The day was overcast and dreary, but T drove us a different way out of town, that took us next to the beach.  We passed the town's main street with small stores and bars, all closed for the season.  The beach was definitely nicer than in her home city, but the weather prevented us from going out and walking along it.

When we got back, the checkpoint guard made us get out an go to the small shack to be verified on the computer.  Last year the guard captain gave us a bit of a hard time, but this time it was just a formality while they checked that there was no warrants or other concerns in the system.

We went home just in time to get ready for T to go pick up her sister and Nephew T from the train station.  We had about an hour to say hello again and exchange presents before T and I had to leave. 

I loaded the car with all my things and one bag for T.  We drove off to Svyatohirs'k.  As we left the city, this time toward the NE on the road to Donetsk, the checkpoint guards made us get out and be verified at the guardhouse.  Again.  T mentioned that she thought it happened to us today, both times, because she didn't smile at the guard when showing him our passports.   She may be right - at the next two checkpoint the guards waved us on. T smiled both times.

We arrived well after nightfall.  T explained her family spent most summers in that town when she was growing up.  She loved the place, and rented 2 houses there to bring her friends and family on her 30th birthday.

T had some trouble finding the place we were staying.  She drove close to where she thought it was.  After calling the property, she found out we were off by one street. 

The place was a complex of vacation cabins.  T rented a three bedroom unit for 3 nights.  Our friends from Kharkiv arrived before us.  It was great to see Vova and Julia again.   Vova cooked up some wild venison sausages and we spent the evening eating and drinking.  Julia can drink - she can easily drink me under the table.  And she's smaller than all of us, even smaller than T (by a bit - a few kg).  We ended up going to bed at around 2 AM.

Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: SteveInBoston on January 21, 2020, 07:43:36 PM
Jan 5 - Jan 6

My first impression of Svyatohirs'k was that it reminded me of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  It didn't look anything like it, but there were a lot of small, independent hotels and rental cottages there, which I guess is why it felt like Gatlinburg to me.

After breakfast we headed to the cave monastery - the centerpiece of the town.  We went on foot, passing the small town center along the way.  For a bit of the walk I chatted with Julia.  I found out she also spent a lot of time in the town, but only during summers.  That, and from other bits of conversation with T and others, I discovered that T and her friends were all from upper middle class families in Donetsk.  The conflict of 2014 caused most of them to leave, mostly to Kharkiv and Kyiv.  T is about the only one who stayed close by.   Their parents moved if they were still young and working, but mostly stayed if they were retired.

A couple of times something cause Julia to mention song phrases.  I had no what she was referring to, but T, who walked a little ahead with Vova, responded with the next verses.  Both times they were Queen songs, which T and Julia knew by heart.  They knew all Queen songs, or just about all.  I think T knows more - Julia doesn't know some of Freddy Mercury's solo songs.

We stopped at the tourist center just before the bridge to the monastery.  I noticed a familiar symbol - McDonalds!  But... the golden arches were upside down...  It was a MacBurger place, which was clearly a rip off of the McD logo and color scheme.  Inside, the place was more of a convenience store than a fast food joint.

T went inside to get a hot dog to feed a homeless kitten that was playing with a ball of lint.  When I started feeding it, another cat came over.  Both were well behaved for street cats - they didn't fight each other for food but instead patiently waited for me to give each a bit of the hot dog. 

T and Julia got some souvenirs and we headed back.  It was about an hour walk to get there, and with the hour walk back we had our exercise for the day.  We needed to get some groceries and water, so we stopped at the producty store in town.

That evening I helped Vova build the fire at the outdoor grill.  We didn't use charcoal - instead we used bundled firewood.  After the wood burned down to coals, we grilled veggies in a wire basket and kebabs of pork and vegetables on shashlik sticks.

The girls prepared the side dishes, and our evening of eating and drinking began.  Julia was able to get Youtube working on the TV (it had a smart cable box).  T put on traditional soviet christmas cartoons.  T said of all the TV and movies produced during soviet times, the cartoons were mostly free of propaganda and state censorship.  The cartoons we watched had minimal dialog. 

One was about a dog that gets kicked out by its cosssack owner, and an old wolf comes over and speaks with him.  Then the wolf sneaks into the village while the people prepare to celebrate christmas.  The wolf spots a baby next to a distracted woman and takes it.  The women cry and wail, and the men hunt for the wolf and the baby.  The dog jumps out at a planned moment, pretend to fight the wolf, chase it off, and bring the baby back to the men.  The dog is treated as a hero.  After the men and women go to a large home for dinner, the dog spots the old wolf at the edge of the woods, looking feeble and hungry.  He goes over to the wolf, tell him something, and they sneak into the house.  The wolf sits quietly under the dining table as the dog goes around snatching food for him.  Then, one of the women spots the wolf, everyone panicks, and the dog acts the "hero" again by barking and chasing the wolf out of town.  The wolf thanks the dog, the wolf goes away and the dog returns to the village.

After the few cartoons T wanted to show me, she then switched to episodes of Jeeves and Wooster.  An old british comedy show, with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.  It was in russian with no subtitles, but I got the gist of the stories.  But it was hard to appreciate the humor without the dialog and punchlines.

Vova and Julia showed us photos of their recent trip to Germany.  Vova has some distant relatives he reunited with.  At one point Julia turned to me and said "Germans know how to drink".  )))

Vova went to bed early - he was up since 5AM, when he went out to get the firewood.  I lasted a couple of hours more but was tired and had to go to bed.  The girls drank and chatted through the wee hours of the night.

Next morning we got up late and had some leftovers for breakfast.  T wanted us to tour the monastery and it's "caves", which were more tunnels dug into the small cliffside than actual caves.  This time I drove us, because the other three decided to drink early (bloody marys).  I had to be sober for the next couple of days. 

On the hilltop next to the monastery was a statue of a soldier - a soviet officer.  T told me he was the great oppressor - someone who enforced soviet "values" by burning down churches and monasteries.  I thought it was odd that there was a statue of him next to a historic monastery.  The statue was in a cubist style - a lot of angles, with trapezoidal shoulders and, oddly, hexagonal breastplates.  It actually looked like the character M. Bison for the streetfighter video games.  I told the guys about it, and showed them M.Bison photos.  They agreed - it did look like the video game character.

The monastery was nice - orthodox decorations and paintings.  T had to be "modest" by covering her head/hair and hips (with a wrap she brought for the occasion).  Julia just used the hood on her jacket, which was also long enough to cover her hips.  Vova and I had to "show respect" by uncovering our heads.  I can see how this causes the women to have an advantage in winter.

We went through the "caves" to the top of the monastery and enjoyed the great view of the river valley and town.  It was icy at the top of the hill, and the guide let us go off on our own to take the long way back instead of going back down through the caves/tunnels.

Nearby at the hilltop there was a large wooden church, which the Vova and Julia used as backdrops for selfies.  I was cold, and so was T (she only had on a sweater and a down vest).  We went ahead to head back down to get to the car.  At the bottom T and Julia went to another souvenir store to look for something to get for my friends, who were watching my dogs while I was away.

I got the car warmed up and drove it to the store as Vova and the girls came out.  They didn't see or get anything special.

That evening I cooked - a boyscout meal I used to make when I was a kid.  A ground beef patty, with sliced potatoes and onions, seasoned and wrapped in aluminum foil and placed right in the wood fire coals.  Simple and tasty.  But...the ground beef I got was more like lean chopped beef.  It was dry and tough, but decent tasting.  With some sauce, it was edible.

We also had more veggies that we grilled, and more leftovers from the previous evening.  T put on Jeeves and Wooster again.  Another evening of eating and drinking, except I stuck with water and coke.

For some reason Julia and I started talking about online dating, specifically western men and FSU women.  I showed her some youtube videos about the romance tours, specifically the one with the guy from the DC area who spent around $10,000 chatting with a 25 year old who looked like young angelina jolie. 

In that video he got pissed when she didn't show up in the social, but AFA got her to come the next morning to meet him.  He stated he was suspicious when he showed him photos of his life and it seemed it was the first time she saw them.  He proposed to her at that meeting, and she accepted.  The video picks up weeks or months later, interviewing the guy in his home back in DC.  He said it didn't work out with the girl, but that's ok, because he's now chatting with a hot 22 year old.   The interviewer asks him if he is just communicating with a picture, which the guy then seems to agree.

Anyway, back to the trip - Julia told me something.  She is a manager at a hotel in Kharkiv, and she says sometimes she sees arranged meetings between western men and ukrainian women.  I think these are from local marriage agencies in Kharkiv.  She mentioned that the "matches" seemed ludicrous most times.  Old or overweight or old and overweight men meeting young and pretty girls.

She also said she has some single friends, mostly all single moms, that she would like to match up with good western men.  I didn't go much into it with her, because T and I both share the view that what we did are private decisions, and that it was up to us to meet and make things work.  We feel uncomfortable trying to act as matchmakers.  So I told Julia that she should tell her friends to sign up to the websites that seemed legitimate - dmnotify, fdating and Elena's models.

Anyway, we all went to bed early this time, because we had to check out and had long drives the next day.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: ML on January 22, 2020, 08:47:26 AM
  She mentioned that the "matches" seemed ludicrous most times.  Old or overweight or old and overweight men meeting young and pretty girls.

She also said she has some single friends, mostly all single moms, that she would like to match up with good western men.  I didn't go much into it with her, because T and I both share the view that what we did are private decisions, and that it was up to us to meet and make things work.  We feel uncomfortable trying to act as matchmakers.  So I told Julia that she should tell her friends to sign up to the websites that seemed legitimate - dmnotify, fdating and Elena's models.


You missed a chance to try to educate someone.

FSU women are foolish when they think that a good looking, successful man of 25 years of age is going to go to FSU to find a woman of age 21-25.
Such a man will find plenty of desirable women in his home country without the substantial cost and time expended going to economically challenged countries.

It is the older, unattractive, short, balding, overweight man from western countries who have the financial means that is going to go to FSU and elsewhere to find a younger (or some other criteria) woman that he cannot attract in his home country.

Yes, yes . . . I know there are exception (as with many 'most' of the men here) . . . but the above will encompass 90% of the situations.
Title: Re: Newly Joining the Married Club: Steve and T
Post by: msmob on January 29, 2020, 03:44:26 AM
Your speak for yourself, ML..

I can think of MANY guys who do not fit even one of those criteria than met and married a FSU lass and cases where the age difference is minimal or the lady is older.

These examples are surely  not rare enough to be 'exceptions'...