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Author Topic: Trip Report/Introduction  (Read 1641 times)

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Offline rmcmonty

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Trip Report/Introduction
« on: February 06, 2019, 08:43:47 AM »
This is by way of an Introduction and TR.

My Russian Wife

My previous girlfriend of 10 years and I had broken up. I was back living in my condo and she lived at her, relatively, new home. I wasn’t devastated over the breakup but, as always, brought the crisis upon myself making sure the girl broke up with me instead of visa versa.
To regress just a bit. While I was stationed at the Naval Alcohol Rehabilitation Center in San Diego, CA, as an “Alcoholism Treatment Specialist,” I had separated from my then wife. I was called into Pete’s office, Pete was a MSW and basically ran the Training Department for the ARC. To make a long, long story short, Pete asked if I trusted the 3 other men in the office? Yes, I said, I trust you all with my life! He then asked If I would agree to a plan without knowing what it was? It seemed a little weird for me to actually agree to something I haven’t heard yet but, knowing the 4 men in the office and trusting them 100% I agreed!
Pete went on to say: You will not have a “relationship with a woman in any way, shape or means for one full year from today! He also stated that I couldn’t date or have sex at all for a year. The year was for ME to work on ME and to figure out what I wanted and needed in a relationship.” I asked a few questions that today, I can’t remember! But since I agreed, it was law as far as I was concerned. I write this just as an explanation about what was going to happen to me in the future and how I came to meet and marry my Russian wife.
Now fast forward to the year 2001. In further future relationships I have always ascribed and lived the 1 year rule as set down by Pete and the others. In January of 2001, I decided that American women and I did not get along so well! The 10 years that I had spent with my “old” girlfriend (who was 15 years younger than I was) and I didn’t have the same goals and what we both wanted in a relationship.
I had been married 3 times in a “past life,” and was not that all excited about having a fourth wife to support! I told (Who I will call CG) that under no circumstances would I marry her. I also told her that I couldn’t have children and additionally, that “I had tried being a father but found out I wasn’t very good at it. For clarification, I was dating a woman who I had gotten pregnant and decided to get a vasectomy so I wouldn’t put another woman in the situation of having her make the decision about whether to keep the child or not. Hence the reason I could not father any more children.
That’s enough of the past. In or around January or February of 2001 (I was alone for a full year!) I had remembered being on an Alaska Patrol and we had the opportunity to board the Russian Commissar’s flag ship. I had to go along on the boarding and my job was to “talk with the Russian radio officer.” When we got on deck our mouths dropped open. We had all figured the movies we had seen about Russian women were true. They all supposedly looked like they could play an Offensive or Defensive Lineman in the NFL! The women we saw were, mostly, very beautiful.
OK, back to Vegas and what I did in January of 2001! Remembering my Russian exposure, I decided to hit the internet and do some research on FSU women. I first tried the Ukrainian sites and found many, many beautiful women there. I even managed to write a few of them. Being 48 and having had a 15 year age difference with CG, I decided to try and find a woman closer to my own age.
One day I fell onto a BLOG about FSU women. The commenter of this BLOG was a US Male and made sense to me. He basically said in the BLOG (here comes a generalization but they are his words I just followed them!) was, that some men shouldn’t go to a big city to find a woman for possible marriage or dating but that the smaller towns, village, or small cities may be more interesting. The gist of his message was, or I interpreted it as “the women in smaller towns are more genuine and are not as ‘spoiled’ as the big city women.” Please don’t shoot the messenger I didn’t write the blog!
The BLOGGER did mention the city of Yoshkar-Ola and said that he found his wife there. Since I was looking, and the Odessa women didn’t seem authentic to me, I looked into Yoshkar-Ola and found “Maxim’s Agency.” No, I’m not plugging his agency because it has since closed months or a year after Maxim’s death.
I went to the agency’s page and looked at the profiles of most of the women. I decided to keep a seven to eight year spread in my searches. See age difference with CG and me (15 years if you’ve forgotten by now!) I didn’t jump right in, mind you, after being alone for a year I did have time to look around and see who I could possibly find. I didn’t write to any except one! I started writing to one lady I saw and would keep going back to her over and over. Still a little suspicious and not really knowing about Russian women, I decided to do more research on them. Being a retired Chief Radioman in the U.S. Coast Guard I figured I had a nose for fake women. Not to sound too egotistical, I have been around the world several times and when I worked at the ARC’s Training Department I had to travel to teach 2 week classes to train, what they called back then “Collateral Duty Alcohol Advisors.” That travelling around, I believe, allowed me to see what women in other countries were about.
In March 2001, having done my research and felt ready and able to write the lady that interested me the most, I dove in and wrote to her via Maxim’s site! I can’t say if doing it the way I did gave me a better chance of success or not. I think it boils down to what makes a person comfortable or not. Being me,  being brought up with a father who had very strict ways about things or behaviors in life as in lying for example. He told me never to lie because if I did, two things would happen:
1.   I would get nailed or in simpler words punished for the act and would get punished harder for the lie and the 2nd one, which made me sit up and take notice was:
2.   He would never believe another word that came out of my mouth!
Pretty hard to imagine your own father wouldn’t believe you!
So, I didn’t want to have to explain to a woman I was interested in that I was also communicating with other women. Whether this is right, wrong or indifferent, I had to be honest even to the point where if I was corresponding with other women, I would take the risk of possibly missing out on a possible happy marriage. But I am just me no more no less. So, I wrote her. I think I went through several drafts of the letter. I was honest about my circumstances, job, background and ethnicity. It turned into a medium to long letter. Hit “SEND” and it was off! Now the hard part started. Waiting for, if any, reply from said lady!
In the two or three days it took to receive an answer from her, I got up for work, looked at my email, went to work, came back and looked at my email. Slept, woke up and looked at my email. Then, I got what I was waiting for, a response!!!





 


 
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 11:15:31 AM by rmcmonty »

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2019, 10:34:37 AM »
Part II
It was great to read a response from my future wife. I already knew from her profile that she had a 20 year old daughter and she knew I had a son from a previous marriage. As a thought here, my wife having a 20 year old daughter wasn’t that bad. I knew that if things followed a logical progression and we married she couldn’t come and live with us because she would be turning 21 in July and this was March. Our letters came quickly from then on. After writing the second letter and reading TR’s on Maxim’s site about how much money single women there made was mind blowing to me.
I made the decision to contact Maxim’s and to pay for all her correspondence and have them translated on paper instead of having someone read them to her. I think she told me she was making about 50 USD per month at that time and there were times she didn’t get paid. So, I felt OK with paying for her and my letters back and forth.
Funny thing thinking about the past with her. After I had gone to Yoshkar Ola in July 2001 and came back to Vegas, I got a phone call from her and she was crying. I asked her what was wrong, thinking her father had died, but she said she didn’t want to tell me. I finally got her to tell me what was wrong and she did. Basically, she told me she needed money because she didn’t get paid.  My brain went into overdrive and I remember saying to myself…”Here it comes, the big hook!” I steadied myself and asked “how much do you need?” She cried even harder and said “10 USD.” Sigh of relief on my part. I told her that sending 10 USD to her would cost more than the 10 USD, so I told her I would just send 100 USD and that should carry her over till she got paid.

One day I was looking Maxim’s and discovered that MW’s (AKA My Wife. Thanks to 2tall bill,) birthday was after I first wrote to MW so I sent her flowers belatedly. Then it was International Women’s day and Valentine’s Day. Think I overdid this? Sure did. I feel she really got to me after 2 letters. The third letter really blew me away. She told me in the letter, which to me, told me volumes about her, that she felt that I was the man she had been waiting for all her life. It may seem corny to some or spooky to some but for me, I felt she took a huge risk coming out like that so soon after we had started corresponding. Later she told me she felt that and wanted to tell me she was worth it or that’s what I chose to believe.
I had made up my mind I was going to Yoskhar Ola to meet her since I knew that her getting a tourist visa was slim to none in 2001 and why go through the trouble only to get shot down in flames? I told her I wanted to come to her in November. It should be noted that I didn’t get a huge response on that. She told me later that unless she could hold my hand, promises didn’t count because she had been promised a man would come to meet her several times. Hmmm 18 years later, she was still waiting for the men to come and meet her and they never did!!!


A few weeks into our writing to each other, I decided to “buy” her phone number from Maxim’s. 10 USD for a phone number, go figure but it was worth it. I decided to call one day and my daughter picked up the phone. Very interesting. She spoke no English, though she knew a few words. From what I gathered MW was at her cousins house and my daughter would call her and told me to call back in 60 minutes (I think.)

I wanted to go meet her so one day I talked to my boss and told her if she wouldn’t let me go, I’d quit! She let me for 2 weeks only. I told her in a letter that I would be coming mid-July.

More to follow


« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 11:11:46 AM by rmcmonty »

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2019, 11:01:54 AM »
First time I heard her voice was great. Only thing was she couldn’t speak a word of English!! She did have a Russian/English dictionary and would look up words while we spoke. Since I speak little or no Russian, It was a mess trying to communicate. She kept saying “shas skagu.” Which means “now I will tell.” After she looked up the word 😊

I wanted to go meet her. I told her in a letter that I would be coming mid-July. There was much to do before the 1st trip. I had to arrange flights, find out where we would stay, who would pick me up at SVO and did she want to come to Moscow to meet me? Where would I stay In Yoshkar Ola. You know all the little things that could and would go wrong even with the best planning. I also had to shop, which I hate and get someone to take me to the Airport in Vegas and pick me up at LAX and transport my butt to the International terminal with all my “stuff” I was bringing.

Quick thought about MW and her daughter. People who know me ask: Why do you call her YOUR daughter? You really only have a natural son? She is, in reality your step-daughter. My usual reply, is and was: I’ve been a step child and really didn’t like the label. To be honest I love her as much as if she had my own blood in her veins. She’s a wonderful woman and has blessed MW and I with 2 beautiful grandchildren, a boy and a girl.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 11:11:19 AM by rmcmonty »

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2019, 12:13:15 PM »
Continuing long story

July finally arrived! I was all ready to go. I didn’t know what I was going to encounter but what the hell. MW and I spoke on a regular basis, both phone and written. I will tell you, back then, and maybe even today, I spent a bunch of money buying phone cards. MW didn’t have a computer or cell phone back then so our correspondence was phone card or Maxim!

Prior to leaving Vegas, there were a few “housekeeping” things that needed to be dealt with. About a month before I was going to leave we needed to figure out where to stay in Moscow, get Maxim to arrange a guide to pick MW from the train station and get her to SVO and pick me up, take me to exchange money, then deliver us to the hotel. MW decided that the Hotel Arbat would be the best choice. In a letter we spoke about what type of room we should get or how many rooms! She told me we both were older and not kids so “I think one would do,” was her answer.

There was another big issue to deal with. Where would I stay in Yoshkar Ola? She told me her parents were going to their Dacha soon and would be spending the entire summer there. So, we would be staying in her parents two room apartment. Our daughter would stay at MW’s apartment. Then I got a bright idea. I called and asked her how the hell was she going to get Mamma and Poppa to the dacha? Pop had Parkinson’s disease and had to be helped everywhere. He basically couldn’t walk. So, I decided to call Makim’s (I was getting pretty well known there, for getting things I needed done for her and I.) I had them call MW and she would arrange a car to pack them up and move both of them to the dacha. As a side note, their dacha was about 45 minutes out of town and when the bus dropped them off it was about a mile walk to the actual house. No way MW, daughter, Momma could have done it alone! MW arranged it all on the phone and I just paid 😊

I had a female friend from work I’ll call Lucy, pick me up at my house and transport me to the Vegas airport. I also had my step-father meet me at LAX to drive me to the International terminal due to all the bags I was taking. The flight from LAS to LAX was uneventful until I reached the international terminal. I chose Aeroflot because they were the only international carrier I knew of that still allowed smoking on the flight.

I hated flying anywhere. Not that I was afraid of a crash or foreign pilot at the yoke. I had 2 ships in the CG try and kill me in Alaska so my father’s words came back to me: If it’s your time to go, you can hide under a rock and it will fall and kill you. Fear didn’t enter the picture, I just hated being cooped up in a tube flying 10K miles to where I want to go!

My first introduction to Russian Culture awaited me when I tried to check in at the Aeroflot counter. The “back and forth” lines were full of Russians and I couldn’t get through with the majority butting in front of me. Welcome to Russia I thought. I finally made it to the counter and got checked in. I got an aisle seat and was ready for the 12+ hour flight. Funny, I thought that I spent most of my life training to fight the Russians. I had no idea what to expect. I’ve thought back that if I was still in the military and having a high security clearance I wouldn’t be allowed to go there. But after being retired 11 years it was ok now?

The flight itself was alright. The stewardess’ or should I have said the Flight Attendants were somewhat polite and I knew a few words in Russian and could say please and thank you. The meals were ok also. I was fine until we were about 30 minutes out from SVO then a thought crossed my mind! What if MW wasn’t there? What if I’m stuck in a foreign country and didn’t speak the language? I knew MW had made the train in YO. She got me a RT ticket in a 1st class compartment. She had to leave the night before I arrived so if she wasn’t on the train I think I would have known, or not! The thought came and went. My brow dried and I was ok again. I couldn’t believe that someone could get me to fly 12+ hours to a formerly hostile country and feel good about it! As the plane started to land, I felt the wheels hit the ground and then all the Russians started clapping, what’s up with that, I thought?

The next big surprise was clearing customs/immigration. For those of you who have landed in SVO, well, maybe things have changed since 2001. But walking through the airport then going downstairs to a somewhat dark, dingy room kind of unsettled me. I got stuck in a gaggle of people crushing the lines for Immigration. Back then, your visa wasn’t put in your passport. I remember it being a folded piece of paper with my picture on one and like 3 other copies they gave back. At any rate, I made it through unscathed and went out a door, I think, and tried to find my luggage.

After retrieving my luggage, what an ordeal, placing them on top, over my shoulder and wheeling them out the door into another throng of people, I started looking for MW. I walked down the “path” of passengers and heard my name being called. It was MW. I let my bags drop and went to her, hugging her and then, putting her at arms length, I took a good look at her she was more beautiful than her pictures. I knew I made the right choice for once in my life!
More to follow

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 01:10:58 PM »
Continuation

It was so good to be on the ground again. I forgot about the crowd around me and just focused on MW. Alexei was our driver/guide. We shook hands and we left SVO to change money. Alex said he knew the best place to change money and went in with me and did all the talking so I wouldn’t get ripped off or short changed. He was a good man. From the money changer to the Hotel we go! On the way he pointed out a few old “Tank Traps” and said this is where the Russian Army stopped the Nazi’s. Wow, I thought. SVO was outside of that spot! It was interesting to say the least.

The hotel was just off Arbat Street. I’ve always liked that hotel and if per chance I ever go back to Russia I will stay there again. Once inside, we checked in, they took my passport and visa to register it in Moscow and told me it would be ready again soon. It’s so long ago and I suffer from CRS. MW and I went to our room put the luggage down. It was hot in the room and we had, what I would call, a small portable A/C unit that barely worked. We decided to take a walk down Arbat Street before dinner and a good night’s sleep. I wanted to buy a bottle of Champagne, soda’s and some juice or as MW would say “SOK.”

It was almost time for dinner and the Hotel had a great restaurant. We both had Chicken Kiev and afterwards, off to sleep!

Alexei was due to pick us up at around 2:00 pm for some sightseeing and all. I did find Red Square very interesting but never got the chance to see Lenin’s Tomb. Seems it’s closed on Thursdays and I always arrived on a Wednesday night and we would wait for the train on Thursday so the Tomb was out!
The Moscow Metro was amazing. I loved the art on the walls and compared to the NY Subway it was a lot cleaner. I do remember that there were a few musicians playing stringed instruments outside some of the tunnels. The music was beautiful and I had to tip them for the sheer enjoyment I had listening to them. The most interesting part of Moscow was GUM. We walked inside of it and there was a pool inside that had in it, what I thought were real geese or swans. They were so lifelike until you got on top of them and saw they were made of wood. I still believe the cultural aspects of Russia were impressive.

Alexei picked us up and we drove around Moscow before heading to Kazanski Station. MW wanted to get something to bring on the train so we stopped at a magazine near the station. I had to remember to not ask for “gas” in my water but she figured that out and wouldn’t let me buy gassy water ever. On the way to the train we walked hand in hand and went to the track the train was leaving from. The female conductor for the car we were in was nice but appeared to be very capable of tossing someone off. She seemed interested in MW and I as a couple. She never asked so we didn’t tell

I can say very positively that some things in Russia may be broken but the trains are definitely not. If the train is scheduled to leave at 5:00 PM, the wheels are moving at exactly 5:00 PM.
Another thing that to this day I’m still shocked over is that in 2 trips I had no idea they had food on the train. On my 3rd trip there was a semi-dining car that I didn’t find out about till the Moscow bound trip after a friends wedding!

The train was nice, the compartment was comfortable the service was good. I was about to learn about, what I called “The Crystal Stop!” The Crystal Stop was a town whose major industry was making hand blown crystal items. MW told me she thought the people who worked at the various factories stole pieces of crystal and sold them to people on the trains. When the train pulled into the stop, all I could see out the window were people walking up and down the train with beautiful crystal items. So of course, MW and I decided to look. MW told me not to speak because she was afraid I would be mobbed by the crowd of vendors. She on the other hand wanted to look for a few things so I stayed on the steps of the car and smoked while she was looking. She came up to me and asked in English “how do you like this?” By this time I was on the platform finishing my cigarette when I was mobbed. I got back to the steps and the linebacker was there helping me on and blocking the crowd. We came away with a few items that were nice and some are still in our china/crystal cabinet. The rest were for presents when we arrived in YO. The train spent about 30 minutes or so there and then it was off again.

To Be Continued


« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 01:16:32 PM by rmcmonty »

Online 2tallbill

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 02:15:20 PM »
Continuing long story

Welcome to the Forum!!




Bill
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 03:52:05 PM by 2tallbill »
FSUW are not for entry level daters
FSUW don't do vague
FSUW like a man of action. Be a man of action 
If you find a promising girl, get your butt on a plane.
There are a hundred ways to be successful and a thousand ways to f#ck it up
Kiss the girl, don't ask her first.

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 02:19:35 PM »
Thanks Bill: Took me a few days to read your TR from 1st to last it was a good read

Online 2tallbill

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Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 03:54:17 PM »
Thanks Bill: Took me a few days to read your TR from 1st to last it was a good read

It was a nine year adventure to find Angel Eyes aka AE and I had a few speed bumps
along the way. There was some messy Antidate stuff etc but it was worth it!

Udachi!

Bill

FSUW are not for entry level daters
FSUW don't do vague
FSUW like a man of action. Be a man of action 
If you find a promising girl, get your butt on a plane.
There are a hundred ways to be successful and a thousand ways to f#ck it up
Kiss the girl, don't ask her first.

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 03:59:59 PM »
Bill: I read the anti-date posts. I don't post much since I got married in 2001. I ended up going back to YO in October of 2001. We got married in YO on 11/22/01. Great ride ever since. Longest relationship I've ever had but way worth it! I'm sure you can relate eh?
Take care
Monty

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2019, 06:51:54 AM »
The train spent about 30 minutes or so there and then it was off again. The ride was ok after the crystal stop. The only thing I didn’t really like was the stop (I can’t remember the name) where the “electric engine” had to be swapped for a diesel engine because the wires ended. If my memory is correct, it took about an hour to change the engines. It happened at night so we were probably sleeping when they did it!

At about 7:30 or 8 AM MW told me we were pulling into YO. We had tea earlier and gathered all our belongings and got ready for the arrival. One small part about the train. The restrooms we closed for about an hour outside of Moscow. When they opened I got a big surprise. The waste dropped right onto the tracks. There was also a tiny mop used for cleaning the bowl, I would imagine. I realized why they were closed for 1 hour. Funny saying goodbye to waste products as they hit the rails. Hopefully no one was standing near the tracks when someone was using the toilet!

Yoshkar Ola

As the train slowed down, entering the station at YO, MW was telling me all about her family. Although I knew much about her family, she told me again. She had an older sister with 3 girls, Mom and Pop, her cousin, and of course our daughter! As the train stopped, I could see MW waving out the window to a crowd of people! I recognized our daughter immediately but wasn’t sure who the others were in the throng who met us.

I was tired as I still hadn’t gotten over the jet lag and I don’t usually sleep well traveling. Getting off the train into that mob didn’t bother me, however, not speaking the language it was impossible to understand the “jabbering” I heard. MW coined the phrase “my family jabbers all the time!” I could have told her that I understood because jabbering in a family of all women is understandable.

It was a good reception at the station and MW had told me that Momma was making lunch at her apartment. Pop, I was told, stayed on the dacha and we would go out to meet him in a couple of days. After the introductions were made and I was hugged, shook hands with the men there and we all jumped into numerous cars and a mini-van someone had rented for the day!

We loaded our luggage into the vehicles and off we went to Mama’s place! Once we arrived at “Mama’s” place I was ushered upstairs and into the apartment. I think I was still in a state of shock. I was in a city about 600 miles from Moscow, 10,000 miles away from my home surrounded by people I couldn’t understand with MW who, was the only one who could, at least understand me a little and now at the apartment of her mother.

Upon entering I took off my shoes (as instructed by MW) and walked in. Having been to Japan several times, I knew about the shoe deal inside the house! Mama hugged me and shot off a string of very fast words that I had no idea what she said! MW tried to translate as well as she could. There were more people in the place I hadn’t seen before and was told that they were her aunt and some neighbors from the building her mother knew!

I had read about how bad the Russian toilet paper was so I brought a whole suitcase full of Charmin with me. That damn suitcase was only used for TP. Brought some booze from the USA, little gifts, a picture book of Las Vegas and other things I can’t remember. The TP caused a big to do when MW opened the suitcase and showed all the TP I had brought! From what I learned later, the women didn’t use it for what it was made for, they used it to wipe the makeup off their faces. They were running a few sheets over their faces in the apartment!

Another side track here. I didn’t drink alcohol in the US. I had been sober for from 1975 – 2001! I didn’t drink because I got stupid and got into a lot of trouble in the military when I did! MW forgot to tell me that if I didn’t tell the people immediately, I didn’t drink and they then offered me one, to refuse would be tantamount to spitting in their face, of so she said! Needless to say, and being stupid, I tried to match my brother-in-law and nephew, drink for drink. I lost! More of my stupidity will be told in later chapters of “War and Peace!”

I was freaked out by a few other things that day. I couldn’t smoke in the apartment but went to the stairwell and smoked. While there, two men came up carrying a coffin. I mean a real coffin, as in dying type! Talk about being freaked out! My brother told everyone, when we went back into the Apt., what had happened and it surprised no one. Mom said “Oh, little babooshka upstairs died!” My future daughter helped make the food and brought it to the table and kept giving me a sour look. 
I found out a few years later that she didn’t trust me at all back then. She was being very protective of MW and wanted to be sure that I wouldn’t hurt MW at all! However, that didn’t stop her and her cousins to steal my cigarettes on a daily basis! I guess American cigarettes were better than Russian cigarettes😊 I still kid her about that to this day!

After the feast was over and the presents were doled out everyone left including Mom. We had a chance to grab a nap, take a shower and just relax for a while!

Two days later, MW’s nephew drove us to the dacha. It was an interesting trip and the country around YO was beautiful. I remember MW going to the dacha all the time to get the snow into the water tank for summer and, generally keeping things up there.

For some reason I can’t explain even to this day, I found it necessary to ask her father’s permission to marry her. We talked about it a lot and I really couldn’t explain it. I had only asked one father’s permission to marry his daughter, that was back in 1976 and I had told him I had been married in the Catholic Church in 1974 but we divorced shortly after that. His only words to me were: “Get a divorce in the church and then you can marry my daughter!” Needless to say, I didn’t get a divorce sanctioned by the Catholic church but, we did get married by a Chaplin friend of mine and he even wore a “Roman Collar” to fool the relatives still in Ireland!
MK and I committed to each other in May of 2001. The thought of getting Pop’s permission was, to me, a sign of respect to him and to his daughter. I think about that sometimes and I come to the same conclusion. My conclusion was my father (who died in 1970) was born into a Southern Gentleman family. He was originally from the state of Georgia and was, at, all times, a gentleman. Me, on the other hand, unless he was around not that gentlemanly!

Once at the dacha, we walked around looking at all the land that was around it. They had 2 fields and I was told that Pop cleared all the land by himself and some of the neighbors helped. He built the cottage on the land out of trees he felled and then hewed them to fit. Kind of like our old pioneers in the 1800’s!

Mama was there and I told MW that I wanted to have Pop give us his blessing. She told him what I asked, and he said something to her I didn’t understand but, he was smiling. As soon as Pop finished talking, Mama brought over some Icons and made MW and I kiss them! I was officially engaged to MW!!!! I have never regretted getting Pop’s blessing.



The two weeks went by like a flash and I was back at SVO after a terrible trip by car from YO to Moscow courtesy of MW’s nephew! They took me to SVO and waited till I had to get on the plane and then headed back to YO. Leaving her was terrible but, I had told MW that I would be back in October and we would get married in YO and I would make arrangements for a 2 month leave of absence from work. The trip home was uneventful except for the 3 hour delay at SVO waiting for a plane coming in from India they waited for.

Back in Vegas, the day I came back to work, I talked to my boss and told her I needed a 2 month leave of absence and I had a candidate to replace me for the time I would be gone. He was a Ukrainian and wanted to get into surveillance badly. She agreed and gave me the Leave of Absence. I didn’t tell my family about my plans to go back and get married in Russia.

There were several reasons for that. I had told my son that I was going back and marry her I also told him I hoped he would like her. I also told him that it really didn’t matter to me whether or not he liked her, but as my wife he better respect her as my wife! I don’t think he took it all that well but, I’m sure he understood my words and took it to heart.

Now I only had about 3 months to get everything ready to leave again!!!

This is the last installment for this trip!!








Online Hammer2722

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2019, 09:21:08 AM »
Welcome to the forum Chief! I hope you will continue the story. Well written and very interesting.  :clapping:
every ship can be a minesweeper at least once...

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2019, 09:40:31 AM »
Thanks Hammer: It was a work in progress. Having CRS, it was difficult but I had my wife proof read and of course release it for publication. You are the 1st person in a long while to call me Chief :) Felt good after all the years gone by. Best to you and your wife!
Monty


Online Faux Pas

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2019, 09:42:16 AM »
Nice TR rmcmonty! Welcome!

One question though, you're still married to MW and haven't been back since 2001?

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2019, 09:46:57 AM »
Marriage in Yoshkar Ola, Mari El, Russia

As I start another book, I have to tell people reading that all this happened in 2001 and I don’t know if the same rules apply. I do know that for me, marrying MW in Russia was easier than to get a K-1 visa. Being married in a foreign country enables you to file for a K-3 (Marriage) visa. There are good and bad to each. For both there much paper work and proof you have to submit to BCIS. There are offices on the internet who will, for a large fee prepare the forms for you. I didn’t use one because I went to Law School for 3 years but didn’t finish due to orders to Kodiak, AK, and had an old classmate who was practicing Immigration law in California, but that’s another story! MW did receive her K-3 visa in about 4 months. I did all the paperwork myself and had no problems. The benefits of a K-3 visa are they are good for 2 years vice K-1 being only a 90 day visa. As a comparison, a friend married in Yoshkar Ola in 2003 or 2004 and it took him 1 to 2 years to get his wife here. My son-in-law applied for a K-1 visa and my daughter got here in 2005 but he did some stupid things and disregarded the advice I gave him to send all mail to BCIS via registered, return receipt requested to ensure if it got lost he would have signature documentation that said the information got to BCIS and instead he had to pay again and start the process all over. A “Request for more Information” from BCIS is not to be taken lightly if you don’t want to pay again and start at the beginning!
I should say that the BCIS website has all the form readily available for both K-1 and K-3 visas. If you have all the information handy, most of the forms are available to fill out online.

Prior to leaving on the marriage trip, I had to do a lot of work here to prepare. Having been divorced I had to gather the previous marriages final decree of divorce papers, go to the county clerk’s office and have them do a records check that they would Notarize stating that I had not nor was ever I married in the county. That part seemed a little weird to me because it only stated “Clark County, Nevada.” In theory, I could have many wives running around the other 49 states and I could still have married in Russia! The next step was I had to send the county recorders notarized statement to the Secretary of State and get them to issue an “Apostille.” All this did was the SOS of the state I lived in had to “Notarize” the county clerk’s signature. Not being very smart, I disregarded this step and had to get it done through the mail while I was in YO. Nobody ever accused me of being smart, at times! This blooper tacked on about a month to our getting married!

I had looked on a map and was pleased to find that YO and Kodiak, AK were on the same latitude. I had decided to buy a few pairs of long underwear so not to freeze my butt off. My first trip was in July but this was the last week in October and I knew it would be cold! Here is where I challenged my own intelligence. I forgot to buy my long johns and left without them.
Armed with my birth certificate, passport, prior final divorce papers, I was about ready to enter a new chapter of my life.

Again, I had booked the flights on Aeroflot (still the only international airline to allow smoking on the overseas trips!) called my female friend from work to take me to LAS and I was off.

MW had purchased RT train tickets in a 1st class car for both of us, booked the room at Hotel Arbat, hired new people to pick her up at the train station and me at SVO. In retrospect, I should have just flown from Vegas to either New York or Washington DC and then caught the flight to SVO. It would have gotten me to SVO in time to get to Krazanski Station the same day and not had to stay in a hotel for the night and hang around Moscow for the day till the train left but of course I didn’t! At LAX’s duty free store I purchased a large bottle of tequila, large bottle of Jack Daniels more cigarettes, (so my daughter could steal them again!) I had already bought 2 huge sizes of Charmin TP and filled one of my suitcases with other gifts, Now, on to the gate to board. I lucked out and got another aisle seat😊

It was a totally uneventful trip. Upon landing at SVO, I was already a pro at crashing lines and getting through Immigration with relative ease. Outside, MW was waiting with a huge smile. I had one also😊 I “toked” (Vegas speak for tip) the drivers 2 cartons of American cigarettes and the adventure continued.

The hotel was excellent as was before, we had dinner and off to bed for a well deserved rest. The next day we kind of just walked around Arbat Street taking pictures and what not. Off to the station to get the train! It was the same as in July. Crystal stop, buy presents for us and others then onto the PITA place where we had to wait for 30 minutes or more for the engine change and onto YO!

More to come




Online Hammer2722

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2019, 09:48:41 AM »
Thanks Hammer: It was a work in progress. Having CRS, it was difficult but I had my wife proof read and of course release it for publication. You are the 1st person in a long while to call me Chief :) Felt good after all the years gone by. Best to you and your wife!
Monty

Thanks Monty, I am a retired Navy Submariner (ET) so I quickly recognized the RMC in your name. ;)
every ship can be a minesweeper at least once...

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2019, 09:49:52 AM »
Faux Pas:
We are still happily married. Almost 18 years now. Daughter is here and we have 2 grandchildren. After the initial trip I went back in October 2001 to get married. Then back again to see a friend get married. My wife has been back several more times. I was there a total of 3 times.
Monty

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2019, 09:52:49 AM »
Hammer: Nice to see you. I went to RM "B" at NTC SDIEGO in 1974. Had a few Sub sailors with us. They were some crazy people but fun to be around. I used to make ET's crazy blowing fuses in the XMitters we had on one of the ships I was on. Nice to be aboard!

Offline ML

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2019, 10:43:57 AM »
Four year US Navy man here.  Enlisted the day after turned age 17.  Served on aircraft carriers out of San Diego.  Two tours to Pacific . . . Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, etc.
Winston Churchill.  “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Offline GQBlues

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2019, 10:49:24 AM »
...This is the last installment for this trip!!

Nice T/R. Thank you. Your report brought back a couple of notables. One of which was Maxim (Makshim).

Late 2002 for me when I first jumped into this silly pool. Maxim was one of the first sites I stumbled upon, and around that time I believe they may have been on the downward slide in terms of popularity and/or 'reliability because Yoshkar Ola was generating an eventual unfavorable reputation as scammer capital in Rus.

They initiated a campaign and put a bad taste in my mouth that actually spurred me to post my very first thread at the ol' RWG, titled: "Justifiable Prostitution?" when their inter-mediator sent emails to subscribers that an option to shoot pictures of each subscriber's objects of interest can be done with less 'clothing', or in bikinis, for a price. The more money you apparently paid, the lesser article of clothing your 'love interest' will pose with. Cancelled myself off the site ASAP.

Anyway: Funny excerpt about the train restroom's disposal system.
~Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people~ Gator :P

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2019, 11:50:05 AM »
GQ - Max's Agency was real good in 2001. I ordered a few pictures of MW but she was 42 when we got together. I think if I had tried to get some risqué photo's of her made she would had dumped in a NY second. What's not in the TR was I became friends with someone I suspected to have ties with Russian Mafia. Not certain but I had my doubts he wasn't. From then on I just had to call and he'd do what I needed. All it cost me was a Zippo Lighter I had from one of the ships I was on and a 100 USD tie I had from my days working as a floorman in a casino.
Yes, the toilet on the train was a big surprise for me.
Monty

Online jone

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2019, 11:55:30 AM »
Welcome Monty......

Couldn't help but remember a guy who sang this song as part of his repartee. Looking on YouTube, there it was:

Kissing girls is a goodness.  It beats the hell out of card games.  - Robert Heinlein

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2019, 11:58:13 AM »
Jone, I'm still laughing at the record pic..)
Monty

Online krimster2

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2019, 12:08:16 PM »
soldiers RULE
sailors DROOL

18 yr old me saving the freakin free world!!!
вы думаете, что любой из этих людей, даже российских, подозревает, что я русский?

вот как я могу создать американскую личность
Я могу взять напрокат

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2019, 12:11:48 PM »
ML: I also joined at 17. I can remember sitting in the recruiters office and people came in and he just told them to turn around, walk out and go see the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps. The wait list was very long in the CG at that time (1970.) My father almost disowned me for joint the CG. Said I'll be damned to have a son in the "Hooligan Navy." I think he was proud of me. He was Navy BM Cox'n during WWII. Some of the best tours I ever had, except at sea, was San Diego. I bumped between the CG Airsta and the Navy ARC twice each then did my last 2 in Kodiak, AK. Buoy Tender and Communication Station. I pulled the pin in 1990. Sure do miss it but in today's military I would have been tossed for my "Leadership" style. take care....Monty

Offline rmcmonty

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Re: Trip Report/Introduction
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2019, 12:14:42 PM »
Krimster2: While in Honolulu we always thought the AF was pretty smart. My first ship was built in 1939 and went to SE Asia in her.
Best
Monty

 

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