Thursday, November 12, 2009

OH "N'YET", I DIDN'T!!!!! OH "DAH", I DID!!!!

OK,, so WHAT THE HALIBUT is this screwed up title about your asking yourself ( You know asking yourself questions is kinda weird, I'm thinking maybe I could offer some therapy, laughing). Well since you asked yourself soooo nicely, I'll answer for you later.

I was dusting and was working on one of my favorite shelves. I thought of you all (awwww). It was the shelf with my Matryoshka Dolls on it (Russian nesting Dolls, see I'm cultured hmmpf, snort!)












I purchased these in 1993 in Russia's beautiful Red Square. A small framed young lady with sparkling dark eyes and tattered clothes came up peddling them. She looked a lot like the doll she had painted and I could not resist the purchase even though I had purchased 5 other sets previously. She only wanted $5 American dollars, I gave her $20 and a pack of M&M's with a smile. This was an unbelievable place to be and I always wanted to remember that moment and how it felt to travel somewhere so majestic. It worked; these exquisite dolls have become a prized possession to me.

It was the first time I had ever been anywhere, it was my first plane trip, and the first time I REALLY realized a love for the unknown.

Why was I there in Moscow (OK, now I am worried about you and your self asking tendencies, still I'll answer, although I'll back up from you if I see you in the alley, ha).

I was actually there in Moscow for only a short time, my true destination? SIBERIA!!

There was a very small and scary airport that we arrived at after a long paper plane ride from Moscow (it might as well have been paper, it was flimsy, but they served wine, I compensated my nerves and did a little karaoke with an older Russian lady, we made up the words, but the smiles 100% authentic!).

The town was called Nizhneangarsk and it was the "BIG" town before we got to our real destination, an oil town called Langapas (that does not even show up on the map of Siberia). "Nizhne" was big because it had about a 500 square foot airport AND a restaurant.

What they called a restaurant was actually owned by a French Canadian (weird) and employed by local Russian women. We went there without our translator. We were asked to order 4-5 dozen cookies by the men who were already in Langapas working. The girls tried to understand us. We said 4 dozen-baked cookies about 1,000 times before one looked me in the eyes and said "Dah, YES, 4 dozen-baked" in a charming trial American voice. We smiled at the understanding. Around 10 minutes later the French Canadian bounded out of the kitchen to us. He was very plump, dressed all in white and had a divine face built for smiling. His English, much better and his belly rolled when he laughed trying to repeat the order back to us. "So, YOU the ones ordering 4-5 dozen pieces of cooked bacon!!!????" There were laughs all around and it was a moment.

We then met up with our translator and his friend. their names were Slavic and Vladimir (no, I am not making this up!!!). After Three hours white knuckled on a tiny road and stopping at every checkpoint to be evaluated thoroughly, we arrived in Langapas, my home for the next few months.

Everything after Moscow was black and white, no greenery, blue skies or flowers. It was all just muted, devoid of life. There were about 15 large apartment buildings in a square formation. The company would rent apartments from locals for us to stay in. They were paid very well for this inconvenience. No matter if you had 1 family member or 20, everyone got the same exact floor plan there. Two tiny adjacent rooms, a kitchen and a "bathroom" that made me shiver each time I went in it.

The men were all oil workers there and we had recruited a few to help us as laborers. We were building a processing plant that would allow the areas around to have dairy products. They could choose what to make as they were all powder based.

The town folk were aware of our presence and knew we were there to help them. Still, Mob activity was very high and we were cautioned to tread lightly when we recognized the players. They were not really hard to recognize. Long coats, with one hand buried deep inside, wide stances and dark faces patrolling next to one of only a few vehicles in town (BMW's). It was an unnerving sight I contended with everyday. We were told not to look them in the eyes and be respectful. I walked by myself from the plant to the apartment everyday to start dinner for the workers. One "Mob" guy took a liking to me and would make faces and smile flirtatiously when I walked by. I smiled back quietly and offered him bread (we bought 2-3 loaves a day at a little square building, BEST bread I had ever tasted). My last day there he presented me with a loaf of bread and an awkward hug.

I was there to black iron weld (yes, I said weld! SHOCKER!!!!!) There outfitted with my pink splashed welders helmet and long leather gloves, I was a spectacle. Russian men do not want their women working OR wearing pants and I was doing both. At least daily a Russian would run towards me screaming "N'yet, N'yet" and take a tool from me shaking his head. It was charming and funny to see. They called me "Taz" because I had a jacket with a patch of the Tasmanian devil on it. I couldn't understand them, they couldn't understand me but still friendships grew. They would take two fingers and pop the left side of their neck to indicate that it was time for Vodka.

One day our interpreter came and asked if we would like to shoot guns with the Russian Police. The men jumped at the opportunity (I was the only girl there). I thought it sounded awesome but still had a funny feeling. We drove and drove AND drove. Siberia is already in the middle of freaking NOWHERE. There were oil fields on both sides of the car for at least an hour, NOTHING else.

In one field it was particularly black but in the middle a solitary sunflower grew tall and bright. It was so vivid and happy, a striking portrait against the vast nothingness. That also was a sight I will never forget.

About 30 minutes later the Police car stopped and two men got out and started speaking to our interpreter. I cracked my knuckles nervously as they glared in at me. I heard Slavic say "Dah" (yes) with a smile, but had no idea what was being agreed to. The police decided to stop and get Beer (pronounced "pee-vah") and vodka. I thought "uh, N'yet Spa-ceba" (no thank you!). But had no voice in the decision. I asked if the Police ACTUALLY liked "Americaneets". Slavic said yes, laughing with a rumble.

We finally came to a few man made hills and got out to fire what I then found out were AK-47's!!!! I had never shot a gun before and was excited about firing a machine gun in Russia with the Russian Police (who does that?? I did!!!!!!)

Wanna hear what happened? Of course you do, here I go:

When it was my turn I chose to single shot some first and get the feel. There were bottles and cans piled everywhere for targets. Surprisingly I hit almost every target I shot for, it was amazing and the men were impressed. Then an officer came to me to up the bounty and let me shoot rapid fire. I felt the power and might and loved the adrenaline pounding through my veins. They gave me as much time as I liked laughing at my excited antics.

When I was done (like I said, never shot a gun before) instead of directing the gun towards the ground, I twirled around with it still in shooting position. Seeing 15 men and 8 Russian Police drop to the ground screaming was another thing I will never forget.

So that explains the title of this blog:

"OH NO, I DIDN'T!!!!! OH YES, I DID!!!!!!!"


See it all makes sense now, You're Welcome!!!!!

2 Seducing Deductions:

f1trey said...

its good to put things like that down.....otherwise no one will ever know....thank you! Im sure the kids will thank you too ....years from now..

The Invisible Seductress said...

You're welcome (pronounced:"pa-jousta" in Russian)
Come over for some "pee-vah" tonight! SMILE!!

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