Excitement? Well, I guess!

Let me see, do you want to know about the time Art & I spent the day in a Portugal prison?  How about when Soviet guy ran away with me?  And then there’s the time I went wading in the nuclear laden Amur River.

Well, the Soviet thing was pretty exciting.  It was still the USSR when Art & I took a tour, controlled of course, by the government-run “Intourist”.  Since Art was well-known for being out-spoken I warned him to be on his very best.  But, this was one time I was kind of glad he was the “old Art”.  We had some free time outside the Catherine’s Palace – it was cold, snowy, and really very beautiful, even considering the fact that all the outdoor sculptures were covered with wooden boxes.  Camera in hand, I asked if I could take a picture of the troika and the man pushing it.  He gestured for me to sit for the picture with him.  Handing the camera to Art, I sat down only to find myself being pushed down the hill by a “mad Russian”  (well, I don’t really know if he was mad or not, but he was Russian!  Art yelled for him to stop, chased him down and rescued me.  I doubt if he was really going to kidnap me, but it was nice being rescued – and Art did get the picture.

The Amur River?  It’s in Siberia running along the Mongolian border. Our group of Travel Agents boarded an old rickety 3-story ferry-type boat in Khabarovsk . We had stopped for the day for a picnic (Siberian style) and tied up at an old pier.  I was wading in the River looking for river amber when an old fisherman in an even older boat stopped, pointed and started laughing.  I had no idea what I was doing that was so funny, until I realized he was pointing at my painted toenails. Obviously a first for him.  I’m glad I made his day.  I know he made mine.  I was told later the Amur River was a water route for Russian Nuclear Submarines during WWII; there was an underground area for submarine repair, and there was also nuclear waste in the area.  When my toenails start glowing on their own, I‘ll know why, and I won’t have to use polish again!

Portugal, guess I’ll have to leave it for another time! Hang in there, I’ll get to it eventually.

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