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It was pretty cool to have spent so much time in Russia and Ukraine.


Wilbur
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49 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

I will most likely, never set foot in either again.  

You were there at point in history with some memorable stories that you can't even tell here for us. Maybe to tell your daughters one day. Not now. One day. 

I'm certain some Canadian-born Chinese acquaintances who I knew in Toronto,  to went to work-teach for few yrs. in mainland  China just BEFORE Tianamen Massacre, treasure their experiences. And they were followed surreptiously by Chinese authorities when they asked certain questions.  It was a time when masses of Chinese rode bicycles before many got sucked into the car dream ..in their crowded big cities way bigger than ours.

Of course, now it's facial recognition system in big  cities..

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12 minutes ago, shootingstar said:

You were there at point in history with some memorable stories that you can't even tell here for us. Maybe to tell your daughters one day. Not now. One day. 

I'm certain some Canadian-born Chinese acquaintances who I knew in Toronto,  to went to work-teach for few yrs. in mainland  China just BEFORE Tianamen Massacre treasure their experiences. And they were followed surreptiously by Chinese authorities when they asked certain questions.  It was a time when masses of Chinese rode bicycles before many got sucked into the car dream ..in their crowded big cities way bigger than ours.

Of course, now it's facial recognition system in big  cities..

I did a flight with an Israeli aircraft demonstrating it to the Soviet Government. We started in Riga and flew to St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev and Odessa.  It was a two pilot aircraft but the second pilot had to stand behind the cockpit as a Soviet navigator occupied the right seat so we didn't fly near strategic sites.   When on the ground, we were escorted or closely followed everywhere.  We stayed in a Soviet hotel across the street from Red Square and I woke up early one morning to a man sitting on a chair in my room.  All he said was "It's OK. I KGB".  Like I was supposed to relax and go back to sleep. :)   I flew there a lot after the Cold War and really enjoyed watching the development in Russia, Ukraine and Armenia.  Yes, lots of stories good and bad, for sure.  I find the current conflict very sad but mainly because Ukraine really struggled and really embraced western values and culture.  Moscovites worship wealth and opulence.  Ukraine is more middle class with emphasis on family and friends rather than opulence.  

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10 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

I did a flight with an Israeli aircraft demonstrating it to the Soviet Government. We started in Riga and flew to St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev and Odessa.  It was a two pilot aircraft but the second pilot had to stand behind the cockpit as a Soviet navigator occupied the right seat so we didn't fly near strategic sites.   When on the ground, we were escorted or closely followed everywhere.  We stayed in a Soviet hotel across the street from Red Square and I woke up early one morning to a man sitting on a chair in my room.  All he said was "It's OK. I KGB".  Like I was supposed to relax and go back to sleep. :)   I flew there a lot after the Cold War and really enjoyed watching the development in Russia, Ukraine and Armenia.  Yes, lots of stories good and bad, for sure.  I find the current conflict very sad but mainly because Ukraine really struggled and really embraced western values and culture.  Moscovites worship wealth and opulence.  Ukraine is more middle class with emphasis on family and friends rather than opulence.  

I'm only laughing at the KGB guy incident.

I only hear Siberian stories from a former work colleague here in prairie city. She's probably wondering if her  brother in Sochi can still live there .. or the time she was required to learn how to shoot gun. I guess she might have been a late teen. She graduated from a Russian university in math. She was on contract and left 2 yrs. ago.  The first place she, hubby and child ended up when immigrating to CAnada was Edmonton. Weather-wise just perfect for them.

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I’ve told this before but I’ll tell it again. I was in Moscow on business and the second last day 3 of us went out and shared two pints of vodka. My coworker Pat was kind of giddy so he started singing God Bless America on our walk back to the hotel in downtown Moscow, after midnight, around 5 degrees F. Everytime he’d die down, I’d say in a real low voice ‘From the Mountains’, and he’d start up again at the top of his voice. Good Times. 

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10 hours ago, Wilbur said:

I will most likely, never set foot in either again.  

If I'm still young and healthy enough to travel when Ukraine is free again, I'll try to make it there.

A cousin and I talked about going to Poland and try to look up family history while sightseeing, but others told us records were so destroyed by the Nazis that it's impossible to do in a short trip and uncover anything - the Poles restored a lot of family records after WW2 by the dates on gravestones.  Nevertheless, I was able to piece together that our grandfather's family name, Gryskiewicz, was bestowed on the family in the late 1600's in Suwalki, Poland, near the Lithuanian border where an ancestor name Grzegorz (Polish form of Gregory) had a farm. It's only about a 20 x 35 mile area so we can get an idea of the environment.  So we may go, check out Warsaw where our grandfather grew up, then and check out the Suwalki area, then maybe take time to see a little of Ukraine - though Lithuania would be a much closer option.

The Polish-Lithuanian Empire, which controlled 1/3 of Europe from about 1100-1500 CE, ruled over Ukraine back then and whenever the Russians got uppity, Polish troops would march through the streets of Moscow.  How times have changed!

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10 hours ago, Wilbur said:

I did a flight with an Israeli aircraft demonstrating it to the Soviet Government. We started in Riga and flew to St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev and Odessa.  It was a two pilot aircraft but the second pilot had to stand behind the cockpit as a Soviet navigator occupied the right seat so we didn't fly near strategic sites.   When on the ground, we were escorted or closely followed everywhere.  We stayed in a Soviet hotel across the street from Red Square and I woke up early one morning to a man sitting on a chair in my room.  All he said was "It's OK. I KGB".  Like I was supposed to relax and go back to sleep. :)   I flew there a lot after the Cold War and really enjoyed watching the development in Russia, Ukraine and Armenia.  Yes, lots of stories good and bad, for sure.  I find the current conflict very sad but mainly because Ukraine really struggled and really embraced western values and culture.  Moscovites worship wealth and opulence.  Ukraine is more middle class with emphasis on family and friends rather than opulence.  

Did he stand over you and say "You got a purty mouth boy"

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