The day the Socol 2 left town, (24-10-96), the agent, Slava, picked me up and we were driven to the town of Sakalin where we got our rooms at a hotel. My room cost $100 dollars, his $50. At about Ten O’clock we went out to eat in a restaurant. There was only one other customer in the restaurant. We ordered food and champagne. The hostess spent a lot of time with the other customer and this seemed to make Slava a little upset. Finally he talked to the man and soon the man left. We became the sole focus of attention for the hostess. Olga sat with us and drank with us. She told me she wanted to fuck me, I said OK. She took off her blouse and showed me her tits. They were fair. She was a little on the heavy side with a broad face and the heavy lips that so many Russian women have. She was getting sloppier the more she drank. Finally we left for the Hotel. We had not gotten more than one hundred yards into Lenin Square when Olga tried to take her clothes off there in the park. I was losing interest fast and decided not to bed this woman but I said nothing to Slava who seemed determined that I should get laid. Finally Olga lay down on a park bench and refused to get up. After some cajoling we got her on her feet, but now she wanted something to eat. We walked over to kiosk and after talking to the woman inside we were let in the back door. The woman, Irena, spoke good English. Both Slava and Olga knew her. We sat and Olga devoured a whole chicken. We drank champagne and laughed but I was tired and really wanted to go to the hotel and sleep. Olga said she wanted me to go to her place. She wanted to fuck me in her apartment. I said I wanted to go to the hotel. In the end Olga staggered down the street alone and Slava and I walked to the hotel, him feeling a little bit of a failure but me just relived.

The next morning Slava and I took a taxi to Korsakov, (about 36 kilometers). My new ship was not in yet, so we sat around and Slava did his business. At lunch time we took a cab to a restaurant in town. It was closed. We walked a couple of blocks in the wet and cold to another restaurant. There we ate what I thought was pretty good food, and also drank a half liter of vodka. Jesus these guys drink, but when in Russia.... After lunch Slava was feeling much better. We caught a cab back to the Port Office and Slava continued to do his business, only now he seemed to be in a much better frame of mind. At about 4 o’clock Slava decided we should go back to Sakalin and stay in the hotel again. That was fine with me, so off we went. At about 5 o’clock we got back to the Hotel. I changed a hundred dollars into rubbles at the desk. Slava wanted to go out immediately and start to party but I told him that I needed a couple of hours of sleep. The vodka at lunch had hit me pretty hard. I went to my room a fell on the bed. Slava came by at seven knocked on my door and woke me up. We walked back to the restaurant we were at the night before. It looked as though things were in preparation for a big party. Slava found out that two birthday celebrations were to take place. People started coming in. We ordered food and a bottle of wine. Soon the place was hopping. People were dancing laughing and drinking much vodka. I began to dance with the girls and ended up dancing all night long. Two girls came and sat our table but I was having too much fun to get serious with them I was in a dancing mood. Of course I danced with them but if they refused then I just walked over to another table and asked another beautiful girl to dance. I drank way too much and spent all my money, but it was worth it. We closed the place down then walked back to the hotel. I got the spins and threw-up but slept well after that.

The next morning, (Saturday the 26 th), we discovered that the Archangelsk had arrived at its berth the night before. We took a cab back to Korsakov, and I moved my gear on board. We did some ships business. The Captain and the Agent wanted me to call the Sunmar Office. It has been my experience that the office does not want to hear from me, but I reluctantly made the call. Of course I was not well received, they were all fucked up over there trying to get another ship out of town.

Later that evening I walked out on the deck and spied the tally girl, Svetla. She waved at me from the shore and motioned that I should come over and talk to her. I tromped down the gangway and we went to the port office. Of course she does not speak English and my Russian is very poor. After a while I went back to my room on the ship and got my Russian/English dictionary. Then I went back to the port office to converse with Svetla. We labored over words and meaning but soon I discovered that she wanted me to spend the night with her at her flat. I agreed to meet her at mid-night, and went back to the ship to catch a couple of hours of sleep. The weather was picking up so I decided to talk to the captain to see if it would be a problem to spend the night ashore. He said I should go. I was a little bit nervous, because of the possibility of the ship departing for an anchorage to get out of the weather. But, I decided to take a chance. We had not finished loading our cargo and if the ship did go to anchor it would have to return to finish loading. The worst case being that the Military Police that took my passport and visa would freak out at my not being on board. They could use a little bit of a scare. At eleven I got a call to my room that I was wanted at the gang way. I got dressed and went out to meet Svetla. She had gotten a friend to drive us to her flat. I got in and explained the situation; that there was a possibility that the ship would leave during the evening and not be back for a couple of days, Svetla said it would be no problem for me to stay at her flat during that time. Off we went to Svetla’s flat.

Svetla, is divorced and has two children. One girl, about thirteen, and a boy of nine. When we got inside the apartment the girl was asleep on the couch. Svetla quickly shooed her into another room. She then scampered around, made up a bed, brought some tea, and got into a night gown. She didn’t mess around but got right to the point of the visit. We sat on the bed and ate bread with butter, drank tea, and laughed about our inability to communicate. When the food was gone we made Love. This is the Russian way. It is good.