Tales from a Distant Anchorage

A collection of badly written stories by a crew of semi-literate Ukrainians. Great reading! Unique!
No rights reserved.

So we got to Brazil a month after taking bunkers at Singapore, great. Trouble was the Charterer didn't have a cargo for us! So we anchored sixteen miles offshore near Tubarao for a month and a half. Ever been bored? Try a month and a half at anchor when the fish don't bite! Ok, so the fish did bite but that doesn't count, we were bored. So I thought of getting the Ukrainians to write stories of the Ukraine, to add a new dimension, a page with a difference. Roll over Pushkin! The tales below are the fruits of a month and a half lolling offshore as told in their own words, uncorrected by me. You might notice that their English is not perfect but it is a heck of a lot better than my few words of Russian! And it does add the rich dimension of stories or jokes as told by the Ukrainians themselves.

Mission Impossible...
By Polyakov Oleksiy

The  KGB  trained a Special Agent for secret mission at One of foreigner countries during very long time. After finished that training courses the Special Agent  of the KGB was sent outer boarder of the USSR .
In a small café he ordered cup of coffee. After finish his coffee he asked a Bill.
A Barman told a waiter:
- Give the invoice to KGB Agent!
- Why You think like that? – asked Agent.
- Because You keep spoon in the cup during drinking! - answered  Barman.
In the next bar the Agent ordered same cup of coffee. But before testing he took off spoon and putted on  a saucer. After finish this coffee he same asked a Bill.
A Barman told  a waiter:
- Give the invoice to KGB Agent!
- Why You think like that? – asked Agent.
- Because You made loud sound with  the spoon in the cup during mixing of your coffee! - answered  Barman.
In the next Café- Bar the Special agent was  conservative. He ordered  cup of coffee, very gentle mixed sugar in the cup, before testing he took off a spoon and putted on a saucer. After finish this coffee he same asked a Bill.
A Barman told  a waiter:
- Give the invoice to KGB Agent!
- Why You think like that? – asked Agent.
- Because You have closed right eye same like You have a spoon in the cup during testing of your coffee! - answered  Barman.


Mongolian Submarine
By Polyakov Oleksiy

At open sea.  An immense large passenger liner has met a very rust Mongolian submarine. Commander of  the Submarine asked Watch Officer of the Passenger liner:
-         Where is nearest land?
-         Keep course SSW -  Watch officer answered.
Don't show off one's intelligence! Show me direction by hand!

 How Not to Drag a Walrus
By Polyakov Oleksiy

Two Chukchi men went shooting for walrus. This hunt was successfully and they pull walrus carcass by the flipper. Walrus tusks plough tundra. It is a very heavy load. It is very hard work. It is very hard way to home. Distance is reducing very slowly. They are tired, sitting and smoking, looking around.
A helicopter is coming. A Russian pilot advises to them:
-         Take the walrus carcass from other side by the tusks. It will be easy to pull!
-         O.K! We will do like that.
After three hours. One of them tells to other:
     - However, that Russian pilot is stupid! He made an ass of us. This way is to much easy  but our yaranga is further and further.

Dog Team and the Kamaz
By Polyakov Oleksiy

 One Chukchi man took up a big Russian truck "KAMAZ", new model. But short time later he discontinued using his truck and exhibited it one near his yaranga .
Neighbors not understanding:
-         What is happen? Is this truck no good quality?
No! No! No!  It is a perfect truck – answer a Chukchi man – Nice design, large capacity. But I have one problem only. "KAMAZ" is heavy and my dogs are tired very quickly.

When I could Walk Under the Table
By Marynych Sergiy

At the time when I could walk under a table, my parents and I lived in country named Soviet Union . The live was great, especially for me, I didn't have any problems except how to spent my time. People around were very happy or not I didn't remember, anyway!
My parents and I lived in the small town on coast of Black Sea . At this time we didn't have any Super Markets, Hyper Markets and others, there were ordinary small shops and markets. The market it was yard with big amount of tables inside and bus station side by side. The people from small provinces and villages came to this market with different kind of products, like fruit, vegetables, milk and others. It was working every day but Saturday and Sunday the days when the market was full of people like ant hill. My mother had 5 days working week from 8 am till 7 pm but for me it looks the same like full working week because at Saturday and Sunday she also left home at 8 am sometimes with me she could walk for hours at market very often she left me at queue with bags and herself went to take place in another queue and time to time she came to me for check that everything ok with me, the queue was long and often I stay for half an hour and more but when my turn came she appear in the nick of time and  bought that she want. After that we together ran to another queue where she already had place I had help her for carry bags but once she gave me bag with eggs to hold for time, when she paid money in few minutes I made from normal eggs scrambled eggs it was funny but not for me! Around 12 pm we came to home and I kept on doing nothing with my friends which also could walk under a table.
Now we are living in the same town but now in our town plenty shops named: Super Market, Hyper Market and others, the Soviet Union disappear but we still have ordinary markets, my mother found new work but now she is working half a day from 8 am till 2 pm and market situated in front of building where she work and after each "hard" working day she rush to the market and very often came at home at 5 or 6 pm. For her it is like tradition or hobby I don't know, she spends time at market, looking for fresh and cheap products for her family.

I'm a Panda!
by Dzhulay Dmytro

Old man is reading magazine "National Geographic"
Shark – 1500 teeth
Panda – 24 teeth
Human – 32 teeth
Oh, damn! I'm a PANDA!

The Case on the Ukrainian Road
by Pudikov Yuriy

Zaporozhets crashed into Mercedes-600 on a crossroad.
Four strong guys armed with pistols went out of the Mercedes. 
The small humble old man went out of Zaporozhets. He took a iron bar
and beated all guys from Mercedes, he breaked glasses and lights of the car.
Then he sat down into Zaporozhets and left there.
One of guys spited knocked-out teeth out and asked his friends:
- Do you know why he didn't kill us???
- Because we are MAFIA!!!  

  This is a Zaporozhets!


Oladie - Russian Vetkoek
by Tkachuk Kostyantyn

  1. 500gr – Flour
2. 2 glasses of milk
3. 2 eggs
4. 1 spoon of sugar
5. ½ teaspoon of salt
6. 25gr of yeast
Dissolve yeast in the milk, add flour and mix. Two eggs mix with salt and sugar add in to dough and knead. Put the dough in to warm place for arise. When the dough have arise, don't  knead it, take it with spoon and put on a hot pan with drop of oil. Fry both sides.
Taste better with honey or any kind of jam. Enjoy your meal.

A History of One Word
By Polyakov Oleksiy

 This story I  hear  from my oldest brother when I was a student.
 A word "SHARAMYZHNIK" means beggary, some body is wearing in rags, cadger. This word was arise in Russian language during period of the Patriotic War in 1812.
At the winter 1812 Napoleon's army left the Moscow and came back to France .
Weather in that period was very snowing and freezing. French soldiers had not warm clothes and were dressed in any old thing to avoid of death from cold weather. They were
When French soldiers had applied assistance of Russian people, ones commenced
Them recourse from words: " Cher ami…" – it means " Dear friends…". But Rassian people remade this phrase on a Russian manner as one word very close about voice - "SHARAMYZHNIK" -  and commenced  to call all people who has view look like on a French soldier during winter period 1812 as SHARAMYZHNIK. This word became as negative meaning in Russian language.

China Health Examination - No.1
by Nikora Petro

I'm working on the ship more then year, it's time for renew my Health Certificate. When our ship was in China, Captain had organize trip to hospital for me and another seaman that had problem with tooth, in addition to pass health examination I'm also had toothache. My friend and I went to the hospital. When we arrived doctor met us and took me to the dentist cabinet and commenced drill my tooth like madman the smell was terrible but after hour of hard work my tooth become like new. When I got out from the doctor my friend was staying in another doctor cabinet. In half an hour he came back and we went to the ship. I was happy that my tooth healthy and totally forgot about my health examination. In the car on the way to the ship my friend had tell me the story that happens with him in the hospital. He said that chine's medicine very good, before beginning treat the tooth, doctor took: blood test, urine test, checked his eyes, blood pressure, skin, made x-ray, to make a long story short, the doctor checked everything. And I remembered that forgot to pass my health examination and I understood that my friend passed it instead of me. I became frightened that health certificate will be with name of my friend. When I  have said it to him he smiled and we came back to the ship! Day later agent came with health certificate and I was happy the name in the certificate mine. The chine's doctors the "Best Doctors in the world" next time I will take ape to pass exams instead of me!

Tour around Rio De Janeiro - No.2
 by Nikora Petro

In previous story, I told to you about my adventure in China with health examination. Are you thinking it's the end? No it's beginning of my next story. When Captain received my new heath certificate it was not convenient to the standard of Marine health certificate like not international and captain decide to send me to the doctor at the next port. Our ship departure from China and make one's way to Brazil, month later we arrived and were staying at anchor for one & half month. At anchorage we had a lot of work with engine and when we moored along side I was half a dead. Next day agent came to the ship early morning and took me to the doctor for next health examination, but at that day I was only one man who need to the doctor. I was happy for two reasons: doctor situated in Rio de Janeiro and I will have a rest at this day. Way to the Rio was long. When we arrived to the first hospital doctor says that he need all my tests, agent and I had sit in to car and get under way to another hospital in opposite part of the Rio. I never have been in the Rio before, I was happy "it's like free tour around Rio ", I thought for first three hours. Later I was almost crying. At that time that I was in Rio three agents changed, I have traveled the length and breadth of the Rio, was in the 5th different hospitals the doctors inspected everything, they took my blood like half  a liter , put into my eyes special equipment for look my brain inside, put  into my ears two pins with wires and made noise, squeak, crackle inside of my head, put the long hose into my throat  I felt the end of this hose near my heels, made X-ray in full size of me and now I have this photo like memories about Rio. It was terrible. Between the hospitals we had stay in traffic congestion for 40 minutes to hour, at this time I had a rest from this taunt. I was stay in Rio for 12 hours without food, I was hungry and emaciated, doctors made with me everything, the last thing that they forgot to do with me it's a CRASH TEST, when I came to the ship I have had supper and like zombie creep to my cabin and fall asleep. Captain was happy, certificate of health examination was correct, I was happy twice, no any health examination for me in next two years!!!


My Second Name "LUCKY" - No.3
 by Nikora Petro


As you know from previous stories I'm "lucky"! After Sepetiba ( Brazil ) our ship went to England and I have to go to the doctor for make a Yellow Fever vaccination. Next day after we arrived at port, I had stay on the quay and waiting for a taxi to the doctor. Instead of 8.00am taxi arrived at  10.00am , it was a Mercedes, and I went to the doctor. Taxi driver had brought me to the huge Hyper Market and say: "Go away" I told to him that I need to the doctor and not shop. He said to me that doctor inside! I ask him could you see me to the doctor! He explains that he don't have time. I ask him: "But when I came back who will take me to the ship?" He gave to me piece of paper with telephone number and say to me that I should give it to the doctor and he will call a taxi for me. I went to the Hyper Market and get in, I commenced ask people about doctor who make Yellow Fever vaccination and people run out from me when they heard the "Yellow Fever" (it happens because my English very bad and I have try to show to the people that I need vaccination), then I get in to the elevator and lowered with few people on 3rd underground floor, it was food section. I ask security man and he explain to me that doctor on the 3rd floor upstairs. I get to the elevator and in few seconds I was near doctor office. He made me vaccination I gave to him piece of paper with number and I get back to the ship! I can't leave without adventure because I'm LUCKY man!


Ivan Apple Seed
by Pudikov Yuriy


One man is eating apples. He extractes the seeds from the apple and puts they in one's pocket.
The Moldavian see that and ask him why he doing like that.
- I'll sell these seeds later because they are improving an intellect.
- I'd like to buy one seed.
- Okey, 2 dollars.
The Moldavian bought the seed and eated it, than he said:
- Oh-oh, I could buy 2 kgs of apples instead of 1 seed for 2 dollars!
- Yes, indeed, you became more clever already. It's working!
- This is true! Could you sell me ten more seeds, please?


Russian flag
By Marek Szczygielski


On 1994 , mid-November, our ugly coaster was directed for a voyage from Shannon River to Russia , namely Murmansk , far away behind a Polar Circle , with eternal darkness at that time (among other amusements). Somewhere on the Norwegian Sea I decided to check, is the Russian flag as good as 2nd Mate assured me.  At that time, The State of Russia was pretty young (3 years about), in the past The Poles (and others as well) used to say " Russia "  for " Soviet Union "
Anyhow, 2nd Mate demonstrated proudly to me a good piece of red cloth , with stars, hammer and other funny tools on it.  Soviet Union in all its beauty.
I was shocked and saw myself on remote Siberian camp for such a provocation. (in case we arrived with this thing on the foremast).
2nd Mate listened politely, what I think about his mama and himself, then asked :  - What we are going to do, Captain?
Obviously , proper flag was not yet pictured in British publications, I remembered, that the colours are same as on the Dutch one. I ordered 2nd Mate to take Dutch flag, cut it into stripes and sew back in different order.
- Which particular order You wish, Sir  - ha asked politely.
Good point! I was not sure, and the more I tried to remember , the more  unsure I became. Decided to ask Agent , sent him a telex " what are the colours of Russian flag, from top to bottom" The Agent , Mr.Lebed ( Swan) replied  quickly " white, red, blue ".
The rest of a day 2nd Mate worked on the Dutch flag, which became finally " Russian". Next morning I received "top urgent", "Master, mistake, white, blue, red ". Dutch – Russian flag went into stripes again  with efforts of 2nd Mate , 4 hours of sewing (try it , if never did it before) and again we had a flag.  The flag of Russia ..
Could anybody on board be blamed, if The Russians themselves were not able to remember, How their new flag really looks? The Chief Mate here on board had his explanation , how it is easy to remember: It is like present social status of Russia : The Whites are on the top, The Reds on the bottom And the blue guys (as gays are called by Russians) between them.