KAMCHATKA, RUSSIA II

12/31/2021 

Boarding a flight from Chicago to Anchorage, Vicktor Petrov (VP) had in his possession: airline tickets to Alaska and then Kamchatka and back, a passport and visa, a complete itinerary of stays in Kamchatka, including an interpreter and driver, and last, but not least: A wad of American dollars and lots of Russian rubles. Landing in Anchorage in the evening, the VP was rushed off to a hotel for the night and returned to the airport just as the Russian jet liner landed. Without a Boeing monopoly, the Russians somehow figured out how to make a jet airliner. It had a fuselage, 2 wings, a tail, and some funny language written on the side. Russian Cyrillics with 33 letters was a head scratcher and was the primary reason for hiring a full-time translator. As the plane boarded, it contained an assortment of inquisitive bipeds that came from all saunters of life. There was an Asian marine biologist, oil field geologists, an anthropologist, and a plethora of sportsmen hunters and fishermen. The Kamchatka Peninsula, about the size of California, is home to the much-prized brown bear and is the source of 1/3 of all the Pacific salmon. Following a 4 1/2-hour flight, the Russian plane touched down on Russian soil flawlessly. The new occupants of Petropavlovsk were happy to get their feet on a different continent but were standing on a collection of 3 major plates and 2 floating blocks. All the Peninsula’s volcanism is about that dance that is taking place in ultra-slow-motion underneath and does nothing to arouse the interests of any of these new guests. They are all hungry and just want some food. After a welcoming party of military document checkers finished, the new arrivals were allowed to meet with their appointed parties and Vicktor sought a woman holding a card with his name on it. There was Nina, a blonde, 40ish woman of proportional geometry who carried a smile as big as her country. After a polite handshake and another document check, they left. 

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