KAMCHATKA, RUSSIA III

1/1/2022  

Out in the parking lot of the airport, Mr. Petrov was introduced to his impeccably dressed chauffer named Andrei and his exquisite limousine with a red-carpet mat leading to the door. Let’s back up a bit, seeing how this is Russia. Andrei had jet black hair and carried traits of some Eastern populations, such as Mongolian, Koryaks, and Korean. He was also mixed with Caucasian blends, such as Ukrainian and Georgian, that demonstrated the loneliness of the expansive Siberian wilderness. Any port in the storm genetics. Andrei, a mid-thirtyish fellow of very few words and wearing standard, drab, working apparel, drove a 20-year-old Russian-made transport vehicle that looked a lot like a 1968 Ford Econoline Van, where the front seats overhang the front wheels. The people in those vehicles were always the first ones on the scene of an accident. Andrei had taken a loveseat from someone’s house and bolted it to the floor just behind the engine housing. Andrei’s vehicle had now become a limousine. Vicktor smiled as this mode of transportation represented who VP really was: functional and plain. The 3 climbed aboard the Rusty Twinkie as VP christened it and off, they went. Driving through the streets of Petropavlovsk, Andrei drove, Nina talked in English, and Vicktor listened as he swung his head from side to side, taking in the starkness of this Communist style of living. A bayside power plant running on coal belched out black smoke as a series of elevated, insulated pipes spread out in multiple directions to supply steam heat to the concrete government housing. That goofy writing was everywhere, and VP would occasionally inquire as to what it meant. As Nina gave her standard speech about the history of Petropavlovsk in English, she would occasionally bark off directions to Andrei in Russian. Interpreters always amaze single language speaking people as to how much work is involved to learn a second language after childhood. Before that, it is quite easy. 

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