From the time I was in grade school, I have had an obsession with places foreign and far away, particularly the lands of the far north.  I remember learning the history of Russia, everything seemed austere and bold, cold and powerful, brutal, bitter, yet breathtakingly beautiful and alive.  Russia strikes me as a world apart.

The trans-Siberian railway.  St. Petersburg.  Moscow, the liveliest nightlife on the planet earth.  Frozen land, and endless wonder.  Vodka, astoundingly wonderful vodka.  Pelemeni, golubsti, latkes, beef stroganoff, borsch.  Thick accents and cryptic alphabet.  My brother, Mike, before he died also had an obsession with Russia by way of the language.  He had begun to teach himself the Russian alphabet.  He had a fascination for linguistics.  On my childhood porched is etched still Russian letters by my brother’s hand.

I want to go there one day, perhaps with a lover, perhaps alone.  I feel power surging through me at the notion of going alone, adrenaline brought on by the thrill of adventure and risk, companions I crave would come to call more often.  I want to go and take the train across that great land, and hike in Siberia.  I want to walk on the streets of the major cities and make allies.  I want todrink good vodka and eat good Russian food, and I want to go out at night and let my head swim and swallow up everything new and wonderful.