Questions on Russian travel (in particular to the north-west of European part of the country), working, or living are most welcomed. Write to manfriday@yandex.ru, contact me via Skype at Uncle_Pasha_2011, or use chat at the bottom right corner of this page.

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I’m ready for a new challenge

For the last few months, in addition to translating Alexandra’s book on the eiders (the end of the project is now in sight sometime in 2019) and teaching English (mostly to local kids), I’ve been looking where a motor yacht could fill up with quality diesel fuel between St. Petersburg and Murmansk. Now, with the yacht project over, 1/3 of my time and energy is freed up, and am ready to apply it to the benefit humanity and to help in paying our bills.

Examples of jobs done in the last three or four years, since our move to the Kola Peninsula: more >>

On the receiving end of the Russian roadside hospitality

May be an image of road and natureAs some of you may know, our “new” car spent most of the summer and September in the repair shop. That left me, the homebody, quite content, but my mate Alexandra, with her wanderlust, got frustrated close to the breaking point. So when I turned out to have a free day on Wednesday, I said not a word against Alexandra’s plan to drive to Kashkarantsy, about 200km east from Kandalaksha.

A recent article on Kandalaksha in The Geographer

Recently an article by Jonathan Campion on Kandalaksha has appeared in The Geographer, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society magazine.

While capturing the spirit of the place, the article falls victim to stereotypes, such as “abandoned Soviet-era aluminum smelter”: if it is “Soviet-era”, it has to be “abandoned”, like “a nice hot” fits together with “a cup of tea”.

Also, I couldn’t make sense out of the episode of a man with a gun chasing the traveler away.  It sounds like the author stumbled into a military base, but there are no military bases in or around Kandalaksha. The only plausible explanation I can think of is that the author of the story happened to stumble upon a dacha owner overprotective of his property. Highly atypical I’d say.

The Geographer >>

Jonathan Campion’s site >>

The Eider Book is here!!

Finally, it has been printed and delivered to Kandalaksha. Here we are after unloading nearly two tons of books (900 Russian ones and 500 English copies, over two kilos each):

The author (center), the typesetter (left), and I, the humble translator (right) in my home office, where the bulk of the books is presently stored

Actually, they arrived two or even three weeks ago but I was a bit busy with teaching English and then buying/registering a “new” car to make a timely announcement. 

See the book description at www.alexandra-goryashko.net/en_eider_book.htm

The cost of the English version is 50 dollars/Euros plus shipping (another $35-40). Free (except for shipping) from those who sponsored the book while it was being written. If interested in purchasing it please write to manfriday@yandex.ru.

A few dozen of them stayed in St. Petersburg and some went to Moscow, and you can pick them up there if convenient. Please write to me for details.

Recent activity

Despite the economic crisis and quarantine, I’ve managed to keep myself relatively busy as of recent. Teaching English, mostly to local kids, has been a reliable, although not that well paid, staple. The mega-project of the last three years was translating the Eider Book written by my mate Alexandra. The book has now been printed and at the moment is being bound in St. Petersburg. Anybody interested in purchasing it should contact Alexandra at alexandragor4@yandex.ru. The expected price is around $100US. Shipping may or may not be extra. That will be decided shortly. At the moment we can only announce the ballpark price figure.

A good part of June was spent on developing www.eiderdown.com, my first “serious” site-building project for a client. Talk to me if you need a website of a similar level of complexity. Heavy editing of client-provided texts and pictures was part of the job. The cost of both the English and the Russian versions was together around $1000.

Main page of www.eiderdown.com

Yes, the crisis and all forced me to seriously reduce the price tag on my time. Now it is as good of an opportunity to hire me as it has ever been since mid-1990s. I’ll be happy to hear from anyone who needs an agent or a representative in the Murmansk region.