The first of our guests we called Níkogda, Russian for never. We met him on the river where he’d caught a bright, fresh-run Atlantic Salmon, sides like speckled mirrors. He’d caught it the day before, and since keeping them was illegal this time of year, he hid the fish under moss in the forest. He talked about village life in the Russian Arctic Circle. There was plenty of work, but no one was paying wages. Come winter, he would hitch a ride on a military truck or halftrack moving west, cross two rivers and three hundred kilometers to the town of Umba, where he would wait for spring. Fishin...
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