[ed note: the following is an excerpt from the travel journal of my old high school friend Andrej Mucic. In 2005, Andrej bicycled over 7,000 miles through Siberia to raise money for the American Anti-Slavery Group. Previous installments start here.
Back in Magadan, Andrej nears the end of his visit and prepares to head back to Moscow]
Subject: Atom Tan
When I say I’m going to Metallic Beach, you all have to remember that I’m wearing a fur coat to the beach. The city is on a steep hill and the beach is just a little stretch of sand at the base of a 90 degree cliff. There I go to collect my thoughts. And meet the ell-gathering underbelly of Magadan society.
I recently learned that this beach is very radioactive, particularly in the exact location I like to sit and enjoy the view. You’re probably asking yourselves, How radioactive is it, Andrej? I’ll tell you. On a Geiger counter, a virgin forest reads 12. Downtown Manhattan reads 30. My metallic beach reads a whopping 420! Nice. As I’m catching rays from above, the ground is seething with Cesium ash below me. No biggie though. The locals don’t seem to mind.
So what do I do here when I’m not street fighting, preaching abolition or absorbing radiation? I’ve started translating a 9 year old issue of Russian Cosmopolitan. It’s fun! So far I’ve translated an Estee Lauder ad, and now I’m working on an article about legs.
I have six more days in Magadan. Then I’m off to mighty Moscow.
Next: The Diaries conclude as Andrej returns to Moscow for The Underpass.