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Far East "far" and "close" - 2

Leonid Blyakher on the distances. Essay two

Far East "far" and "close" - 2

Leonid Blyakher

Professor, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Culturology of the Pacific State University, Doctor of Philosophy
What is Far East far? However, like any "far", this place, which is not just difficult to get to, but, more often than not, there is no need. If you go there is useful or prestigious, then it may well be "close". On the other hand, if there is nothing to do there, it is located on the map "far" can be quite near. What does it depend on? Let's speculate. 

Of course, from how thick your purse is. What are you, in fact, trading in life. But here everything is very difficult. Some countries are close. In any case, not very far. But the states located next to them can remain as incredibly distant.

Not so long ago, ten years ago, suddenly not very far for the Far East, however, not all the Far Easterners, was Europe. But, of course, not all. Suddenly and sharply approached Spain, the Czech Republic, some areas of Italy. And, say, Portugal, neighboring with Spain, has remained incredibly far away. Like the neighboring Czech Republic Poland. Why? God knows. Apparently, charters flew there less often, they were less often offered by tour operators. As a result, it was difficult to get there, and there was especially nothing to do there. In recent years, Europe has remained not very far for a very small number of residents of the region. For the rest - and their overwhelming majority - it was and remained incredible, absolutely distant.

Yes there is Europe. Even the European part of the country, with the exception of the two capitals, Sochi, Krasnodar and, more recently, the Crimea remains almost unexplored land. Something like that, "near Moscow."

Giant space "in the west" (from the Far East) is very poorly filled. Depending on the field of activity, biography, income, related and friendly ties in this gigantic space, five or six bright points stand out, which make sense, which they know about. The rest merges into a common "west", the general "somewhere out there." By the way, in the 90-ies to the "somewhere out there" for most of the region's population was Moscow. More precisely, about "Moscow, which threw us" or "which rob us" knew everything. But with a particular city with its houses, streets and people was napryazhenka. Not the city, of course. The inhabitants of the Far East. Today, perhaps, the image of the capital has become more specific.   

Approximately the same patchy space is in the east. The United States is very far away. Especially from Khabarovsk. From Vladivostok this country is somewhat closer. But other countries in America are far from simply very much, but "insanely" (people who have been there can be counted on their fingers). In the mass of their they are just not very clear place on the map. Is, probably. But I have nothing to do there. Japan is closer. Khabarovsk citizens go there, although not massively. South Korea is even closer. Despite the fact that in recent years, the economy of this country is going through not the best time, workers of a slowly degrading construction complex, seasonal agricultural workers, scientists, teachers, artists, sailors are going there. Direct communication (less than three hours and you in Seoul), a light visa regime. All this substantially brings Korea closer to the Far East. With North Korea, the situation is more complicated. This country is very far away. But "Korean loggers" (natives of North Korea) are their own, Far Eastern people.

Even more difficult is the situation with China. About the fact that China is near us, everyone knows everything in the Russian Far East and beyond. Only the fact that China is very large and different is overlooked. There are border areas of China. They, really, are close - through the Cupid by boat, and you are in Fuyuan. One and a half hours by plane or overnight by train, and you're in Harbin. A little more - and in Dalian. Now Beijing, although it is the "northern capital", is not very close. A trip there is already a journey, an event. An even bigger event is a trip to Shanghai or Hong Kong. Far away they are. Get with the transplants. Yes, and the reasons to do this, if you are not an entrepreneur, an exchange student or a diplomat, is not very much. Further on the map, but "closer" to the Far East Hainan Island. He mastered, obzhit. There is a direct flight. The rest of southern China is very far away. Even geographically. And the "mentally" is simply incredibly far away.

And very far away are the Chinese Tibet or the west of China with the Taklamakan desert, the Sijiang mountain range and so on. Visiting these places is not just an event, but an exotic one. Photo exhibitions about these areas of China are perceived the same way as photo exhibitions about the unique peoples of Africa or Micronesia.

Not very far is Thailand. Only seven or eight hours, and you're in Bangkok. This is the traditional winter route of the Far East with an average income. Vietnam has become much closer in recent years. Not as close as Thailand. But much closer than, say, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia.

But often "very far away" is very close, here, in the Far East. A couple of years ago I conducted field research in one of the villages of the Khabarovsk Territory. It is located 70 kilometers from the highway, in an area with difficult terrain. The trip there was perceived as a very long trip. And it took much more time than a trip to Moscow. And there are many such points on the map of the Khabarovsk Territory. There is a road somewhere. Somewhere "winter road" and a primer. And somewhere there is nothing. Crazy, incredibly far away is Yakutia or the Magadan region. That is, Yakutsk itself is still present in the world (for a resident of Khabarovsk), like Magadan itself. They go there on business, from there they come to study at the universities of the city. But the rest ... Of course, it is. But in the same place as Tver, Krakow, Bangladesh. That is, in the insane "far away."

At a sight from capitals the Far East is visible that huge and severe edge adjoining with China and Japan, possessing huge stocks of minerals, sea bioresources, wood arrays and other similar pleasures. Probably, all this is seen from Moscow in this way. 

The only problem is that they have reserves of minerals, marine bioresources, forests and neighbors with China or Japan "different Far East". The relationship between them is very unstable and expensive. Say, to fly to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky for a resident of Khabarovsk is much more expensive than to fly to Moscow. But there is simply no other way to get to it. There is still no other way to get to Yakutsk, except to fly by plane. On the map there is a road linking Yakutsk and Magadan. But on the terrain to go on it can not always be. Different parts of the region, differing in terms of terrain, climate, population and much more they are located from each other incredibly far. Much further than each of them is located from Moscow.
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