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"Less fuss, more attention"

Than Chukotka conquered the TV operator from Ivanov

For seven years after moving from Ivanov to Chukotka, Arseny Gusev traveled the whole district, found good friends and even mastered bone-cutting skills. He is sure that the Russian North is a special world, unknown to the average person, which gives a million opportunities. And the one who came here for a time, in love, will always remain here forever.

"Less fuss, more attention"
Photo: courtesy of Arseniy Gusev
- How did this strange, at first sight, strange idea arise - to leave Ivanov for Chukotka?

- It all started about seven years ago. I worked on Ivanovo TV and was married for the first time. I did not think about the north at all. But one day on our television channel they delayed the salary for a month and a half. Questions began to arise from the wife ... Then the idea was born to go somewhere else to work on the watch. Where? To the north, of course! I wrote a letter to a friend in Surgut, where he worked as a watchman, asked if there were any vacancies in his office, or even better on local television. Well, I also sent a couple of letters to familiar and unfamiliar people, about whom I knew that they are connected with the north. As a result, this story did not end - there were no vacancies, and the salary in Ivanovo was again paid.

- But in the end you are still in Chukotka.

- Six months later, when I had already parted with my wife and the money issue was settled, I received a letter to the post office: you wrote to us about the vacancy of the operator ... The letter was from Anadyr. There the operator was drinking, and so that he was forcibly sent back to Nizhny Novgorod, where he was taken to the contract ... And so they offered me a salary of thousands more for 10 than in Ivanovo, and a room in a communal apartment. I did not even see Anadyr prices for food, I realized that money was ridiculous and it was pointless to go there for work. But I also understood that if I did not go now, I would stay in Ivanovo forever. It frightened me.

The decision to go I took unexpectedly even for myself. I wanted to leave at least one year. In my opinion it was a kind of long excursion. The most northeastern region of Russia deserves to be seen, I thought. And with my profession it was very convenient. A month later I got an electronic ticket for the plane and printed out a copy of my entry permit for the border zone of the Russian Federation.

- If the decision to move took unexpectedly even for themselves, the relatives, probably, were also extremely surprised?

- Highly! But when my mother found out that I was going, she said that in her youth she would have done the same. It was more difficult to part with a girl. I neither myself nor she could not explain why I choose not her, but Chukotka.

- What did you know about this region before moving?

"I have never been to Anadyr before that." And in general, nowhere in the north, if Peter does not count. Information about Chukotka was tried on the Internet. But it turned out that Chukotka as a whole is a white spot for Google. On the map, of course, she was present, you could read some local Internet resources, but eventually to understand where you were going was unrealistic. He waved his hand, bought a warm jacket, warmed pants - and drove off.

- Did you get to the place with adventures?

- Yes, it was not without them. It turned out that the city of Anadyr and Anadyr airport are on different shores of the Anadyr estuary. (Lyman is the place where the river flows into the sea. The peculiarity is that at different times, depending on the tide, the water there is salty, then almost fresh. - EastRussia) For me, the estuary was a rather interesting obstacle. From Moscow, I flew 22 December. Flew 23-th in the coal mines - the name of the village where the Anadyr airport is located. And then it was necessary to get to the city of Anadyr. But the ice on the estuary had not yet risen and there was no road. So from the airport to the city only helicopters flew ... 

I bought a ticket, and there were no helicopters: they left somewhere on the route through the villages, where people could not get into the weather for a week because of bad weather. Thus, having overcome 6000 kilometers from Moscow to Chukotka, I was stuck in the Coal Mines - literally two steps from Anadyr. It's good that I waited only four hours, but it's not clear if there will be a board at all this day, but in 6 evenings the airport usually closes. I was lucky: the helicopter arrived. Anadir was met by colleagues in an office car and taken home.

- What struck in the northern city in the first place?

- I still remember the shock of food prices. The first two weeks he could not buy anything at all. Forever remembered carrots for 600 rubles per kilogram (and it was in 2011 year!) But, as I was explained, before the new year here always the prices for fresh fruits and vegetables are jumping. At first I ate ravioli and porridge. And then he went to the store without glasses: he was well fed and nerves were safe.

Thanks to the work very quickly met interesting people and began to live a full life. Almost immediately enrolled in dance lessons - salsa and bachata, played on a harp and keys in a local rock band, went to lessons in bone carving, started playing badminton.

- What is the fundamental difference between life in the north and life in the center of Russia?

- For me, the main difference is a lot of free time. Anadyr - a small town, 15 thousand inhabitants, and very compact - you can get round in an hour. So, especially at first, I was very glad that before the work go on foot 15 minutes. And you can go home for lunch, and at dinner you can catch the show and take a nap for half an hour.

There is one cinema in Anadyr. Two good drinking and dancing establishments. Two Houses of Culture. And, they say, here the military and their spouses are very bored. But for active and fun Anadyr offers inexhaustible resources. A lot of clubs on interests, a rich library, a live rock movement. Also it is necessary to depart a couple of kilometers from the city - the endless tundra: a paradise for hunters, fishermen, hikers, mushroom pickers, berry-berry. The set of rivers for extreme alloys. A lot of people ready to join you in the most adventurous adventure. 

By the way, about people. Of course, like everywhere else, among them there are good and not very good ones, but it seemed to me that in a harsh environment, when even in a city you can get lost during a blizzard, people are more likely to help each other. Less fuss, more attention.

Flights around Chukotka are very expensive. The helicopter from the airport to Anadyr in the autumn period costs about 5 thousand. To distant settlements, a return ticket can cost more than 30 thousand. So many residents of Anadyr travel more in Europe than in Chukotka. I, thanks to the profession, feel elected. Every time I listen with an open mouth after another business trip.

- In what interesting places have visited?

- For seven years I flew all over Chukotka. There are literally a couple of settlements where I was not. Probably, this can not boast any tourist from the central regions of Russia. The most striking event for me was a hiking tour of the tundra more than 220 kilometers from the Bay of Lawrence to Cape Dezhnev and back. Then I'm in the first (and hopefully the last) time I took a backpack weighing about 35 kilograms plus a camera on my shoulders. I learned to put a tent and cook the most delicious porridge in the world. And do not be afraid of not tattered bears. 

For me, the end point of the trip was the abandoned settlement of Naukan. There since ancient times there lived Eskimos. Hunted whales, fought with the whole world, went on a visit to Alaska. Now there is a completely fascinating place. The skeletons of semi-earth, where you can not go - there are spirits - and beside an abandoned meteorological station and a lighthouse-monument to Semyon Dezhnev. Our expedition hung a sign on the lighthouse that it is under the protection of UNESCO and recognized as an object of the cultural heritage of the ChAO.

- Countrymen from Ivanov in the north met?

- Once I flew on a business trip to a neighboring village - Kanchalan, and there I saw a familiar face. I could not believe my eyes! But at the next meeting, after all, he asked the young man whether his life was connected with my city. It turned out that indeed, he studied in the neighboring building of the State University on the history site in Ivanovo. And he was friends with my classmate's sister. Here such meeting.

But I did not see more of Ivanov. I know that many fellow countrymen, graduates of IvEnergo, work in the city of Bilibino. There is the most northern nuclear power plant.

- You came to Anadyr for a small salary. Since then, has something changed in the material plan?

- I can not say that the salary is at a good level. 60 thousand and small additional work for local prices is not very much. But they give financial assistance for vacation (by the way, it's big, 52 days). In addition, every two years I can fly to Moscow at the expense of the company. In Ivanovo I come every year, here I make the biggest purchases. Of course, at first I missed home and friends. Then I got a good tariff for mobile communication, where I could talk to friends for free for an hour a day. And now I have much more contact with Anadyr friends than with those who stayed at home.

- Do you regret that you moved?

- I will never regret that I came to Chukotka for a year and stayed for seven years. This is an amazing place. There really is another world. And a huge number of opportunities for a person looking for adventure.

It is possible that you will have to part with this region. Vladivostok and Khabarovsk are very tempting for me now. Still happens, that it would be desirable to throw all and to leave to Sochi. But, as they say in Chukotka, two types of people come here: some go to the North forever with grandiose plans and dreams, others come for a year to work. Here only the first fly away in two months, and the second remain forever.

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