The Japanese bubble economy boom dropped. Meanwhile,
I was having a hard time as a salesman. A year had passed
since I had started to work at Tomen Suisan but my sales hadn't
yet satisfied the management.
Just before I was going to take my summer vacation, my
boss told me to go on a business trip to Russia. Eventually, I
had to cancel me and my wife's family trip.
I flew from Niigata to Khabarovsk and then got on a
Tupolev there. The Aeroflot jetliner took me to a city called
Petropavlovsk Kamchatskij, located on the east side of the
Kamchatka Peninsula. When I was on the flight from Niigata,
I was reading the on-board magazine of the airline company,
and I found the long named city on the map inside it. It was an
important naval port that the Soviet Paciflc Fleet faced the
U.S. forces in the days of the cold war. Then, it was rather the
mother port of the Russian fishery boats.
The streets of Petropavlovsk Kamchatskij were covered
with fallen leaves. Cold wind was blowing over its surface.
It was still the middle of July.
I was walking a little bit south of this town, and in front of
me, beyond the decline, appeared a natural made superior port
facing the Bering Sea. I had checked into a hotel and was
going to the office of Lenin Kolkhoz. Lenin Kolkhoz was
located very close to the naval base at the port of Petropavlovsk
Kamchatskij. I was together with my translator, a Russian
girl who spoke English.
The president of Lenin Kolkhoz was a man named
Khriukin, and he was alone in his office on the third floor of
the building. This Mr. Khriukin looked rather young for a
man in his fifties. He had silver hair, wore a black jacket with
no necktie on, and was sitting in a leather armchair.
The translator introduced me as a technical teacher of sujiko
processing, sent from Tomen Suisan. There was a world map
on the wall. Mr. Khriukin stood up and shook my hands in a
kind of busy way. He said something to the translator, which
she didn't translate.
Mr. Khriukin looked out of the window of the office.
There was a 3 thousand ton factory ship anchored there.
The name of the ship was Cerograska. Her body was mostly
covered with rust. Sparks were seen, perhaps that of weldings,
once in a while.