I spent summers of my school years 100 kilometers east of Moscow. It was really in the middle of nowhere. There was a small village, so decrepit, I couldn’t tell when it was built. But I’d not be surprised if it still stands. There were no stores, in, fact there was nothing, except, well, nature. Nature meant you could go for mushrooms or blueberries, and shit like that. From the point of nature it was a good deal, since more often then not mosquitoes had a good day.
Another option was fishing. Despite relatively fancy equipment I had, or maybe because of it (draw obvious parallels yourself, I don’t digress) I wasn’t good at it. In fact, I actually consumed my catch only twice.
The first case was a matter of pride (it has got to be big enough to eat, no?) We wrapped the poor dude in huge leaves we found nearby and cooked in the hot ashes. (Obviously fire is of very high importance in fishing expeditions – get it?) I don’t remember what it tasted like.
Fishing was a social activity. Me and a friend hiked to The River, if we could get up early enough. If not, we’d fish at the “Staritsa”, literally, oldie, a used to be river, now a long winding lake. In the latter case we had no expectations, but it was only a five minute walk from the village, investment was low. In the former, expectations were high, but never really fulfilled. We knew fishing spots, all right. My neighbor, an experienced fisherman, never returned home empty handed. I, on the other hand, could be fishing right next to him using his bait, and… nothing. (Again!)
The second edible catch was an accident. There were other accidents involving sharp hooky objects stuck in uncomfortable places; bushes in the best case scenarios, human bodies (once very close to an eye) in the worst ones. But this was a happy accident. We were hanging out with fishing rods near, well, a cattle yard. The water feature was used as a bovine bathroom. Small fish liked it, so here we were. As it turned out, we weren’t alone. A huge pike (by our standards) managed to hook itself, not intentionally would be my guess (Bread bait? Meh.) Somehow we dragged it out. It was very much alive. Crisis brainstorming ensued. Option one: run. Screw the fishing rod. Second option: kill. (See where I’m going? To get grandma.)