Update. I am happy to report that pf is basically OK (though banged up around the face, minus his Rabelais, and plus a—presumably temporary—stutter) and on his way to Chita; fortunately, he had bought the ticket before his misadventure, and the muggers tossed his passport back to him upon request. You can read my original post in the extended entry below, and get a fuller story on his blog. I must say, he’s dealing with all this a hell of a lot better than I would in his place.
And just when I was thinking my entries were getting boring. My technique of striking up conversations with all and sundry has a dark side. I’m sitting in the hospital now, with a swollen face and no wallet. And they seemed such nice young men. This makes the second time I’ve been beaten in Russia, though the good stuff still outweighs the rest. Only thing is without money, things are a little more difficult.
And no hat. And no glasses. And a concussion, which is a new word for me in Russian, but I’ve forgotten it. I seem to be having trouble getting things in general in my head straight, but you expect that. On the neat side, one of my pupils is now elliptical, and its long axis is not parallel to the pull of gravity. Nor the short axis, naturally.
Always wanted to see the Russian health system from the inside. I’ve had a few friends who’ve worked in it and who’ve said it’s better to die at home than in the hospital, since you’re more comfortable there and you die slower. See you soon, I hope.
07:04:18 AM, Sunday 1 February 2004
If anybody has contacts in Khabarovsk, or knows of any good ways of getting him some assistance, this might be a good chance to increase your karmic level, perform a mitzvah, or just help out a guy in a jam far from home.
[Entry edited to replace the no-longer-applicable "Vladivostok" with "Khabarovsk," thanks to the more careful reading of Tim in the comments.]