There are two things I want to make clear before I begin this article:
1. I’m not sure if this story is entirely true.
2. I’m not sure if that entirely matters.
I interviewed Yasik “Ruso Loco” Smirnoff, “the ‘crazy’ Russian traveller who has lived with nomads, bathed with crocodiles, fallen down a volcano, and even been lost in the desert (and he’s still only 21 years old),” two weeks ago, and I put off even starting this article until my editor (a normally docile Pacific Northwesterner) called and threatened to take the story from me.
Part of me was tempted to let him have it (after all, these pictures of Wilford Brimley as a sexy vampire won’t just Photoshop themselves), but in the end I asked him for one more chance. Because despite my reticence, the most important lesson I learned from my surreal conversation with Yasik is this:
The difficult things need to be done, precisely because they are difficult.