Travelling with him, half the time I didn't know whether to call him on his bluff or to start a fan club. On one hand, his life, in his recollection, was one big adventure from an early carrier in catching snakes in Central Asia, to being the lone survivor in a sinking of a Chinese ferry, to buying a Madagascan slave and teaching her enough to get a job as a nature guide. But on the other hand... Hell, who am I to speak? If half of my adventures would have been told to me by somebody else, I wouldn't believe them. In the long run, what is undeniably true is that we wouldn't have seen half the things we've seen if we didn't team up with him. We've learned a lot, too. I silently remark to myself that this bird that just flew by was not just a wanga, but a scimitar-billed wanga, even though I only saw it for a second. Shurik brings me hissing cockroaches to show and photograph – definitely Vova's influence. Besides, I rather enjoyed his sarcastic tone and the constant feeling we'll find or get ourselves into something really interesting really soon.
There was a storm the day he left. And after it, a gorgeous sunset streaked with pink and orange eventually blending into gold. The next morning the beach was full of seaweed and some dead fish. As I walked along the water I picked up a little beached cow-fish. "Poisson de-zebu!" proudly said a local woman walking by.