|2005-04-07 - How to stay married...
How to stay married for 50 years
7 Apr, 05 - 21:24
GPS-pos: N68°31´ | E160°23´ | Alt: 0 M
How to stay married for 50 years. (Advice from Anna Yakovlevna and Piotr Innokentyevich how to do it!)
4-5 m/s southerly today, about -4°F Midday and under -22°F as usual during the night. If one considers the chilling factor, the proper day temperature has been around -30°F. Therefore, it´s been a awfully chilly and gray day, but still, it´s been like a walk in the park since we left Kolymskaya. We´re not even sweating nowadays. 25 kms today, 3 days to reach Chersky. It is the 7th of April, Thursday. Tent pitched at N 68°31´59.1 and E 160°23´51.5.
´´I saw you when you visited our camp on the tundra´´ ,Piotr laughs with a toothless grin, ´´everybody liked you immediately. Not because you are two great athletes, but due to the fact that you ate more food then the rest of us. We´ve had some official visits from abroad during the years. Everything from French people to Muscovites. But they hardly touch our food. As it would be foul and not good enough for them. We Chukchi appreciate people who eat a lot and show how much they like our food.´´
Piotr is 80 years old and a legendary reindeer herder in the area. He´s a very warm and kind human being. He jokes and laughs pretty much all the time and seems to have an interest in all ways of life.
´´A lot of the old people we´ve come across along the Kolyma suffer from rheumatism´´ , I say and add: ´´Does that apply to you as well?´´
´´I´ve never been ill one single day in my life´´ ,he answers slightly surprised but with a big smile, ´´I´ve never met a reindeer herder either, who´s been ill. At least, not many. Don´t you know that life on the tundra is the healthiest of all? And the best! Nobody suffers out there. The reindeer supplies us with all we need. From food to clothes.´´
Even if Piotr has retired since a few years back and left the life on the tundra, he oftenly heads out there to visit all the camps. He just takes his snowmobile and his 10 years younger wife and travel up to 7 hours to reach the closest camp!
´´Somebody told me yesterday that you thought that only 40 reindeer skins were needed for a yurangi (Chukchi tent made of reindeerskins)´´ , Anna, his funny, kind and jovial wife points out, ´´but this applies only to a small yurangi. 80 is more normal.´´
That was one of the reasons they invited us to their modern home full of children. To help us get things right. Anna and Piotr hugs each other a lot and laughs as much.
´´This year, I´ve been married to my wife for 10 years´´ ,I tell them and then I ask the following very important question; ´´But how in earth do you do to stay married for over 50 years?!´´
Anna and Piotr laughs in a way that I feel like I´ve asked the dumbest of all questions.
´´You have to have fun together´´ ,Piotr says and Anna nods agreeingly, ´´If you can´t laugh together every day, it will not work.´´
´´Any more advice?´´ ,I ask.
´´´Enough´´, Anna says, ´´food is already on the table! You have to stuff yourselves now, otherwise you´ll never make it all the way to Ambarchik.´´