• 71

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    Your quest in quenching this unexpected desire takes you to the elongated island of Sakhalin – specifically in its southernmost tip that the Chinese had purchased from the Russians ten years back to expand their residential reach. As it turns out, advancing technology revolutionized the sprawl of residential zones as well.

    Just at the edge of where a suburb is being reverted back into a forest of firs and spruces, you’re greeted by a short and stocky fellow. He reminds you a bit of Dersu Uzala but with even more layers of clothing. You listen to his boasts of Tar-Tar blood and some tiger clan that his ancestors have been part of for millennia. His stories soon include his own efforts in taking care to preserve his traditions in the forest that’s being regrown here.

    He hands you something taken out of one of his many inner-vest pockets – a small plastic bubble wand “Made in China” some 30 years ago. You don’t have to blow any psychedelic bubbles to grasp the significance of this surreal moment. A moment akin to Kyle MacLachlan discovering that ant-infested ear in Blue Velvet, this bubble wand pulls you into a realm of new meanings and mysteries – something is being lost these days, it seems you are being told, not by necessity, but only and purely by choice.

    You put all of your remaining financial resources into a large, empty chunk of North Dakota flatland and proceed to welcome and market to those who wish to live in a land preserving that world that still had significant problems not but 30 years ago. You already have the perfect name for it…

    The End.

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