A few years ago, I wrote a piece for Perceptive Travel on a serious topic: moustaches in Russian, past and present. It began:
There’s no way to know the precise percentage of Russian men who wore moustaches in the first decade of the 1700s, but if you’re like me you’ve spent some time wondering about it…
And I still do. But on my trip counting moustaches across Russia to Kamchatka several years ago, I at least learned what counting moustaches can lead you to. Snowy volcanic craters, and others fuming gas in a Mars-like setting. A weird land, where you rent helicopters to search out nomads, and ride in homemade kayaks built by expat American hippies who drink all your wine at campsites reached by bear trails.
And such a trip also leads to a volcanologist with an all-year moustache to humble all Movember contestants.