Thomas never was great at timing. His vacation to the Black Sea was no exception. Two friends, who had been before, convinced him that Odesa was just the break from the typical American vacations to Mexico or Hawaii that he needed. It seemed like a new adventure and a break from the monotony his life had fallen into. He thought he was escaping that trap of routine, but now he would do anything to have it back. As things unfolded, the situation went from bad to worse; he lost contact with his friends in the chaos, then managed to barter his way eventually onto a small fishing trawler to get away from the area. He threw his lot in with these men for some time until the ship broke down and finally sank, leaving him stranded in a new place whose language he does not speak and whose terrain he does not know.