Another longer story but worth it!
“Back in July of 2009, I took three weeks off from work and flew into Moscow to do a trip around European Russia along with the Baltic States. It was my first night in Moscow and I headed to a bar that the hotel recommended. After arriving at the establishment, I immediately walked up to the bar and ordered a drink. There was an attractive looking girl standing next to me as I waited for my vodka and seven. She was definitely Russian judging by her Slavic features and the way she dressed along with her stiletto heels.
“Kak dela?” I asked.
“I am fine. Spasiba. I speak some English. You don’t have speak Russian to me.”
The Russian girl was gorgeous and friendly. Her name was Katya and I was trying to figure out if she was being a little too nice. It was my first night in Russia and I had heard that prostitution was common. After talking to her for a few minutes at the bar I decided she wasn’t a prostitute and asked her to come sit down with me at a table.
Over the next couple hours, we talked, she told me all about her city, we kicked back some shots of vodka, got a taxi and headed for the nearest hotel. The hotel was next to the Russian Cosmonaut memorial in north Moscow. After checking in to the hotel room, she gave me a very pleasant Russian welcome… for about three hours.
We woke up sometime in the morning, and I had no idea what time it was. The Russian summer and its white nights were not helping me or my Circadian rhythm. I was starving so we headed across the street to a café for a quick bite to eat. She told me more about her country and I almost choked on my food when she asked with a very serious face,
“Can you give some money because I was your guide.”
“What!?, no, you don’t talk business after the fact.” I replied, as I was waving for the waiter to bring me the check.
“But, I tell you about my country and show you good time.”
“Yes, but you had just as good a time as me, I bought you drinks, paid for a nice hotel room, bought you breakfast. And you know what, not once did you say spasiba or thank you.”
I promptly paid my tab, told her good luck, and left. She was right behind me. I walked into the nearest metro entrance. I turned to her, “Look, if you are going the same direction as me, fine, but don’t expect me to give you any money.” She didn’t say anything.
I got on the train going to Mayakovskaya station and she wouldn’t let a foot come between us. “You can’t give me maybe 1000 rubles(30 dollars)?”
It wasn’t the money that was the issue, it was the principle. “No, you need to quit following me right now.” I didn’t want to make a scene because there were people around but I was getting very agitated.
“But this is how we do things in Russia.”
“I am not stupid, you don’t conduct business like that in Russia.”
The doors opened at Mayakovskaya station and I got out real fast, she was right there with me. I was rather impressed how fast she could walk in her tall heels. We got on the escalator going up to the street and I made a break for it. Unfortunately, she grabbed a handful of my shirt as I took a fast step forward. I could have easily pulled her with me or swatted her hand away but only with hundreds of Russians witnessing the act. I was in a tight spot. The last thing I needed was for a 30 dollar hooker following me around on my first full day in Russia. Lonely planet didn’t say anything about this in their guide book.
We walked through the metro exit onto the street, and I could have turned right towards my hostel but I didn’t want her anywhere near there, so I kept walking straight. I was outright pissed at this point. This had to end and by no means was I going to pay her anything. “If you don’t leave me alone I am going to literally run away from you!” I was pretty confident she couldn’t keep up with me in her heels. Keep in mind that it was broad daylight, we were in downtown Moscow, and thousands of Muscovites were going about their daily routine.
She laughed, “I would like to see you run away from me with everyone around.”
A few minutes passed, she was still there, and I started running. “Have a good life!” I ran to the end of the block and turned right, I snaked my way around a few blocks and headed in the general direction of my hostel. I can’t imagine what the Russians were thinking as they saw an obvious American running through the streets midday. Maybe they wondered what I thought of the tour…