My Travels #6
My first assignment in Russia was St. Petersburg. My company offered me an apartment but I negotiated a long term rate with this cruise ship that was converted into a hotel (botel). My company approved it. I lived on this botel for a long time. Many adventures and stories took place there. One story: the night I was having a burger at the botel lounge. A dance show was in progress. I heard a loud grunt to my right! I looked up. A man dressed in black, donning a black mask was pointing a very large automatic gun at me and beckoning me to stand up.
I, Calmly, put my burger back on my plate and slowly and calmly I stood up. One of the botel managers ran to him and said, “He’s American. His papers are valid.” The man with the gun, beckoned me, with the big gun, to be seated. Calmly, I sat and finished my burger. I tapped the botel manager on the arm and said. “Spasiba Bolshoi!” He replied, “Pozhaluysta!” Then I said, “When you get a chance, please bring me my check.” He did. I paid up and got out of there.
That night, a Russian undercover agent who worked in the OMON was gunned down. The OMON (the man in the mask with big gun worked for the) went to every hotel in the city rounding up foreigners and suspects. They took nearly 20 people out of the lounge that night. That was just one of my adventures in Russia.