I’ve been warned not to talk to police officers in Russia. My friends who have been to the country told me that policemen often stop foreigners and ask for their documents. Some of the native Russians have scared me with a story about a corrupt official here and there. However, there are other folks who tell me that policemen are friendly, so I have nothing to be scared of. I have been scared in the past, because the past name of the police was “militsia”, which sounds a lot like military. I have never been stopped by the police in the past two years.
However, that changed today. Luckily, my encounter was of a friendly sort. I was headed home after being drenched by a rainstorm. The umbrella I was walking under hardly helped. Little did I notice, but a group of officers in training were going my way. One of the young men walked very close to my side, and was under my umbrella for a good minute before I noticed.
I was shocked, but found it funny. The officer in training asked me where I was headed. I told him that I was going home. He jokingly replied that he would call me later tomorrow for a date. For whatever reason, he seemed friendly and didn’t creep me out like some strangers on the street.
For that…I have another story to tell for another time.