First Time in Russia
“I had some Russian friends I met on a language learning website, and one day they asked me if I wanted to visit Russia. I said yes, and they offered me to stay with them at their house. I packed my luggage and traveled to Russia. At the airport in Russia, I waited for about 30 minutes at the baggage claim, but my luggage wasn’t there. It was me and another Iranian guy, our luggage wasn’t delivered. We went to the reception to ask where’s our luggage. It was my first time traveling abroad, I was so shocked. We asked where’s our luggage, but they told us they’re busy. They were playing some card game on a computer. Eventually, they took our tickets to check. And they said, “Oh, your luggage is in Iran, your military guard didn’t give it to us.” I was so afraid. So, they gave me some papers to fill in, like what I had in my luggage, etc., and then I left the airport.
“It was summer. 6:00 AM. And it was so cold! But I had no clothes with me. First, a taxi driver approached me and offered a ride for 100 US dollars. I tried to bargain, he dropped the price to 50$. And I thought to myself something’s wrong here if he went from 100 down to 50 just like that. Then I noticed a bus station in front of the airport, so I went there. A guy was there, and I asked him if he could help me to get to where I needed. He looked at me and said no, but then a couple of minutes later he came to me and asked where was I going. So we get on a bus, share stories. Eventually, he gets off the bus and tells me my stop is the second after this one. When I get off the bus, I realize I am in a wrong place. I started approaching people and asking to call my friends, but they’d say something in Russian and would then just walk away. Then I came across a guy from Africa and I said, “Mister, can you help me?” He agreed to call my friends, but he had no credit on his phone, so we went to a shop, he charged his phone, called my friends, explained me how to get to them. I had to take a taxi and was finally able to meet my friends.
“For the next 7 days, my Russian friend was calling the airport to see if there’s any news about the luggage. She was very polite in the beginning, but eventually, I think, she was cursing them. And I guess they were worried and didn’t want to have troubles, so they gave back my luggage to me, which was actually in Russia all the time.”