January 22nd

THIS is a story about traveling to Russia, Mordochka. Why so many from Russia? Well, because they have lots of true stories, I guess.


Photo courtesy Zhenya


    One autumn, a woman flew to St. Petersburg. Her plane arrived two hours early and so she needed to call the people who were going to meet her to find out where she should wait for them since they weren’t at the gate when she got off the plane. It was a really big airport with lots of people, lots of doors and lots of places to wait. But when the woman went to use her cell phone, it didn’t work.

     As she was standing off to one side, trying to think what to do, a man came up to her and asked her if she needed a taxi. Every- where in the airport, Mordochka, literally everywhere, were signs telling people to only take official taxis and not talk to unofficial taxis or take a ride from them.

     The woman politely said, “No,” she didn’t need a taxi and so the man left. But after an hour the man came back and said, “You’ve been waiting here alone a long time. Are you sure you don’t need help?”

     The woman looked at his face and thought it looked honest. His voice was also kind. But all those signs, Mordochka . . . What should she do? Believe the man or believe the signs?  She told the man her story. He said, “Here, you can use my phone to call your friends.”

     The woman hesitated.

     The man said, “I don’t want any money. I don’t want anything.”  The man held his phone out to her.  She took it, made the call and then gave the phone back. Before she could say the words, “Thank you,” the man said, “Welcome to Russia!” and then turned and disappeared in the crowd.

—Told to us by the woman.

 ©InterestEng. July 2013 - April 2022 §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff photos or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com