KGB (July 2010)

First of all, I would like to make clear that this is a true fact, that happened to me in August 19th 2005. I remember the exact day because of the pictures I took they had the date on them.
So there I was, touring Russia with the symphonical orchestra were I play. It was our second day in Moscow and we got up early to go and visit the Red Square. In the mornings, I don’t know if every day of the week tough, they close for a few hours the Red Square and if you wait in the line that’s in front of the Square you get to go and visit Lenin’s tomb, which is placed inside a building on the right side of the square. There are certain rules to go and visit Lenin’s corpse. Once you are inside the pantheon you are not allowed to talk, eat, drink, remain standing (you have to pass by without stopping) your hands have to stay out of the pockets and of course you cannot enter any kind of bag or backpack. For this purpose they have a lockers office at the beginning of the square. You go there, pay a symbolic prize and they give you a ticket. Once you’ve done visiting Lenin you cross the Square from the outside and go and get back your belongings.
So there we were. We were the last group of the morning who got to enter. When we got out they were already closing. My friends had been more intelligent and kept their stuff at the bus, so I was the only one who had to walk all the way back to get my backpack. They were all thirsty because of the heavy sun we had been enduring the entire morning at the queue and so they decided to get going to a bar to get some sodas. I started to walk fast as I saw how the policemen where removing the fences that kept the square secure. Once I got to the other side I found myself with the locker’s place closed. I was in panic. Me, in the middle of a city where I could not communicate and vice versa. So I decided to go and knock at the door. As soon as my hand touched the door I had a policeman’s hand on my shoulder. He started yelling at me (who knows what) and pushing me away from the place. The policeman was not letting me enter and seemed no eager to pay attention to my misfortunes. From what I could understand he was making me signs as if to say: ‘Come back tomorrow’. Of course I couldn’t come back tomorrow because first of all we were leaving the city at night and going to Niznyi-Novgorod (another city). I needed my passport, my money and my belongings. Stubborn as I am, I decided I was not going to let that policeman win the battle so I started insisting, making gestures. A few minutes later a  middle-aged man appeared on the scene. He looked at me and demanded what was wrong in a very “Rusky” English. I explained to him what had occurred and he started talking gently with the policeman. They started to argue with each other and two more policemen appeared on the scene. They told him something. Next thing he does, put his hand in his pocket, takes out a wallet, opens it and he shows a KGB badge, with his picture next to it with the same number written on the badge. Allow me to say, that I don’t know who was more shocked: wether me or those policemen. All of the sudden they led him inside and he came of with my backpack and kindly handed it to me. I thanked him (balsoy spasiva, I knew that word) and we both left in separate ways. Me back to my friends and him… I don’t know. 
Needless to say that I felt like in some James Bond’s film, the only place where I had seen the KGB ever, ever, ever. 
And that led me to think: You better be careful, every step you take, specially in Russia, because who knows who might be watching you?


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