Rostov on Don: an unscheduled hiatus

Rostov-na-Donu Travel Blog

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This a very ugly and non-descript city on the banks of a wide river.  I wander around town getting my entire nutritional intake from pepsi bottles and snickers bars.  Almost prefer it to the the terrible tasting "bistro" food.  (I've finished off the last of the cold Big Macs).  Come evening, I meet a professor at a cafe and he strikes up a conversation, inviting me to stay with him that night.  I agree, but while he is off to make a phone call, another bloke comes over and offers a lift to his place instead.  He says he doesn't trust the professor and in hindsight, I should not have trusted this bloke instead.  I follow him into a beat-up old cab and we head to the edge of city.  When the taxi has left us I feel a sharp pain spread over my forehead.  I wake up perhaps a few hours later and find most of my things missing, including my money, passport, camera (and film of the Baltics, although the rest was thankfully there).  The backpack, bedroll and a few other things are scattered around me.  I'm surprised to see even my shoes are missing off my feet.  I'm missing my coat too and starting to freeze.  I tuck what's left into my bag, put on the old shoes my mugger left behind and wander off in search of a police station.  I flag down a bus and say "Polizei" and after seeing the blood on my face, he drives me right to the door.  I end up spending a full day locked in a cell, partly because my Russian is too bad for them to really understand me and partly because I know just enough that they think I might be some hooligan from a neighboring town that got in some bar room brawl.  At least they let me wash off my face.  Eventually, I'm rescued by an American student studying in the city.  He takes me in to his dorm for a few days and I feel I owe him a huge debt of gratitude.  On the day I leave to return to Moscow to replace my stolen travelers checks and passport, a local policeman comes by and hands me a few hundred rubles from his own pocket. 
Biedjee says:
any hassles I have encountered on my trips are just a breeze compared to this
Posted on: Mar 20, 2008
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photo by: rostovcat