A businessman on his way to Domodedovo offering to sell dirt cheap goods he is leaving behind
A few days ago, Prospekt Mira, the railroad overpass by the Riga Station.
A motorist waved me to stop, which I did. The fellow was charm incarnate. Presented himself as Mario, an Italian businessman on his way to the airport. The story was that he was where for a trade show, now heading to the airport, and is leaving behind a load of leather coats that he is willing to sell extra cheap. Just a few roubles from me and I can head to VDNKh to claim his goods.
His mistake was overdoing it. Being too perfect producing the impression of charm, friendliness, and trustworthiness. Perfect English with with just the right amount of Italian accent and manner. About 55, the age when people normally outgrow criminal tendencies. Respectable but non-aggressive car and dress. Just too perfect fit for him to be real.
Why did he pick me out? I notice that most attempts on the meager contents of my wallet are made when I’m in one of my rare light and carefree moods. The car was fresh from the shop, successfully repaired. I had music on, contrary to my habit of listening to the Echo of Moscow, a station that specializes in political analysis, a profoundly depressing undertaking in 2013 Russia. I was wearing my favourite froggie hat that does not sent any of the “don’t fuck with me” message. To stay safe look aggressive and unpleasant. Wear dark inside and out. And scammers will stay away.
My general – and insistent – advice to you is not to stop when requested to do so, not to talk to strangers, not to accept gifts, not to try returning dropped objects etc. etc. IF IN DOUBT DON’T, and till you’ve been here for a while doubt just about everything. My situation is different. I make a living by knowing this environment and especially its ugly side, and exposing myself to situation keeps me current, and gets me business later on.