Several years ago in Saint Petersburg (Russia) I used to go walking to the different markets in the city in winter. One of these times, I went walking with a friend to a remote market out of the limits of the underground area.
I had never seen a place so dark, so dirty and disagreeable as this time. Though it was relatively early, the smell of the corruption was obvious everywhere. Many people who looked malefactors were arriving.
My friend indicated me that it would be better to leave. So we did it. We had not bought anything, with the exception of a bottle of vodka and a CD of Russian music.
We were walking calmly along the sidewalk full of snow. We were speaking and hurrying to catch the closest underground.
Suddenly a four-wheel drive vehicle was dangerously coming closer. The car had dark windows and it was not possible to see the driver.
We had to jump off the sidewalk because the car was coming to knock down. Instinctively I called the driver "son of a bitch" in Spanish of course.
The car stopped immediately and a man got out with a pistol. He put the pistol against my face and I did not understand what he said in Russian slang.
Urgently, my Russian friend spoke to him and she argued that I was not Russian, that I was a Spaniard.
In fact, I do not know, what she told him, but the most important thing is that the guy went away.
Finally we ran towards the underground and we got inside exhausted.
My friend told me later, that I had saved my life from a sure death for being a foreigner, a Spaniard. Otherwise, the guy would have shot me without thinking about it.
I never returned to visit a market so far away from the center of this city again.
We were really scared. I owe my life to my friend