Saturday, April 07, 2007

Absolutely Insane

I traveled to St. Petersburg to spend the weekend with my sister. Earlier this afternoon, I was reading the comics (courtesty of a package from home) while she was taking a shower. The doorbell rang a few times and there was a lot of knocking on the door. I looked through the peephole. A very distraught, elderly woman stood outside.

Now, I should have known better. There is a rule in Russia that you NEVER open the door for someone you don't know. Generally, I follow this rule. In America and Russia. But she seemed so innocent and distressed. And I'm an experienced world traveler. In pretty good physical shape. A war veteran, even. Opening the door to talk to an old woman seemed like an OK plan. Surely, someone was dying or giving birth. Better to see what was the matter.

Before I could blink, she went barreling past me and INTO the bathroom, where she began yelling at my sister, who was still in the shower. Lots of words went back and forth, with my sister finally telling her to leave. The woman was indignant at being asked to go. My sister yelled that it was OUR apartment. I shoved her out the door and locked it while she was muttering something about our landlord's number and I was swearing in English.

A bit shaken, we both sat down on the couch. My sister wondered what on earth possessed me to open the door. I tried, feebly, to explain.

Apparently, the source of the woman's complaint was that repairs were being done in her apartment (including the pipes) and she thought we were responsible for water leaking into her room. Clearly, this justified her barging into the bathroom of a naked stranger and hollering at them.

We called the landlord, who showed up not long after we hung up the phone. He was sorry to hear of our trouble, and examined the pipes while making jokes to distract us. He said there's nothing wrong with the plumbing. He told us to use as much water as we want. He said to call him if she shows up again.

After he left, I took an unnecessarily long shower. I think everything's ok now, but it's the craziest thing I've ever seen, and I can't even imagine how my sister must have felt.


Blogger Heather said...

Oh my word... this had me gasping and laughing... You poor things! I can only imagine the terror for both of you! ACK!

4:35 PM  

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