I’ve been told numerous times never to go into a bar at the bottom of a set of stairs in Russia. I always remember this just after I find myself, inhaling dust, surrounded by cracked support beams and dirty looks.
To be fair, this time there are just two dirty looks; a young bartender and a man with hair so dark and skin so pale he might’ve been in black and white.
I eye the cooler of bottled beers, not confident enough in my Russian to risk asking for a beer selection. I must have looked too confused for too long and it gave me away.
“Where are you from?” the black and white man asks with almost no accent. I turn. One eye is black, blacker even than his hair; the other, green.
“Uh–Boston,” I tell him. He smiles, then laughs.
“Come!” he leads me…
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