The next day, when I arrived at the hotel in the afternoon and asked the receptionist to call a taxi to take me to the show later. The guy said: “If it starts at 7pm, you can leave at 6pm. You’ll have enough time to arrive unhurried.” That sounded good to me. I got dressed for the theatre and reached the lobby at 6pm.
Still no taxi. I was getting a bit nervous. The receptionist made another phone call and told me: “Apparently they have forgotten you. They’ll send another taxi in a minute…” I couldn’t refrain from thinking of all people who had made this happen. The least I could do was getting there in time.
Finally, a taxi came around the corner. At the same time, a well-dressed lady got out of the hotel and hopped in the car. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that she had entered my taxi and again, I asked the guy at the reception. There were only 30 minutes left.
“Oh”, he said after another phone call, “this was indeed yours. I am afraid, there currently are no taxis available.”
He (let’s call him Sergej) felt sorry for me though, so he ran in front of the hotel, jumped on the street and stopped every car that passed by. I could only guess what he was saying, but one thing was pretty clear: He took care of it.
Someone stopped and the rush-hour traffic stood still for a moment. Unbelievable. Sergej gave me a sign which meant something like: “Hurry up! Get in the car!”, so I took my heels and ran. “Ah”, I thought, “this is how taxis in Moscow look like.”
„Thank you for taking me to the show”, I said. “How much is it to the Bolschoi-Theatre? Could you turn the taximeter on, please?” The driver grinned broadly and said: “Me no taxi.”
He thought it was funny, but I wasn’t sure: a foreign country, a stranger, and no one really knew where I was. A quick glance in the driver’s eyes through the rear-view mirror made me calm down. He looked so frank and nice that I forgot about my initial thoughts immediately. Unfortunately, he didn’t speak English a lot and my Russian is restricted to only a few words. Therefore, we both kept silent for the rest of the ride.
I got off the car and pulled out my purse. He declined the money and said: “No, you in my country. Have good time!”
With their understanding of service and hospitality, two people highly delighted me. A huge thank you to Sergej, who did a lot more than I would have expected and to Khachatur, who gave me the great feeling of being welcome.
You are my Service-Heroes!