I had coffee with a friend tonight and we ended up talking about sketchy train stations in Europe. It reminded me of a story in Italy ages ago. I was 21 then and my partner was 19 and he was obsessed with designer stuff so naturally, he wanted to see the outlets. We took a train to this little town outside of Florence and we thought for sure, there'd be tons of people getting off the train with us and we'd have no problem finding this outlet.
We got to our stop and only three people got off the train. It was us two and this blonde girl. We walked out to the street and it was a ghost town. There was no one around, no traffic, no life. I ran up to the blonde girl and asked if she spoke english. She did indeed. She also spoke italian, german, and her native russian. She too was looking for the outlet so we decided to go ask for directions. We finally walked up to this building with a red cross on the outside. We walked in to some senior centre and literally every head turned to look at us: a very blonde russian in a tight revealing top, a young white guy with frosted tips, and an asian guy with dyed brown hair. It literally became completely silent as they just stared at us. Good thing Katja spoke a bit of italian because she managed to find us a taxi and got us to the outlet. We spent the day shopping and eating and it really was such a wonderful memory.
It's been over eight years and I can't believe I remember that day like it was yesterday. When people make an impression, I guess it stays with you for a long time. If you happen to know a russian girl named Ekaterina (Katja) Ossipova, let me know. I tried emailing her today but her email address is no longer valid.