The strangers I met in Russia (Part 2): Is he a dedicated Muslim?

He is a dedicated Muslim. I believed.

At 10:30 pm, the guy living in the balcony came to my room and prayed without asking for my consensus. Of course, God should be more important than ordinary people. Why did he need to seek for my permission?

I had been waiting for him to finish his prayer before I slept. Thanks God. He was done. Then he wanted to take a look of the pictures of my camera. He pointed to one of my friends and showed a gesture that this girl appealed to him.

Did you have sex with her?” He spoke in Russian but it was not difficult to figure out what he meant by his body gesture – the way he imitated making love and the type of boy that he fancied. “Women,” he said in English, and he put his thumb up.

He told me his name is Zaur.

Is Zaur a dedicated Muslim?

I wouldn’t be the right person to judge, I supposed. I knew nothing about his religion.

The evening before I moved out Anatoly’s place, I met him in the bus shop. He spoke to my translator, “do you move out because I disturb you at night?”

“There is nothing about you. I just can’t stand the landlord.” I type in the translator.

He gave me his number, and I gave him mine. “No worries – we will be in touch, my friend.” I typed in the translator. Then we walked home together.

He seemed a dedicated Muslim. Otherwise he wouldn’t have come to my room again and pray.

Perhaps because of my ignorance of his religion, somehow I felt uncomfortable when he was praying in a foreign language that I didn’t understand. “The spirit will come,” He spoke Russian to my translator. I honestly found the translation on the screen very scary.

I was about to take a shower. I opened the lock of my luggage, and he looked at the stuffs I kept in my luggage. I-phone, rubbles, US Dollars, suit, perfume… He asked me to show him everything and he seemed very curious about my stuffs.

After half an hour, I told him that I was going to take a shower. He let me go.

I can’t goWhere is the lock? I lost the lock after my conservation with him and he saw everything I had in the luggage.

“Just go,” he said in Russian, “I keep my eyes to your luggage.”

No, I couldn’t. I was trained in my upbringing that I should always be cautious about stranger, especially in a foreign country.

He appeared very helpful in finding my lock. He pointed to the table as if he suggested that he once saw the lock there.

One thing I knew about Muslim was that if you stole things from other people, you would be punished for losing your hands. The question remained: is he a dedicated Muslim? 

Or the fundamental question was: do I trust him, from integrity to our friendship?

I insisted on searching for the lock. I even called Aleksandr and expressed my speculation and anxiety of the possibility of robbery. Despite Zaur’s inability to understand English, my mistrust in him went beyond words.

I found my lock, somewhere in the corner of the room. The huge drama was over. So was our so-called friendship.

Is He a Dedicated Muslim?

I don’t know. Still, one thing for sure: I didn’t, or I can’t really trust him, even if he’s really a dedicated Muslim.


About Brian Yeung

Growing up in Hong Kong, pearl of the orient, I have been exposed to many cultures throughout my upbringing, from Sushi to British Top Talents and Tetris. And yet, after my stay in Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia for study and work, I realise a lot of cultural perception and presentation are just myths and stereotypes. Exploring the real accent of a particular country and its culture becomes my agenda of traveling. I value travel as a way to discover the diversity of life choices. After all, life is just the consequence of our many life choices; the one who is aware of its diversity is the luckiest person alive.

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