The other night, in desperate need of a late evening beer, Mr Moi and I trudged up to the local kiosk. Despite it being the middle of a rather warm spring, this kiosk doesn’t actually operate its fridges. But still, the babushka there is always nice to me, helping me with numbers and other random Russian-ness.
And anyway, it’s open til 11pm.
We opened the door and walked inside. Immediately I noticed there was something wrong. The floors were clean – in fact, they’d just been mopped.
‘Something’s going on here,’ I said to Mr Moi. His level of ‘impressed’ at my astuteness was neither here nor there; he had his eyes focussed on the fridge.
All of a sudden, a babushka – who I’ve never seen working in this kiosk before – jumped up and started yelling (in Russian), ‘I’m not working. Five minutes please.’
(For your benefit, that sounds something like, ‘Ya nye rabotaet. Pyat’ minutu pazhalusta.’)
Well, why have the door open, seemingly welcoming thirsty visitors if you’re not working? Of course I didn’t say that, because I’m chicken. But the dismissive attitude and the fact we were sooo thirsty required some quick thinking. Usually I’m a rather loyal customer, but technically, I decided, I didn’t have to be loyal to an old babushka I’ve never seen before.
So we did what I never thought we’d do. We went to the kiosk next door, and bought our beers there. And you know what?
They sell them icy cold.
Bugger loyalty. I’m sticking with the place that uses a fridge.