Sunday, January 24, 1999

Russia, St. Petersburg

Went to the banya today. It was on Nevsky Prospect. Went with Eric, my roommate, and Dyenic, who is a friend of Faruk, who is a friend of Muktar, who are both Nigerians studying in St. Petersburg. I met Muktar on the bus the first week we were here. Dyenic is from Nizhnetavorsk, a town of about 300,000 in western Siberia. I think the banya would be better next to a fjord or frozen lake. Eric and I went looking for Dyenic yesterday. Got off the elevator on the 11th floor of his building, he lives on the 13th (Faruk lives on the 11th; we’d gone to the wrong floor), and saw a gun. A man (20-something) was pointing a pistol at another 20-something man. Eric and I got off the elevator, the man put the small-calibre automatic in his jacket pocket and the two of them got on the elevator, the elevator doors closed.

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