Webmaster under fire in Moscow
September 30, 2007
The life of a webmaster is not just sitting for hours in front of your pc like a nerd. If you want to keep your website up to date and to keep your visitors interested, you have to go out every once and a while. Which sometimes implies some risks.
Today, September 30, I was in Moscow again to make more photos of places related to the novel. On my wish list was this time, among others, the dacha of Sergey Pavolvich Patrikeev in Khimki, a suburb in the north of Moscow. In The Master and Margarita this dacha was the prototype of the clinic of doctor Stravinsky, where the Master meets Ivan, and where Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoy ends up when there were found foreign currency in his bathroom.
The weather was lovely - a beautiful Indian summer with a lovely sun. A taxi driver was found prepared to help me in my search, and after some efforts from him we found the place. Unfortunately, I could not enter the place to make photos of the interior, but yet, the main purpose was achieved.
On our way back, we suddenly noticed that we were followed by a black car, driving in our slipstream like a lunatic. On Leningradsky propspekt, the big highway from the airport Sheremetyevo to the city center, he made several attempts to make us stop. But our driver, apparently not a softy neither, very skilfully succeeded in escaping from it each time. It wasn't fun, but it got really scary when a second, similar black car, started assisting the first one. This second car tried to come before us to make us stop, while the first one passed us from the right and suddenly pointed a gun at us.There was not much we could do, we were stuck and had to stop. While the man, with the gun in his hand, arrived at our car, our driver decided to play all or nothing. And he succeeded in getting away with our car. Which was followed by a furious chase.
But maybe we are protected by higher forces, because after a couple of minutes the милиция (police) was waiting for us. Other car drivers, on their way back home from their dachas, had given the alarm and the police succeeded in stopping the madman. All well that ends well, you could say. But the man, a Chechen who obviously hated the Russians from the bottom of his heart, not only admitted immediately that he had been threatening us with a loaded gun, but he spontaneously showed his licence to the police. I did not wait to see how it ended, paid the taxi driver, and went on foot to the Bulgakov house for a cup of coffee.