Although Peder was fairly certain they’d been driven by little more than paranoia, after two distinctly unnerving situations in which we were warned – repeatedly – of how dangerous Arcadia is for a couple of Western travelers, I decided to get a
second third opinion on the matter. The next morning, I asked our hotel receptionist.
Her answer was just a little troubling.
She said that although truly problematic encounters aren’t that common, yes, Odesa can be quite a dangerous place, particularly for someone who doesn’t speak Russian. “We do get a lot of bad, bad people here” she warned, “vacationing mafia from Moscow and the like. Although some are friendly, there are always those who are out looking for trouble – and as they’re more or less untouchable by the law, they can get away with almost whatever they want. Every once in awhile you hear about someone getting beaten to within an inch of their life for no apparent reason. So just be careful. Don’t look at someone the wrong way, and never get yourself cornered alone. If you ever find yourself isolated at night – get out of there fast.”
Eep. That’s not what I wanted to hear.