A girl on a motorbike, wearing an orange helmet, comes out of a side street and stops before entering the main boulevard. I am crossing the street behind her back, checking her out with a corner of my eye. Suddenly she turns and asks me something. I helplessly answer: “Je ne parle pas francais”. The bike engine is revving and she cannot hear me and asks her question again - I answer the same thing, but she still can’t hear me. She tries one more time, but then gives up, and with a look meaning “Alas, this is not meant to be” drives off. It is unlikely that she was asking for directions, since she knowledgeably navigates her bike into a different side street on the other side of the boulevard.
Half an hour later I am sitting in a tram station, as a group of teenagers passes by. The girl, following in the rearguard, suddenly screams at her male companions, who have just started crossing to the other side of the tram tracks. It seems that she is the only one who has a clear plan. She sits down on the bench not far from me and a heated exchange in French happens between her and the boys. Suddenly she says to one of them in distinct Russian “Durak, chto li?” (“Are you an idiot?”), and adds an obscene word, which is however smoothed by her French accent. They continue arguing in French.