“Inter-railing around Europe five years ago, me and my mate decided to detour into Moscow on a sleeper train. Around 2am, the train ground to a halt, our door was kicked open – and in stomped a Belarus border guard, brandishing an AK-47. Through a series of grunts and pointing he indicated our Russian visas weren’t valid here. We were illegal immigrants and, unless we fancied a stay in a nearby gulag prison, he wanted $100 apiece. Only here’s the thing: he looked about 14. And visibly sweating with fear – this was obviously his first tourist shakedown. So, in a moment of bravery, I reached into my rucksack and took out our travel monopoly we’d brought from the UK. Pulling out a wad of 500s, I stuffed them into his hand and said ‘English’. Without taking his eyes off us, he edged out and down the corridor. Minutes later, the train pulled away. Peering out of the window, we saw him get a clout round the head from his superior. Twat.”