Thursday, 08 May 2008

On the wrong side of the (smoking) law

When I was in the UK, I wanted to see as many friends as possible. "Come to Brighton," suggested KR, so I came. After a suitably decadent Friday night, KR was up brighton early (sorry!) to go to work, and I was at the train station. With a lamentably heavy "overnight" bag. (My packing problems are documented here, and here). In the rain.

I was only due back in London that evening but, despite my heavy load and the shite weather, I was tempted to spend the day exploring Brighton. First up, I asked a policeman at the station if there was anywhere to leave my bag. Now, KR had already informed me that there wasn´t, but I figured there was no harm in a second opinion. The policeman dispelled any lurking doubts with a brusque retort: "We don´t have lockers. Terrorists are likely to put a bomb in them."

I was tempted to reply: "And Eid Mubarak to you to sir," for it was indeed Eid, but figured that wouldn´t go down too well.

I decided to have a cigarette while I pondered my plans for the day. I went and stood outside the station, but under the shelter, due to the rain. At which point the policeman chased after me, to inform me that the station was a no-smoking area. Apparently, you can´t just be outside the actual building to smoke, you have to walk a few metres to outside the station gates, because what I took to be outside is still technically part of the station.

Pernickety fucking Brits. In Zurich, you can smoke in the train station itself. However, I duly had my cigarette outside in the rain, as I am scared to death of the British police. Gone is the image of the friendly bobby from my childhood; instead I live in fear that one of the paranoid freaks will randomly gun me down just because.

The altercation had put me in a defiant mood. "Damn my packing skills, and the bloody weather," I reasoned: "When am I ever likely to be in Brighton again?" So I set off for the pier weighed down by my bag, but buoyed up by an intrepid spirit.

6 comments:

marksmith said...

"And Eid Mubarak to you sir"

Haha that line really made me laugh. I might add it was the kind of inappropriate laughter that makes the person in the next office think you are crazy or secretly a serial killer.

But thank you anyway.

TM said...

Still at work? Shame, the legal life is a hard one...

Vendetta said...

Brighton is so lovely! Heavy baggage is a huge pain in the ass... I walked into a backpackers in Newquay with the biggest backpack, hairdryer and everything, and the guy behind the counter said - you're obviously new to this.

One stint with heavy baggage, and you're a light packer forever! My hairdryer found a new home in a Thai backpackers, thank god.

Haha, glad you went and smoked anyway, in the rain... The cops in Brighton are hardcore - thats another story.

TM said...

Look forward to hearing your tales of the Brighton police force when I get home ;)

Édes said...

Well, I must put a comment, because it's such a nice blog about Liechtenstein.....

But it's gonna be hard, because my english isn't that good. Actually, I guess, you should wrote "than I went"....... ;-)) So my english is starting to be good enough to enjoy your humour:-)))))

TM said...

Yes, I know I should have written that! *Blush*.