Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Samovar Here for the Beer

I was watching one of those ‘Worlds Wildest Cops in Cars Fighting Road Wars with Cameras’ police reality shows the other night. It was a British one. You can tell because the car chases don’t involve 40 police cars. And compared to some of the mayhem we see from the States, they are generally more sedate affairs. Although, in recent years they’ve been fair perked up by eastern European lorry drivers, tired and emotional after a long journey from the 1930s.
Anyway, there was one segment of this particular episode that was quite illuminating.
A couple of down and outs are shuffling along the street. One is carrying an old bag with copper piping in it.
Sensing that the crime of the century may have just been committed, the police car pulls up and the bold ‘boys in blue’ jump out.
After ascertaining that the couple, for indeed they were a man and woman, had got the few bits of scrap from a skip there was no crime. They were on their way to sell it and buy some cider. This pair were particularly down on the sartorial stakes and out when it came to personal hygiene. There was no way that they were going in the back of polis car. And so they were sent on their way to their shiny apple oblivion.
But here’s the thing. When they were asked where they came from, the reply was Russia.
Now I can see why there are Russian businessmen here. They have tons of money.
I can see why Russian gangsters are here. They have tons of money.
But, Russian tramps!

Now, I’m not advocating that the police should have huckled them and phoned immigration. It’s not as though they were screwing the Social for thousands or jumping the queue to get a Daily Mail (that might be house – I’ll have to check.) But how on earth did they get here? I wouldn’t like to think to think that they were coming over here and taking jobs from our alkies. Has Britain become a soft touch for foreign connoisseurs of super lager?
On the other hand, is there some sort of Alky exchange scheme between us and the Russians that I don’t know about?
If there is then I’m all for it.
Cultural exchange of any kind can only be good.
It would be nice to think that while this pair was imbibing in the fruits of Somerset, a couple our winos were in Moscow sampling the delights of Château Tattie, while asking passers by if they can spare a thousand Roubles for  чашка чая.