Saturday, 19 February 2011

Demon drink, "asylum seekers", kebabs and the 38 bus

I was on a bus a while back and standing at the front were two guys in their 20s eating kebabs. I say "standing" but they were drunk as skunks and only just staying upright. I say "eating" kebabs, more like wearing them - and the sauce! Suffice to say they were in a right state and I was listening in to their chat which was quite entertaining in some ways.

However then a guy with two carrier bags of food got up to get off the bus. He looked like he might have been Sri Lankan but anyway he wasn't white - this becomes relevant later. He was very courteous as he tried to get past them. They were not aggressive but they were put out. They were doing that "who do you think you are?" thing without actually saying it out loud.

They waited till he was actually OFF the bus before they did that. And the conversation went along these lines:

"Did you see him wi his f****ing shopping bags?"

"Aye man, who does he think he is?" (Told you!)

"How can a f***ing asylum seeker afford a' they messages and I cannae?"

"I know man. These asylum seekers pure get everythin don't they?"

"That's not right but man is it? I'm fae this country and I cannae get a job so how come he can?"

"Aye. You cannae get a job and nane of us can afford two big bags of messages. Something no right man. Tellin ye."

OK so quick factfile for anyone who doesn't get why I was compelled to join in the conversation from the comfort of my seat on the bus.

Fact 1 - if he's an asylum seeker, he can't get a job, he's not allowed one;

Fact 2 - these two on the other hand ARE allowed to work but it tends to be harder to get one if you are in the habit of getting so drunk you can barely stand;

Fact 3 - it was Farmfoods carrier bags he was carrying. Farmfoods is dirt cheap. If mums go to Iceland, skint mums go to Farmfoods;

Fact 4 - although you can buy strong alcohol far too cheaply thanks to the opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament, they probably spent more on drink and the kebabs they were dripping down their fronts than he did on his week's shopping;

Fact 5 - HOW ON EARTH DID THEY KNOW HE WAS AN ASYLUM SEEKER? The UKBA have not (yet) introduced branding to the forehead so why were they so sure?

They had no answer to that question. In fact, I was surprised that they got quite sheepish when I continued to question them. I thought they'd get aggressive but no, in fact they looked slightly nervous of me. Oops. All I was trying to do was educate them too!

This guy could've been a doctor, a social worker, maybe he even signed on at the same Jobcentre as them. All of this formed part of the lesson which sadly had to endeth when we got halfway along Ally Parade although I was mighty tempted to stay on till their stop.

They looked to me like they still stayed at home and let their mammies do everything for them so why they were fussing about the prices in Farmfoods I'll never know. Oh dear, is that me judging a book by it's cover ... :-)


  1. Cracking Yarn wee Annie felt I was there sitting beside you 8-). The same conversation probably goes on in the Land of Oz every day! x

  2. Why thank you kind sir. "Messages" btw is provisions in Scottish, in case it's not the same in Oz or Eire :-)