Saturday, 30 July 2011

Amyville & The Eastern European Beggar

All quite here in Amyville (as my borough, Camden, how now been renamed). I cycled past the sacred site this morning on the way to the supermarket since it’s just ‘round the corner, and there was only one person outside Her house, sitting in a fold-up chair as if he’d been there all night, and he probably had. On the way back more had gathered to pay their respects and lay wreaths/beer cans/fag butts/bouffant wigs and no doubt other items which they perceive to contain the essence of Amy. I also spotted what looked like a marrow...perhaps Amy liked marrow. Things I’ve heard whilst passing the house over the last week: ‘I’m not broken-hearted today’, ‘I’m not well’, and ‘Nice ‘ouse, innit?’. The media, meanwhile, seems to have deserted the scene, although they’ll no doubt return when the monument is unveiled in Camden Square gardens. The strangest site was of a little girl (about five years old) laying flowers whilst watched over by her mother, I mean, after all, a drug-addled, wealthy, boozed-up singer who blew it all is a fine role-model for tiny tots, eh? Not that I condemn her for her lifestyle. I’m simply baffled that children are involved in this at all.

I was sat outside a cafe in Crouch End having a coffee when a man in his 50s stopped, pointed at my pouch of Golden Virginia, and asked for a roll-up. He had an Eastern European accent, was smiling, and didn’t smell. I let him have one. Not because he didn’t smell, or was Eastern European but, yes, partly because he smiled and asked so politely. It’s obvious that Eastern Europeans are gradually moving into the fag-cadging game; not content with having successfully infiltrated building/plumbing etc. I presume that Eastern Europeans who fail here, being unable to afford tickets home, will appear more frequently as cadgers on the streets.
   Soon British-born down-at-heel types will be complaining that ‘The Poles have taken our jobs’. In a way, it serves them right for frequently being rude when asking for money or fags. They might get their act together and raise their game now they’ve got competition. Watch out for a new, improved, more polite kind of beggar near you soon.

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