Friday, 1 June 2007


I found a new phenomenon yesterday, on my day off.
We went to the city centre on the train. Inside the shopping mall connecting the train station to the main shopping centre a middle aged couple approached me and asked which was the way out.
“Where do you want to get to?” I asked.
“We just want to get out of the station so that we can have a smoke before our train.”
They were stuck under cover, not being able to smoke inside, not being able to find a way out, which isn’t easy if you don’t know your way around, and presumably unable to smoke on the train anymore either.
It was like a strange underclass, like moles, trying to tunnel out into the daylight so they could get a nicotine fix. They seemed strangely sad. So I pointed them to the nearest exit out of there. Normally I am not so sympathetic with smokers. The ones that smoke at work have loads of breaks, which the non-smokers are not eligible for, so they can take the lift down and congregate for 15 minutes in their specially built new bus-stop. Then they slowly meander back in, while I’m stuck at my desk working.

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