Being poor – as in, not having any money – can be interesting at times. I mean, there’s a lot of complaining about not having money, realising you have about £3 to last you 30 days and generally complaining about people who do have money. It’s not jealousy. Honest. But every now and then some fun little elements pop up that those who actually have money won’t experience.
And I’m not talking about the dole.
I like booze, and was often tasked with getting cheap cigarettes. Neither of these things are what you would call ‘easily affordable’ when you have no money. So what was the creative solution? Why, to trawl the internet until you find the dodgiest site in the world to make your purchases from. We’re talking the kind of sites that say “if your order is lost in shipping or picked up by customs, we’re not doing anything about it”. I was probably funding terrorism or pirates or something, but hey – cheap booze.
My first order was from a company I forget the name of, and was for a couple of bottles of Zubrowka vodka, which – at the time – was hard to find in the UK and expensive when you could, averaging about £20 a bottle. But I would not be relegated to cheap, shitty vodka. No, I wanted the bison grass loveliness to go with my pressed apple juice. So I ordered some from a site that looked like it had been knocked up in about half an hour (advice: check their payment system. I checked theirs and it was actually legit, hence no fear of ID theft) for about £8 per bottle, delivered. It took about four weeks, but soon enough a couple of bottle-shaped packages arrived with no fanfare whatsoever. They were from Israel. This was weird.
Still – cheap booze.
The fags, though, were what reminded me of this post. See, there’s currently a nasty situation going down in Kyrgyzstan, with protestors being shot by government officials and confusion as to whether or not a government actually exists right now. The couple of times I bought cigs (for dirt cheap, natch), they arrived from Kyrgyzstan – the street address was something like 32,000 Something Street, which was always funny. It just reminded me and got me thinking: where the hell do I get cigarettes of questionable legality from now if I’m asked to?