31 March 2010

Lager Loving Law Enforcement

There is a lot of chanting coming from the house next door. It's Buddhist monks giving blessings and good wishes for the upcoming new year.

All the neighbours extended family are there and they have invited most of the street. It's quite a crowd. Once the monks have finished chanting, and then eating, it's time for everyone else to tuck in. They ask me along. Men are at the tables and the women and children on mats on the floor. The food is simple but good.

Sitting next to me is a policeman; a little fella, not more than 5 foot five and 60 kilos wringing wet.
It's just past ten in the morning and he has two walkie-talkies strapped to his belt. He is steadily working his way through a second beer.

"He likes beer," said one of his friends. "He drinks and drinks, but doesn't get drunk."

The policeman rips the tab of a third can and tops up my glass. I'm a reluctant mid-morning drinker and can see where this is going and so it's time to plan my escape. Soon the beer-drinking bobby rises and disappears and I make my apologies and leave.

As I look back over my shoulder the lager-loving law enforcement officer is returning to the table with two more cans of Anchor. Today, fighting crime is going to take a back seat for this copper, No one is surprised. No one minds.

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