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Growing up in an area of lower prosperity than other places in the U.K, the local economy had to be supplemented by the pharmaceutical industry. That is to say unemployment was high and well, so were the people. Having seen the devastating effects of taking drugs first hand, I always stayed clear of them. I should point out that when I say drugs, obviously I am referring to the socially and legally unacceptable ones.
Like the majority of people out there I happily take the equally damaging drug alcohol, which is responsible for increased crime, violence, health problems and is a huge economic burden – but that’s ok because it is our culture and is therefore exempt from the use of common sense. It must be preserved.
Another damaging drug which I don’t take which happens to be legal is nicotine, taken in many forms but traditionally by way of burning cigarettes. Cigarettes though, are very unique due to their uncanny ability to kill people even when they’re not the ones actually using it. That is the primary reason why almost all European countries have banned smoking in public places… except Austria.
So in Austria you can still legally give people cancer and heart disease without having to worry about the police knocking on your door. Austria is also guilty on the lesser charge of making me smell horrible and making me wash my clothes every time I step into a bar. I should say that I do the washing of the clothes in the days following – to my knowledge not many bars have on site laundry facilities, although that would be appropriate.
I also can’t help find the irony in what is a rather progressive country with a focus on the environment that deems it appropriate to burn tiny pieces of paper and shrubbery on a regular basis, without any benefit to anyone, other than a few men in suits. Literally cutting down trees and plants to set fire to them.
Tonight I went out to the canal in Vienna, which is often confused for the Danube river – in case you wondered. But it is a cool place filled with graffiti, bars, man-made beaches, restaurants, nightclubs and seemingly 90% of Vienna’s population. There wasn’t much room to swing a cat*, but naturally people felt it appropriate to burn some more dried plants and blow the poisonous vapour in my face. Then it was time for people to burn a dried plant with a more dubious legal situation to compound the issue – Weed.
So I’ve never taken any drugs and I think this is still the case but barring someone puncturing my lung and attaching a bong. I don’t know how much closer I could have gotten to taking them. The upside of course is that I got to hangout with my girlfriend and her friends in a cool place. To do this meant I had to leave my
cabin apartment, which in turn cured me of my cabin fever – I think leaving is one of the cures. Despite the second-hand cancer and drug inhalation I did have a good night, obviously I need to fumigate my clothing and avoid any drug tests for a while but beyond that it was fun.
*Thing that is a British Idiom – anyone else heard that one?
P.S This is the second time I have written this post. I got home last night, wrote the post at 3am, went to sleep and woke up. I then somehow deleted it completely and had to re-write the whole thing from memory. The jokes were way funnier in the first post so if you were one of the 50 people to see it before it was deleted then you can count yourself lucky.
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