Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dead Avian Mule.....

There was a strange story on New Zealand radio yesterday concerning drugs being smuggled into a prison via a dead pigeon. The offending mule was thrown over the wall of the prison yard, after which the prisoner caught it. Alas, he was caught by the guards and had both his mule and its booty confiscated.

What touched me more than anything was the naivety displayed (probably wilfully for the benefit of his listeners) when talking to the prison spokeswoman. It did not transpire until the end of the interview that the bird in question was a pigeon and not a hmm, penguin or albatross. ‘Surely you’d need a big bird to fit drugs into?’ he said.
‘Well, no’, she replied. ‘People today still assume the drug of choice would be cannabis, for which you would need a bird the size of an albatross. These days the drug of choice in prisons tends to be crystalised methamphetamine, for which a pigeon suffices as it can be measured in spoons’.

Crystal meth! The same evil which has plagued rural Montana!

Can you imagine such an interview taking place on the BBC? No chance. People know that the drugs of choice taken in prison would be cocaine or more likely heroin, which can easily be measured in teaspoons. The Brits are not so naïve to assume that somebody would go to that trouble for a bit of weed. I assumed immediately the bird was a damn pigeon and had no need for it to be explained to me!

To speak frankly I don’t know whether this is something I like or dislike about this place, as it is only a sign of its isolated nature and its provincial tendencies. Yet at the same time it makes me slightly nostalgic for the innocent days of my parents.

What more can I say?


Political Umpire said...

Interesting. I haven't ever looked into the respective figues for drug use in the two countries, but would like to know if anyone has. I happen to know (through the same sports club) two chaps who were busted for what was then the biggest haul of cocaine in NZ's history in the mid-80s. I can't imagine importation and usage of hard drugs like cocaine is on anything like the same scale in NZ as London simply because of the respective sizes of the populations and economies.

No doubt too there are provincial parts of NZ where not even the maiden aunt perspective (Well we know these things go on, but really ...) would be the norm; rather, it would be total ignorance. That's not likely to be the Coromandel, however, (I recall you saying your partner's family were Green party members, they'll understand that joke ...). Indeed the Green Party MP from those parts was a Rasta (a la Ali G, in many ways) who used to rock up to Parliament in a hemp suit. And given the favourable growing conditions I suspect that NZ may have a very high use of marijuana per capita.

Trust the trip is still going well.



Liz said...

Hi PU - I think NZ does have a high level of marujuana use. I would also imagine that there are fewer other drugs because of the remoteness of the country as well as the small population.

Trip has gone pretty badly, I'm afraid, and it has had consequences for me. I don't want to bore people about it on here by revealing all my troubles, but things aren't good to say the very least. I have a few things to sort out when I am back in the UK on Tuesday.

Political Umpire said...

Very sorry to hear about the trip. I'm guessing this downturn is not so much the trip itself but more personal issues. None of my or anyone else's business, of course, but if you need a sounding board, my blog is always open. I have really enjoyed reading about your trip - good parts and bad - and hope that in time you can look back on the good bits favourably and write off the bad bits to experience.

Still mild here, despite the storm. And the 80mph winds might blow you back faster ...

Liz said...

Thanks for your kind words and support, PU. Glad it will still be mild when I get back.