... NOT THAT THAT WASN'T UTTERLY FORSEEABLE.
My Friend in Need (and a "friend in need is a friend indeed") came round yet again and scuppered my plans for the entire day.
I made my displeasure very clear by ranting for about an hour and a half. I told him I had no interest in heroin whatsoever and was only into disappearing into town on my own with no drugs.
He wanted heroin (and crack). I told him all the heroin was rubbish. Crack is always rubbish because it's cocaine and cocaine is inherently crap. Like many drug addicts I used coke as pharmaceutical sugar to sweeten up my heroin. On its own ~ to me at least ~ it is and was an almighty waste of time. But he wanted to smoke crack in my house as well.
I said I wasn't doing this unless he bought me two £20 deals. In the end I backed down and settled for one £20 of crack and bought half a gram of heroin. The gram cost £40, which is over the odds, was at least 20% short (but I sold my old scales to a dealer ~ I so enjoyed weighing things on them. Not just drugs (which, surprisingly weren't underweight as often as I had previously supposed) but anything tiny and cute I could get my hands on ~ dead ladybirds, paperclips... drug wrappers... (when my late friend Lucky bought an ounce of "B" some years ago, the wrapping alone (cut-off black binbag plastic) weighed 0.3g) etc etc. These were the ordinary digital scales used for silver and gold, which weigh down to a tenth of a gram (one "point") ~ not diamond scales, which would go down at least to 2mg (a hundredth of a carat, which is also called a point).
Anyway anyway I didn't go into town. Didn't get my whizzy Mandarin (but I did purchase a tangerine from the corner shop instead ~ ho-ho!).
Also just to annoy me, I checked and re-checked the prospectus I was looking at in Deutschland and Chinese isn't in all editions. I cannot tell which edition it's in, as I'm limited to online versions with no copyright dates. So I was forced to email their office lamenting how "verwirrt" (confused) I was, though I'm not sure I selected quite the appropriate word under the circumstances... and would they please clarify the matter. I've yet to receive any reply, which shocked me as I believed the Germans had an unrivalled reputation for efficiency.
Anyway I SHALL speak fluent Chinese whether higher education comes into the question or not. Plus Russian, because I am now determined to read Dead Souls (not as gruesome as it sounds, the dead souls refer to a kind of 19th century identity theft) and Anna Karenina in their original русский.
In readiness for all this I've already set my computer to type in Cyrillic (which will involve learning to type from scratch as the Russian letters don't sit on keys corresponding to their Latin equivalents (unlike, eg, the Greek keyboard). Instead of QWERTY my whizzy Russian keypad goes ЙЦУКЕН (Y, TS, U, K, E N) ~ highly confusing. A "Russian phonetic" layout does exist, which corresponds to qwerty (so Д (D) is on the D-key). But Windows 7 doesn't support it.
The Pinyin Chinese is lots of fun. E.g. if I tap in feng I get 风 (the character I wanted, it's the (simplified) feng of fēng shuǐ 风水, which says "wind-water"...) ... other fengs are: 封 逢 缝 蜂 丰 冯 枫 or 疯! It's actually dead easy to use so I'm looking forward to lots of fun with Chinese.
With heroin I am more seethingly furious than ever before. I am not particularly happy with my "friend in need" either...
I must ping into London today to get these books as a tube strike kicks in at 7pm tonight, after which the entire town shall plunge into chaos...
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