by Timothy Chilman
I’ve worked in ten countries, importing cannabis to every one of ‘em.
At one point, I was working in IT for Ford in Cologne. I was paid GBP600/USD972/EUR683/UAH7,679 a day and was rich and miserable. Now I’m an English teacher and dirt poor, but much happier. David Icke said that George Washington sparked off the French and Indian War, which sparked off the American Revolutionary War. That turned out to be true. He also said that people would shelter in Cologne’s Ford plant during the war because they knew it wouldn’t be bombed. The project manager at Ford confirmed it. I considered Icke to be a prophet until I found out that the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, to which he referred often, were a load of bullshit.
I was flying back to the United Kingdom almost every weekend. Once, I went through security at Heathrow with a rather large blob of hashish in my wallet. I put the wallet on a tray while I went through the metal detector. The lady standing nearby said she’d better take a look at my wallet. She opened it, and said large blob of hash stared back at her. She ejaculated: “Oh! Stone!”, put the wallet back and said nothing further.
So I started to put the dope in my sock. I once went through the metal detector, and my chunky belt set it off. Aieee!!! The security guy frisked me. He squeezed the toe of my shoe, and must have felt the hash. He gave me a funny look, but let me go.
Another time, I was sitting on the platform at Paddington Station waiting for the Heathrow Express. Smoking was permitted back then, so I had a J. A policeman emerged from the far end of the platform (from which I’d never seen anybody emerge, ever). I was sitting on the ground, and tried to conceal the joint under my leg. He approached me and asked if I was waiting for this train. Oh yes, I replied.
“Wozzat, then?”, he said, pointing at my joint (I can do the accent; it’s dead funny).
“Oh, it’s ginseng”
Back when I got busted for carrying dope on a train in France in 1989, I had commercial ginseng ciggies, and it was pointed out to me that the picture of ginseng on the packet looked just like good ole’ cannabis sativa, so this was actually quite clever.
“Oh, it’s herbal.”
“Smews a bit funny, thassol.” (“Smells a bit funny, that’s all.”)
The flatfoot told me that if I continued my current course of action, I could probably look forward to being stopped some more by officers of the law.
“Oh, that’s alright,” said I, “I’m almost finished.”
He walked away with a big smile on his face, obviously knowing full well that the drug war has been lost.
I now work in the Czech Republic. In 2009, I spent GBP140/USD220/EUR161/KZT2,107 on dope in London just before Christmas. So how to get it through security? I worry that it would show up under Röntgen rays, meaning I couldn’t just leave it in my side luggage. So the plan was to put it in my pocket and not wear a chunky belt, but then the Undie-Bomber did his thang, and everything went a little crazy. I heard that they were frisking everyone, so I had to come up with a new plan.
For a while, I considered a solution of “alimentary, Dear Watson,” eventually deciding against it because my anus wasn’t designed for two-way traffic.
So in my sock it went again, but this time under my toes. I had to take my shoes off at security, which hadn’t happened for a while, but that wasn’t a problem. I didn’t even walk funny.
Did I ever get into trouble for smuggling so much dope through airports? OK, so I did, just the once. I was suicidally stupid.
I had got into the habit of always having a J before flying, in the toilet of London City Airport. Heathrow has a zillion toilets, while London City has just one. I did this a few times, before finding two Customs guys waiting at the entrance to the gate. They searched me. One of the guys remarked: “He even smews ovvi’!” (“He even smells of it!”)
The dope was in my wallet. One guy looked through the wallet but missed the dope. On his second pass, he found it. I exclaimed, “We have a winner!” and got busted. One of the guys was somewhat rude to me until they were sure I was carrying no other drugs, when he lightened up a bit. After that, we were all quite friendly. One guy told how he’d been done for speeding, and I pointed out that, unlike me, he could have killed someone. I received a caution, which doesn’t have to be disclosed when applying for a US visa, so I’m not worried.
I was fined GBP80/USD124/EUR98/BWP833 and missed my flight. I got one the next day. I was using a shitty, Eastern European, regional airline with about two ‘planes which I think were Dakotas, so I always saw the same people. They gave me very dirty looks.
I take my cannabis very seriously. When I lived in Bangkok, I spent THB2,000 (GBP41/USD66/EUR47/AFN3,135) a month on the stuff, which was a significant chunk of my salary. Colleagues lived in palatial apartments, but I spent my last ten months in a cheapo hotel which cost a couple of dollars a night, around the corner from the Khao San Road tourist Mecca.
Once, I was having a manicure a few doors down, and the lady asked where I lived. “Oh,” I said, “In the Merry V Guest House over there.” She knew I was a teacher and was shocked.
My room featured no electrical socket, and my window looked out onto a corridor. A friend who visited my tiny room said I was living in a “hellhole,” but I was quite happy. In all the time I was there, there was one night when there was an endlessly screaming baby (in high density accommodation; the parents were imbeciles) and once I had to ask a guy to turn his music down.
In Bangkok, I bought weed at the Harley Bar, off Khao San Road. The first time I went there, a colleague had told me where to go, but I missed it – the entrance I’d been told about was down a street by the side of a bank that looks like a dead end. I asked a motorcycle taxi driver if he knew it, and he said he’d worked there for five years, but hadn’t heard of it. Another said he’d worked there for ten, and didn’t know it. It turned out to be on a narrow, hidden side street parallel to Khao San.
As for motorcycle taxis – technically, they were scooters – both Thais and farangs told me they would never, ever get one for safety reasons, but I got them all the time. Once, I opened the door of a taxi cab to make an exit, and one of these guys drove into it at a fair speed. He went flying, but school was starting shortly so I didn’t hang around. Other people came to help. I think.
When it comes to having a joint before boarding a ‘plane, it’s best to do it before you go airside. We have the example above, for starters. Smoking in the restroom of a huge airport is perhaps an option, but I always fear I will be caught. I once had a J. in the john of a teeny regional airport in Germany, and received funny looks from the staff of the restaurant where I customarily dined forever more (until I got busted and used a different airport). I once had a joint at Heathrow at the place where the bus leaves to go to other terminals, but every other time I tried it there were people around.
When the time came to depart Bangkok, I arrived at the airport hours early. I’m terrified of missing my ‘plane, so I overcompensate something awful. I went airside, and didn’t fancy lighting up in a smoking lounge, so I had no dope for hours.
Restless leg syndrome is a neurological disorder, where a person experiences an uncomfortable sensation in their limbs, which they are compelled to move. This sensation has been described as numbness, ants inside the leg, creepy-crawly, pulling, pins and needles, itching, pain, creeping, electrical, and “antsy.” If the limb is not moved voluntarily, a spasm results. I used to get this in my legs when I came off dope. It would always be around 4 a.m, which was not good for sleep. I remember at least once I was in a poor state at work the next day. I didn’t know what the condition was until I read about it in the Enquirer.
On the ‘plane from Bangkok, after so many hours without drugs, I experienced this condition. The German lady sitting next to me noticed, and said, “Oh! You have a restless leg!” I told her it was because I’d been deprived of cannabis, but she didn’t understand.
Anyway, while Thai grass is a powerful brandname in the West, the grass I bought at the Harley Bar was crap. I wonder if they export the good stuff and only sell shit at home.
In London, I buy my substances in Notting Hill. In the movie of the same name, Hugh Grant walked down Portobello Road and turned left to get to his house. It was painted blue, I think, and was quite distinctive, but after featuring in a blockbuster movie it has since been painted a horrid yellow.
If Hugh had gone further down Portobello, on the left would have been “de bettin’ shap,” where I purchase recreational drugs from a delightful old Afro-Caribbean guy. Further still and on the right you get the crack dealers. My contact wasn’t around when I went to Portobello after returning from Bangkok, so I went to another bettin’ shap and dealt with some other guy who was, needless to say, black as de night. Reverently, he said, “It’s Thai grass!”