It’s cold outside

The other overcast, snowy day, I decided to keep myself occupied after the sun went down (but before Mr Moi came home) (the sun is gone by 4pm) by toddling down to the shops. So I rugged up (we’re sitting at an average temperature of about minus 1 at the moment), locked the door and walked onto the landing. And I could smell something wafting up – a combination of bad cigarettes and urine.

“Interesting choice in cigarettes from one of my fellow apartment dwellers,” I thought. But that’s all I thought about it. There are a few oldies who have lived in this building since time immemorial, and you know what old people are like. Even if their cigarettes are smelly, you can’t expect them to change.

Anyhoo. I popped in the lift and went down to the ground floor. Now, there are two doors to get into my building. And when I opened the first door, I got the fright of my life.

Between the first and second door, a drunk had taken up (sleepy) residence on the floor. I was so shocked and not a little scared, that I scuttled quickly through the second door, over the drunk and onto the street.

But I had discovered the source of the yukky cigarette smell – it was the drunk. But whether it was his cigarette, or his clothes, alight, I didn’t stop to look.

He was gone when I got home, but there was no pile of ashes on the floor. So even if his clothes were alight, at least I know he didn’t burn to death.


23 thoughts on “It’s cold outside

  1. Wow, that is amazing that the homeless don’t move someplace warmer – that’s why we don’t see anyone living on the streets here. They live in their cars instead.

  2. Oh, this makes me sad. I hope there’s a place for him to go and not freeze to death. I always wonder how they can afford to buy cigarettes…maybe they bum them off others but still it bothers me to see them smoke instead of eat.

  3. Dear chrisb. There is a security system, however, there are businesses in the building so people come and go all the time, leaving the door open…

    Dear willowtree. Yes, a lot of people really do die, and not just from cold. They can get too close to the heating pipes that heat the buildings in the city, and apparently die of exposure.

    Dear uncle Mark. Well… I guess they don’t have cars!

    Dear Gorilla Bananas. There is the slight problem of them being able to afford to get down to the sea shore, we are really quite a distance away.

    Dear Karmyn. Glad I’m not the only one!

    Dear beckie. Yes, I may have woken him, seeing as I almost tripped over him, it would have been hard for him no to realise I was there.

    Dear swampy. Cigarettes are cheaper than food here – the so called ‘Western’ brands don’t exceed USD1, and I’m sure local brands are about the equivalent of 50 cents, or less…

  4. at least your apartment block doesn’t stink of a chicken shed like ours. Well, ours before they poured water onto the homeless and bleached them out of the cellar. Poor sods.

  5. wow…hey, just think, if you could package that smell, you could make millions helping people lose weight…after that smell, who’d want to eat??? 🙂

  6. be careful with people sleeping there.its so scarey when you dont know who they are or if they are saine.
    some places here they have let mental patants out,and its scarey.
    one older lady came out of her apartment to go pay her bills and a young black guy beat her so bad she ended in the hospital,he took her money to.
    people can be so mean.
    be careful my dear.
    merry christmas and happy new year.

  7. Dear mind the gap. I was trying to hint you into a blog post.

    Dear elena jane. I later realised that there is a heater right next to our front door, so he must have been passing out on that for warmth.

    Dear pamela. Ok. Is that really true?

    Dear Lisa. Yes, it’s sad. But still.. I’m not one of those immediately compassionate souls. My tendency to be a neurotic ball of nerves usually dictates my first reflex.

    Dear joeinvegas. Well, there are a couple, not govt run, though. There are an estimated 2 million street KIDS alone in Ukraine, let alone homless adults. It’s a sad problem.

    Dear olechko. Me too!

    Dear tiger lamb girl. Yes, it’s terrible isn’t it. Especially in this christmas party season, when a party doesn’t start til 8, and it feels like the night began four hours before you got to the party.

    Dear molly. Yes, I do believe it is.

    Dear headless chicken. Unfortunately, in this country, the circumstance that could have led to life on the streets is simply… life. The downfall of the Soviet system, the establishment of many new nations in its stead.

    Dear theotherbear. Not enough, I’m afraid.

    Dear claudia. Interesting concept! I have to admit, there was enough adrenalin running through my body that I needed a coffee to calm down, not food!

    Dear leann. Thanks, merry christmas to you too!

    Dear lacubanagringa. Err… delicate aint’ the first thing to spring to mind, but I do try to take an optimistic view on things.

  8. Where else do you expect the bomzhes (homeless) to sleep but in someone else’s entrance? I was told that was why you had to enter most official buildings in Kiev by the back entrance so that they could lock the front against the bomzhes.

    Maybe no coincidence that bomzh sounds like bum (as in tramp)?

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