My brother is a strange kid. The other day he tells me to give away a box of these fabulous-looking cigarettes - Sobranie. They are Black Russians.
The reason why he wanted me to give away the smokes was that he was smoking too much and did not want to finish the pack. I said, well, why don't you smoke one once in a while. He goes, 'Nah, I'll probably smoke it in one go.' So I agreed to relieve him of his worry of over smoking these Black Russians.
He had more of a Friday night than I did. It must have been 2 or 3 am when he got in and woke me up with a start as he was rummaging in my room looking for something. I thought it was a bad dream or something.
As I was making tea for myself the next morning in the kitchen, sure enough I saw the Black Russians on the kitchen table. He'd smoked one. "Oh brother!" I said to myself. Tariq himself was sleeping. I had my tea and then proceeded for my walk via Putney Bridge and via the-oh-so-green-Hammersmith Bridge. I got back, showered and got ready to meet a couple of friends to see a movie.
I wanted to ask him whether he still wanted to do something later in the evening as we had planned. But it was virtually impossible to do so. I'd enter the kitchen and he was smoking furiously and chattering away on the phone. He looked at me, nervously smiled, and then dashed out to another room. It went on and on, him pacing up and down the hallway and dashing in and out of the rooms of the flat. I heard bits of conversation - 'should I call her back,' 'what do you think,' 'she,' 'but..' I understood it was some kind of de-briefing going on. Who said boys don't talk on phone or display strange behaviour?
I guess I should have hid the Black Russians a bit better than that!
Note of interest: The first black people were brought to Russia as a result of slave trade by the Ottoman Empire. I couldn't believe that Pushkin was a descendent of a slave! During the 30s, African American families moved to Russia. Many African students also study in Russia. However, these Russians seem to be hyper racists. A lot of poor African students were killed brutally in hate/xenophobic crimes. Is it a fall out of the Soviet Union and related economic woes?