Friday, December 01, 2006

Work Hard, Drink Harder

The ticket takers are usually pretty dour on the trams of Vodkaberg -- grouchy old women, hopeless old men, young drug addicts or single teenage moms.

I don't blame them for being grouchy -- in addition to their own problems, for a salary of a couple hundred bucks a month they have to walk back and forth on the tram all day, in the cold or heat, taking tickets from unconscious drunks, angry skinheads, and grouchy old people like themselves.

But today on the tram there was a cheerful middle-aged blonde woman wearing camo pants and coat who kept up a cheerful running commentary as she sold tickets. "Welcome aboard, handsome," she said to me (in Russian.) "Welcome to the happiest tram in Vodkaberg, where happiness can be purchased for only 9 rubles." (That's the current fare, I should add.) She moved on, cheerfully taking tickets, complimenting various children, university students, grandfathers who she described as the pride of the republic, etc.

It brightened up my day, but I suppose she was probably just drunk.

No comments: