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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Never bring a stick to a kebab fight...

Canadian guy Paul was in New Cross with another Canadian friend Simon (who also knows Christy!) on Tuesday, so Kate and I met up with them for drinks. But that's not the interesting part. Not that they were boring--quite the contrary--but they were the saner part of our night. (Given Paul had an interview today with a Russian news channel, that's rather quite amazing.)

I'd been at NSM all day, and then in the library after that, so I hadn't had a chance to get any dinner. After the good folks at the library booted me out at precisely 8:45, I met up with Kate. As I was planning on having a pint--maybe even two--so figured I should put something in my stomach to soak up the forthcoming booze. There are several fast-food type places on the New Cross/Lewisham Way corner. No McDonalds or anything like that, but more doner/kebab/chip places than you could shake a stick at. (Ha! You'll see why that's funny in a minute.)

At random, we chose one across the street from my flat. I have no idea what it's called (Saray? I don't know. It's the one on that part of the street that isn't Amir's doner/chip/kebab shop. But should I find myself on that part of the street craving chips, I'll be giving Amir's my patronage from now on...)

Anyways. I ordered a can o' coke, a small chicken kebab and small chips, for the rather steep price of £4.50--one of many reasons I rarely eat in these places. The other reasons also involve crap food involving mystery meat, in addition to the lessons learned Tuesday night. Kate didn't order anything, the smart girl.

So we're sitting in our red plastic booth, sharing gripes about schoolwork, and this rather upset looking man walks in, empty bottle of vodka in one hand, stick in the other.

He starts shouting in Turkish at the guy behind the counter and three other employees sitting at a table a few behind us. At first, as Kate put it, it was hard to tell if he was yelling, or if that's just how Turkish sounds--but then he started waving his implements about, and it became pretty clear that he was indeed yelling and he was indeed angry.

Counter guy runs around to him, pulling him outside the shop, while one of the guys at the table retardedly grabs a stick and starts yelling at the vodka-stick-wielding guy from inside the store. One of the other table guys stops him, says something to him, and he goes to the back and changes his shirt--the first one had the name of the shop on it. Wouldn't want to give the shop a bad name, now!

Properly dressed for picking a fight, and not giving a shit if he's putting us in the line of danger, he runs up to the door, and screaming, waves his stick at the other guy, who's still outside raving and swinging his toys about.

This continues for a few minutes, with me and Kate just sitting there. I didn't feel in any danger--these guys really didn't even seem to notice we were there, and the vodka-stick guy's quarrel cleary wasn't with us. Besides, we couldn't leave, as the crazed guy was right outside, so there was nothing to do but sit and watch.

The guys inside the shop with us yelled something that appeared to really anger the crazy guy outside, and they rather wisely slam the glass door shut to keep him from coming back in. In a fit of rage--as tho he didn't expect them to shut the door--he slams his vodka bottle into the glass, spraying shattered pieces all over the floor by Kate and my feet.

At this point, we run into the back to get as far out of the way of all the crazed kebab shop guys as we can, but the fight moves outside, and we're left inside with the counter guy, who seems the calmest of the bunch. He walks behind the counter, and passes me my food, but we decide we'd rather just take this opportunity to get the hell outta Dodge. He refunds my money, not like I would have argued...

We step carefully over the shattered glass and out the door, marveling at the insanity of the whole scene. The two guys are further down the street, partaking in the lamest fight ever. Swinging their sticks--literally sawed off broomsticks--they land no hits; their punches aren't any better. The police have arrived, on horseback (who knew New Cross had mounted patrols!) and try to get their skittish, spooking horses between the men. Not paying much heed to the horses or the cops, one guy of trys to kick the other, but misses by about three feet. They couldn't hurt each other if they tried, and indeed, they were trying.

We kept moving, leaving behind the pretty horses, and head to the pub down the street, from where we watch the police make their arrests.

Not five minutes later, the remaining guys (eg, the non-arrested and non-shop-keeping members of the doner incident) walked into the same pub in which we sat, looking not at all concerned at what just happened.

I'm sure this weird crap happens everywhere--it was just a personal fight over something. Somehow, even tho I've never seen anything like this before in New Cross, and I generally feel very safe here, it just didn't seem all that out of place on this street...


Blogger Nat said...

And Daorcey's crack-whore ridden street sounds remarkably sane when compared to this. Why didn't anything fun like this happen to us?



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