Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The fabulous Niki Kendall and I spent a hellish day driving around the Lower Mainland looking for pawn shop people to talk to for Vice. What we learned was that people in pawn shops don't want to talk, much less have a photo taken, much less have to sign a release form. Our hard work and efforts are printed in the latest issue of Vice. I thought I'd post what I thought was a brilliant interview that didn't get published 'cause the fellow wouldn't let us take his photo. But imagine a large grumpy Russian guy...
Grumpy Russian guy who works at pawn shop who also didn’t want to give his name. He said he wasn’t the owner but another Russian guy from another pawn shop said he was lying to us and was in fact the owner.
Russian Guy: I have accent. I no want to talk.
Vice: I understand accents very well. So has there ever been people who come in that seem weird and you didn’t want to buy their stuff?
There’s lots of stuff we no buy because we can’t resell.
Electronics. You buy today computer four times as much, after two months the computer in store cost two thousand dollar.
Right, uh ok. What’s the most popular item people are buying right now?
What they buying? They no buying nothing. People have no money to buy nothing.
So no one’s buying anything?
You see people in the store?
How many people come in a day?
You see people in the store? I think I give good information.
I’ve never been in a pawn shop before so I’m trying to understand how they work.
Well now you’ve been in pawn shop.
Yeah it’s exciting! It’s exciting! You’ve worked here for 15 years, why did you want to work here?
Where I have to work? I’m a very old guy to work different place.
What’s your dream job?
You have no dreams?
I dream to go home.
Back to Russian?
To go home.
And what do you have at home?
To see my wife. That what I want to do. (Smiles for the first time in the conversation. Then a customer came in.)