Guide to SKOPJE

Bobbies are the best hosts at 2012 London Olympics

Popular London policemen a.k.a. Bobbies are, believe it or not, the kindest hosts at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. Have you ever thought of asking a policeman in your country to take a photo of you, or pose with you for a memorable photo? I’m sure you haven’t because you didn’t want to risk getting a fine or at least a warning not to do it again.

Have you ever seen any of our policemen walk with the tourists to their desired destination instead of just showing the way? Not even in your dreams. What seems to be science fiction in many countries, in London it is a reality. Bobbies are tourists’ best friends these days. Unarmed, dressed in T-shirts, trousers and the famous bobby helmets, they seem friendly and close to people.

You’ll see them in the streets giving advice on safety, warning people not to lean over the bridge too much while taking photos, or if you have fallen asleep on a park bench they’ll caringly check if you are feeling all right. In these few weeks while London is occupied by millions of tourists Bobbies are on a mission to help those who are lost and strayed. They show the way through the winding streets and crowds, and are often spotted carrying a lost child on their shoulders. Children get a free ride and parents are delighted for not losing their dearest ones in the Olympic frenzy.

They manage to keep a smile on their faces even in the most inconvenient situations. One day, while strolling by the Thames, I saw a girl ask a policeman to take a photo of her. I thought he would kindly refuse to do so, since it is not on his list of duties, but he took the camera with a big smile and started to shoot like a professional photographer, kneeling down and changing angles. The girl was really happy about it and in the end he thanked her for giving him a chance to show his photographic skills.

It could be just a temporary Olympic mood that will wear off in a few weeks. Still, it leaves an impression of good will and behavior, something that their colleagues from other countries should learn. But you can’t please everyone, no matter how hard you try. There is a small group of people who are dissatisfied with the way things are during these Olympics – criminals.