Berlin: A Boyfriend Monologue.

I met this girl.

I met her in the laundry room of one of the Adalbertstrasse buildings.

Or no, I first met her in this walkway. Off Melchiorstrasse. She was crouched over a small storm drain, seeming to peer into it with complete concentration.

I was curious.

What is she peering at so intensely? What is so engrossing in a drain?

I walked over to see what was going on.

She was drawing the outline of the drain- something like that. For an art course. She was an exchange student from the USA, in Berlin for a semester. I thought she was interesting. We exchanged Facebook contacts.

And then I met her again in the laundry room.

We engaged in conversation while she deliberated on what to do with an occupied but idle washing machine. She needed to use it, but it was full of someone else’s (washed) clothes.

What to do?

We kept chatting while she thought about how to navigate the somewhat uneasy situation.

At some point she was (maybe not literally) like ugh fuck it, and she emptied out the machine into a basket. Whoever owned the clothes could come dry them later.


She has a boyfriend. In the USA.

I also have a girlfriend. Here in Berlin.

But I think she’s interesting, and I’d like to have more conversations with her.

I ask if she’ll be fine with lunch or dinner sometime. She goes hmmm. Says she’ll ask the boyfriend.


I’m in my room. She just messaged me. Says the boyfriend hates the idea. She actually had suspicions that he wouldn’t really like it.

I tell her to tell him that I mean no harm. I myself am in a relationship I’m pretty happy with. I just think his girlfriend is interesting and wouldn’t mind a harmless dinner or something.

He says he is going to kill you

Hahahaha. I like him already.

I look him up on Facebook. He served in the Army. Mm, interesting. Interesting guy. I send him a friend request.

She sends me an amused and bewildered message:

Jesus Christ did you really just send him a friend request???!!!

Hahahaha.


In about four years when I’m writing this story, I’ll look her up on Facebook to see how she’s doing. Their baby will be doing well. Cute baby girl and interesting woman who was peering into a drain in Berlin and handsome army guy who wanted to kill me. Happy family.

We haven’t talked since Berlin. I won’t message. I won’t know if they remember me. They most likely won’t. I imagine people forget even more significant encounters.

People are usually astonished by what I remember. About the details I recall. I think to them, it feels like a lot. They are usually astounded because I know all of these things about them, that they do not remember ever telling me.

To a certain degree it’s interesting- It’s interesting to see people get so excited about something that’s just normal for you. But past a certain point it gets very frustrating. Nobody is thinking about what you are thinking about.

Don’t immediately ask that woman about how her son is doing. The one who broke his leg while playing ice hockey four years ago and made her anxious about whether she was right in letting him play ice hockey in the first place. First find out if she even remembers/recognizes you.

Do not walk into that office and try to pick up the deep-learning conversation you were having last year with that engineer. About language translation transformers and the paper she and her team got into the Indaba conference in Nairobi. And the paper her colleagues in London I think, got into NIPS. She does not remember. She does not even remember ever meeting you before. Everyone in the office will stare at you- you and your misplaced smiles and unfounded excitement, with suspicion. Who is this guy. Who is this stranger.

Okay you can provide some evidence though. Mention that she hates the air conditioner in the office and only tolerates it because her coworkers want it. And that the second they leave the office, she’ll turn off the cooling so the room is warm and weird and stuffy, because that’s how she likes it.

At that point she’ll have to consider the possibility you guys have actually met before. The coworkers’ll be more likely to take you seriously too, because they know she’s like that.

And so sometimes I wonder how much of past interactions/conversations with people, only exist in my head.

Like you mean, nobody else is thinking about this? About this day? They’ve all forgotten? They’ve all moved on?

Moved on. Whatever that means.


Back to the storm drain girl in Berlin:

But really I think going out with girls who are also in a relationship could be a pretty interesting experience. We’re both in relationships we’re happy with, but are interested in interacting with someone of the opposite sex, over innocent meals.

I think it’s cool.

A Brazillian classmate recently told me she’ll like to have lunch. She’s single. I’m not quite sure what to do. I feel like there could be some appeal to constantly letting your partner know that you’re very much in demand, but I don’t know. I’m not that insecure. There’s definitely some insecurity, but it’s nowhere near that point.

She on the other hand, I’m sure will not hesitate to hammer evidence of external interest in my face. She’s constantly pummeling me with all that stuff.

Blah blah blah blah blah, please shutup.

As a matter of fact, in a few weeks she’ll go out on a date with some guy. They’ll go to the Berlin TV tower. I won’t learn about it until after it has happened.

A few weeks after that, I myself will be at the TV Tower. The school will be having some sort of an event. Interviews and stuff. There’ll be cameras and stuff. I and a number of students will be invited.

I’ll be walking around the bar, taking in the very interesting environment, looking at a couple in their like very early forties sitting at the bar and idly scrolling through their phones. Okay maybe just the guy was in his forties. I’ll be looking down at the interesting historical buildings and very well-planned streets and delightful red roofs that gleam with what I understand to be that general European architectural aesthetic. Every once in a while though, I’ll be disturbed by nagging thoughts about how my girlfriend was sauntering daintily around here with some guy.

She’s definitely someone who gets very jolted by external romantic interest. In addition to that though, I feel like she’s beginning to feel like maybe I’m not really what she wants.

She likes all these guys with very predictable life trajectories.

I don’t think I’m like that. Right now it’s not very possible to align my personal orientation with any sort of existing direction that’s consensually associated with some sort of recognized success.

And the unpleasant effects I’m experiencing through the reality-filter of this relationship, is making me beginning to detest people who exemplify that:

Oh hey look at me. I am a Domain Logistics intern at Jack and Robinson Finance Corporation. By next year I should be a fully-fledged Logistics Representative. Four years after that, I’ll become a Sales and Marketing Executive Associate, but of course still specializing in Domain Logistics. Trust me, you want to choose me because I am set on an established career path, and am unambiguously headed towards guaranteed success. I have such a stable futu—

Please shutup.

Recently I was at Grunewald, taking in the invigorating nature and skateboarding wherever I could find a strip of hard flooring. I was standing at some sort of an embankment, with my arms folded on the railings. I was thinking about my uncle in Dublin and his life story, and how my life was not going to be anything like his, in spite of initial similarities. While I was doing that, I stared at a pretty large inflatable swan floating idly on the lake, wondering what exactly it was doing there.

At some point I saw some guys descending the slope. Looking very motivated and focused, with very spotless-looking suits. They looked like they were headed for some sort of very important business meeting in a booked meeting space nearby.

Standing there in my hoodie and my blonde-bleached hair, skateboard in hand, I couldn’t but think to myself:

These are the despicable guys who are making life miserable for me right now.


On my way back from Grunewald, I met a guy at the bus stop. He had long hair and glasses. I remarked that he looked like some sort of professor.

We began to talk.

On the bus, we talked about a number of things. Science, technology stuff. At some point he told me about his family. About his wife and two children. He talked about how sometimes his family made him feel restricted, with regard to being able to pursue some scientific and other interests. He said his kids were like tent pegs in each foot- he demonstrated this by driving an imaginary peg through each foot. He said they were all pinning him down and that he could neither go anywhere nor do anything.

I wasn’t quite sure what to say, but we kept talking.

At some point we arrived at his stop and he got off. I realized that at the beginning of our conversation I was energetic and invigorated- fresh from the recharging ambience of Grunewald, while he was more listless. But at the end of the conversation it was the other way round: He got off the bus with a smile on his face, looking considerably excited. But I felt almost completely drained. I didn’t quite understand it.

I had to get off the bus a number of stops early to indulge in some ice cream and some other general very sweet stuff. In a bid to regain some of the charge I began the journey back to Adalbertstrasse with.

Berlin: A Boyfriend Monologue.


Image: Somewhere on the U-Bahn.


PS:

I would really appreciate some even more perspective on the pieces I put on here. I am aware people read, and I am aware there are people who find these pieces interesting.

A good number of people who enjoy this blog are people I’m in communication with. In person, online etc. And it is very delightful for me, getting to hear what they think of the pieces. Getting to hear their personal opinions on both the content and the writing is a very very lovely experience- for all of the parties involved I’d like to imagine.

I feel like I’d love to also hear from the more silent and anonymous visitors. Please feel free to drop a comment, or even message me privately and let’s just talk and catch up and have fun- that’s usually very enjoyable.

🙂

Of Summer Rendezvous and Stolen Wine.

Mister Wang is on the balcony.

I’m not quite sure what he’s doing. I think he’s just taking in the view. Or maybe he’s having a phone call- I’m not quite sure.

I am in the kitchen section of the college HQ. There is a stash of wine bottles by my right.

I never really used to pay attention to the wine. In my head, it was in the same category with the like shoulder-high rack of wine bottles in one of the meeting rooms. The one with a table and an iMac and bookshelves and sofas.

I had that room to myself on a recent afternoon. Reclining in the extremely comfortable chair, reading about a newly-popular deep learning library called Keras on the iMac screen. Thinking about neural networks and activation functions and feeling like some grey-haired Stanford professor.

In my head, the assortment of wine bottles to my left were not for consumption by mere mortals like myself. The wine was arranged there for a different species- one I had never encountered before.

In my head, the bottles by my left were not wine, they were art. To be protected from contact with my inquisitive epidermis, lest those invaluable vessels dripping with rich history, instantly crumble into regrettable dust upon contact with my lowly Homo Sapien skin.

But the bottles of wine in the kitchen- the bottles of wine here by my right? These ones are different.

Like a few weeks ago I walked into the HQ kitchen and saw a half-full bottle. I paused mid-stride to make sense of what I was seeing.

Wait, this wine is for drinking? This wine is to be drunk? By human beings?

Ohhhhhh.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Okay. Okay. Okay I get it now. I get it now.

I think there had been some sort of a celebration at the HQ a number of hours before. Hence the wine.


Mister Wang is on the balcony.

I intend to transport one of the wine bottles into my backpack.

I do not know if that is stealing. I know chocolates and general snacks are accessible to all, but I just don’t know about the wine.

I don’t know if it’s expensive wine. To be honest I have no idea how to identify expensive wine, either by the bottle or by the taste. I think confirmation bias could make otherwise unremarkable wine taste expensive. To like me the uninitiated, it definitely would. It probably would have much less of an effect on expert tasters and stuff though.

I wonder if Mister Wang on the balcony can hear my thoughts.

I wonder if he has already perceived my intentions. He gave me a brief glance a few seconds ago.

I don’t know. He seems to be very engrossed in whatever he is doing.

I don’t know. Or maybe he is just being disingenuous.

The wine bottle is in my bag.

In my head I am coming up with explanations for my actions. I am advocating my innocence to the skeptical college-faculty superego in my brain. I can see myself in front of a disciplinary council, drawing on ethical frameworks and logical arguments to exonerate my very pitiable self from impending doom and desolation.

The school administration has been expelling people in recent times. I wonder if I could get expelled for stealing wine from the HQ. I don’t know.

But wait, I don’t even know if this is stealing. The wine is definitely accessible to general staff. I think. For students? I don’t know. For a student sneaking a bottle into his bag to drink back at the dorms with his girlfriend? I have no idea.

The wine bottle is in my bag.

My head keeps dancing about in a web of ethical conundrums as I head out to Market Street and begin to skateboard down to Powell.


A Kenyan classmate just helped me with a wine-opener. She says something about having some sort of share in the wine.

I’m not quite sure what she’s talking about. There’s only room for two this night.

I head down the stairs. About ninety percent of the class is home for summer break- and so the building in Nob Hill which functions as our dorms, is largely empty. The girlfriend and I have been making use of a number of different rooms in the building, in addition to our assigned rooms for the summer.

I call one the “flute room”, because during the session one of the occupants used to play the flute.

It was somewhat ticklish for me being in that room with the girlfriend, and thinking about the relatively innocent conversations I had had right there, with the occupants of the room a number of months before.

Hm, if only these people knew what we’re doing in their room now. What we’re doing with their beds.

Today it’s a different room. This one has a view of California street. Like my room.

I’m heading downstairs, wine-opener in hand.

The stolen wine should set a very stimulating mood for the night.

This night should be a very interesting one.


It’s a number of days later.

I am having a conversation with a resident assistant- a classmate from Malaysia. She is telling me about a strange discovery she made while locking up one of the rooms in the building for the summer.

The room was supposed to have already been cleared out, and so she was surprised to find an unempty bottle of wine in the wardrobe. Along with a blanket. And a number of other things which had very tenuous strings to their consequently ambiguous owners.

Hm. I wonder where the wine came from. I wonder how it got there. I wonder how it got opened, and I wonder what activities the beings who drank from the bottle intended to engage in.

Hm. I wonder.

This life is a mystery.


Image: Drinking (unjustifiably?) expensive wine at Shiro- an interesting Pan Asian restaurant in Lagos Nigeria.

Kissing Girls in UC Berkeley.

Oh my God, you’re an angel!!

We are at UC Berkeley. Africa hall. Or Africa section. Africa something.

I am expressing immense appreciation to a student.

She is tall, and she has some glittering party make-up on. I think she looks really interesting.

She just let us into a 21+ party.

None of us is up to twenty one.

Well apart from our American classmate who has a fake ID. He is 21+ according to his fake ID.

I did not know Americans also faked documents. I used to think stuff like that only happened in like Nigeria.

A few weeks after resumption, someone offered to help me and some other classmates out with fake IDs.

You know, for 21+ party access and stuff.

I politely declined.

Please, I just got to America. I just landed here a few weeks ago- this place where everything is supposed to be perfect and where life is supposed to be nothing short of heaven on earth. Please hold on to your offer, thank you. I did not fly here all the way from Nigeria to make fake IDs thanks.

——————

We’re in.

We’re inside the party.

Come to think it, we came all the way from San Francisco without even being sure if we were going to get in.

Hahaha.

Props to the infallible confidence of the American with the fake ID.

Hahahaha.

———————

The party seems really fun. There’s cool music and party lights and people dancing everywhere, mm.

I walk around and talk to a number of people. There’s some guy who studies something interesting. Like Biomedical Engineering or something like that. We talk for a while.

I keep moving around and dancing.

At some point I ask the DJ for permission to play some music from Nigeria. It’s rap music and I enjoy rap, but it’s this party rap that has a vibe that I feel will provide some interesting contrast to the predominantly Western music that’s being played.

The student DJ agrees.

I look up Falz and Phyno’s recent collaborations on Spotify. Falz has been making some interesting waves recently. While in Nigeria, I was like the only one I knew, who knew him. Well, me and the person who introduced me to his music. Recently though, he has been experiencing some international recognition. His music is very good- I really enjoy it. And I feel happy for him.

Falz and Phyno’s “Karishika” begins to play. “Karishika” is a jovially superstitious song about agents from the underworld who disguise themselves as attractive women, with the aim of inspiring the ruin of men who are making notable headway in life.

It appeals to a pretty prevalent mindset in Nigeria that men are the primary beings with well-defined destiny and purpose in life, and that women generally exist to either support or preclude the realization of said destiny.

It’s definitely very patriarchal, the women in the society for some reason behave in ways that reinforce this perspective- making you actually begin to wonder if it’s some sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy thing. Or even more bewildering, if men in Nigeria are in actual fact the only humans with life purpose and women only exist as auxiliaries.

But it’s a great ass party song.

The people dancing also seem to think so. Everyone seems excited.

Haha great.


I’ve resigned from my acting DJ position.

Now I’ve found myself toying with the idea of just walking around and persuading girls to kiss me.

I think it’s an interesting idea.


There’s this Asian-looking girl. Her name is Melanie.

We’re talking and dancing. I make her aware of my current mission. She seems very excited by it, but for some reason is hesitant to actually kiss me.

We talk some more and dance some more. At some point we kiss.

Mwah. It’s a mwah kiss.


There’s this British-sounding girl.

She is very very fun to dance with. She has some serious moves.

We keep dancing.

I make her aware of my mission. She’s also excited by it, but she says she has a boyfriend.

I think she’s lying.

We keep dancing. I keep attempting to persuade her. In between dance moves and hearty laughter she keeps bringing up the issue of her boyfriend- a being whose existence I am very suspicious of.

—————————

I haven’t kissed any girls in a bit. My attention has been taken by all of the other rooms in the building.

I’m in the bathroom.

There are condoms everywhere.

I do not understand.

The sexual culture in this country is so different.

Growing up in Nigeria, sex was pretty much a taboo topic. Something people only talked about in detail, in private. Not every time hush hush, but definitely not this.

Here, sex is everywhere.

There is a surprisingly expansive heap of condoms in front of the bathroom mirror. And dental dams.

The impression I get is, “We know you people are going to have sex. Just do it safely please.

I don’t even know what this dental dam thing is used for. At this very point in time, I do not even know what the name is. I pick up a few pieces of the coloured rectangular stretchy thingies, and begin to imagine what in the name of God they could possibly be used for.

————————————

I am in another room. It looks like some sort of a Computer research lab. There is a pretty large monitor in the middle of the room. There is a girl seated at the computer. There is a guy hunched over her, looking at something evidently very important on the screen. They look up at me as I walk in. They do not seem very friendly. I say hello and leave.


I am back at the dancefloor.

I’m with two female classmates.

Now I’m attempting to persuade them to cop a feel of my chest muscles.

I know one of them thinks I have a hot body. She wrote that to me at this school event where everyone had a large piece of paper that I think some of us taped to our backs, and then everyone else wrote pretty pleasant stuff on everyone else’s paper.

Now I’m trying to persuade her and her American bestfriend to take some action with regard to their evidenced thoughts.

They seem shy, but have the potential to be receptive. I keep exploring the possibility.


The party is pretty done.

I am in the kitchen.

Some guy is frying something. Tater tots or something like that.

It took me a while and some confusion-inspired concentration to realize that the name of whatever he is making is “Tato tots”. Like “tato” from potato.

Oho. Now I get it.

Unfamiliar accents further complicate the understanding of new expressions.

I have resumed my kissing mission.

There’s a girl beside me. We’re having a pretty alright chat, and I’m attempting to elicit multiple kisses from her over tato tots.


We are outside. We’re sitting on the floor- we’re all considerably tired and pretty drunk.

We need to get back to San Francisco. That is something we’re all subconsciously aware of, but for some reason no one seems to have the energy to translate into action.

We keep sitting on the floor and laughing. An immensely drunk Danish classmate somehow emerged from within the building with this very giant baguette. I wonder where in the name of God he found such a giant baguette. I thought I had seen all there was to see in that building.

An Argentine classmate takes up the responsibility of ordering us an Uber. This guy is our father this night- right now we’re all just a bunch of drunk college guys lying on the floor in UC Berkeley with absolutely no plan on how to get back to SF.


Image: A different party.

Party in Oakland/A Second-Hand Cuban Cigar.

Once I was seven years old, my

momma told me, go

make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely


We are in an Uber, on the Bay bridge back to San Francisco.

Lukas Graham’s “Seven Years” is playing on the speakers.

We are on our way back from a party in Oakland.

A Danish classmate somehow got us invites. I think he has some DJ friends there.

We are all ecstatic. The Danish guy is in the passenger’s seat. Jamming. We are all jamming.

I’m in the seat right behind him.

Oakland was fun. Oakland was very fun.


This is like, very bad rap!! Like, it is really bad hahaha!!

I am shouting to my American roommate, trying to be heard over the very loud music. Subconsciously I realize that I am beginning to perceive myself as having heard enough rap music in my life, to confidently call something being played aloud in a club “bad rap”.

My roommate is dancing. We are all dancing. There’s this face he makes when he dances that makes me think of his mother. I think it’s very cute.

I met her once. When we were all moving into the dorms at the beginning of the first semester. They’ve been inviting me over to their home in Southern California for the holidays. I’ve just not been comfortable enough in terms of either time or finances to accept their recurrent invites.

They even once offered to pay the flight tickets. I was touched. I just felt like I would be entirely dependent on them while I was there, and I didn’t really like the thought of that.

A Brazilian classmate was in our Oakland party group. I think he left recently. He seemed anxious about something, I don’t know what.

A classmate from eastern Europe says she’s going out for a cigarette.

I think she’s very pretty. I had a huge crush on her at the beginning of the first semester. But at some point she started dating some guy. Some Danish guy. Another classmate. She seems to really like him.

I have mixed feelings about him- the Danish guy. He’s smart. He’s very smart- remarkably smart. His performance in classes are like magic to me. I don’t understand it at all.

He’s also very rude. And insensitive. That is annoying, that is persistently annoying. But he’s fun. He’s very fun.

The Danish guys are very fun. They are this cool Danish duo who are always going out and doing cool stuff.

The pretty European once mentioned something to me about cigarettes, and how they can be a considerably reliable facilitator for conversation.

Would you like to head out for a cigarette?” is a pretty effective way to draw a person out of a crowd and go have a more private conversation.

I recently tried cigarettes for the first time. I never even thought about it in Nigeria. My parents thought very negatively of it, and I had a number of very interesting hobbies so my life was lacking neither excitement nor novelty.

In the past few months they’ve been very accessible though. A considerable number of people around me here smoke cigarettes. And so that continuous accessibility has outweighed my inattention.

I was unimpressed by the cigarette. I don’t understand why people like them. They smell and taste annoying. I am completely confused by how popular they are.

I recently tried this fat Cuban cigarette thing though. Ahhhh. That one was different. That one was very different.

It was at this interesting building on a street off Powell- I think it’s the street with the Walgreens. Or the one after that.

It’s the street with this jewelry shop where I collected the number of the sales attendant. After spending about twenty minutes asking pretty detailed questions about diamonds whose prices involved very bewildering numbers.

I acquired a considerable amount of knowledge about diamonds that day. Learnt about the head. Learnt about how the colour and the presence of impurities could influence the price of the jewel. Some impurities actually make the diamond more valuable- depending on the specifics.

Mm. Interesting.

Learnt about the prestige. I think it was prestige. Prestige, premier- something like that.

“You want my number?”

She looked up at me, looking somewhat bashful. She briefly glanced around- almost like she was looking for some sort of approval from the second attendant.

“Hm, well I don’t have a boyfriend, so okay.”

Paper. Number. Pocket.

She was very friendly. And sexy. She was very sexy.

I never called her. I’m a first year college student living in a dorm room with my American roommate. I don’t think going out on dates with a woman who sells diamonds for a living is what I should be doing right now. I have classes and assignments and my general life to figure out.


Aha, the Cuban cigar.

We had just finished this Student Support Network meeting with the college psychologist. Cool guy, the psychologist. I was nominated by a member of the college staff who seems to really like me, for some reason.

I was on my way out of the interesting room in which we had the meeting. Impressive wooden floors, ornate wooden bookshelves and general furniture- just fascinating. The room felt like something out of a period piece about a renowned monarch.

I was on my way out of the room. And then I saw this other room by the right. There was a large table at the centre. There were chairs around it. It looked like a group of affluent and accomplished men in dazzling suits had recently gathered there to discuss men-stuff and politics and opportunities for the realization of even more accomplishments and affluence.

I walked into the room and took my time to soak in the very esteemed ambience.

And then I saw the Cuban cigar on the table. I think it was a Cuban cigar. It was brown and fat, like the type in movies. It had to be a Cuban cigar- that’s what they call the brown and fat ones isn’t it.

Before I knew it, I was on the balcony- looking over the tops of the buildings outside, and generally just enjoying that San Francisco skyline in between puffs of the brown fat cigar.

I don’t know what the general opinion is on smoking second-hand cigars, but that was just one faint tiny bell ringing at the back of my mind.

I took my time to draw some very slowly-savoured breaths through the cigar- getting a thorough taste of the resplendent affluence and accomplishment and life-establishment that the men in that room had very perceptibly diffused into the space.

It had neither a disturbing smell nor taste. And it felt very round and firm between my fingers. Brown and stolid and fat.

A few minutes later, I returned the cigar to the table- I had taken just a few puffs- and headed out.

On my way back up Powell, I became aware of this strange feeling in my head. My head felt clear. It was strange. The marked mental clarity I felt after smoking the cigar, made me wonder if there was some sort of fog in my head before.


The pretty European classmate is taking a sip from a transparent bottle. The liquid inside is bright blue.

There is a very jovial African-American guy seriously hyping the contents of the bottle. He says it’s Ecstasy.

He is talking very excitedly. He is either normally a very excitable guy, or he’s just excited about talking with the pretty European. I don’t know. Or maybe I’m just jealous.

I just took a sip from the bottle. In my mind I’m thinking about how much Ecstasy tastes like Gatorade.

I keep watching the African-American Ecstasy hype man. Chattering on about his very dubious-tasting drug.

At some point the Danish guy who got the club invites says we should better get going.

“So we don’t get mugged!”

He sounds like he’s talking from recent experience. Maybe they got mugged in Hawaii.

The two Danish guys recently flew to Hawaii. A considerable number of classmates were dumbfounded, myself included.

A number of months ago, I arrived the USA from Nigeria. My first time travelling outside the country. I am still here, trying to understand and make sense of this new degree of freedom- this new axis of movement. And these guys are flying to Hawaii on a moment’s notice.

Wow. Like wow.


Soon we’ll be thirty years old, our

songs have been sold, we’ve

travelled around the world and we’re still roaming


We are in an Uber, on the Bay bridge back to San Francisco.

Lukas Graham’s “Seven Years” is playing on the speakers.


Image: Cool nextdoor neighbours at the dorms.

White Rice, Olive Oil, and the “Of Course?!” Guy.

Some guy just joined me at the table. He is dark-skinned, dressed in conspicuous flowing white, and has a medium-sized beard.

He eats like one who is almost late for an appointment. He is not evidently in a hurry, no. Not really. But sitting across the table: hearing his perfunctory greeting, seeing his head bowed in total concentration on his food, watching his spoon grab mounds of rice in diligent cycles, and experiencing the incisive ferocity with which he munches, I can tell he has somewhere to be.

This is my first time ever seeing him. In the next few weeks I’ll learn he’s Senegalese. He’s a member of the Senegalese Islamic sect at whose meetings I’ll happily receive free rice and chicken during Ramadan. But that’s still to happen in a few months. I don’t know any of that now.


I take my time with my food, taking care not to let the Senegalese guy’s justification-bereft haste rub off on me.

I didn’t know people added olive oil to rice. Like, while eating. There’s a small bottle of olive oil right next to my food. I didn’t know sprinkling some of it on rice, was a thing.

In Nigeria I only ever saw olive oil being used by the super-abundance of superstitious churches in the place. It was usually employed as some sort of a supernatural weapon- To cast out demons and ward off evil spirits.

To the extent that your impression of reality and what is real and what is normal and what is natural; To the extent that all of that is dependent on the human beings around you and your immediate society, growing up in some parts of Nigeria teaches you that Olive oil is manufactured to cast out demons. That is why olive oil exists. And that olive oil advertisements proudly quote stats on demon fatalities, just like how disinfectants claim to kill 99% of germs, etc.

And so it definitely feels very absurd for me here, seeing almighty Olive Oil being used for something as mundane as seasoning rice.


The Senegalese guy is done eating.

Of course he’s done eating.

In a few weeks I’ll be at this restaurant with a new acquaintance from the Netherlands who studied Mechanical Engineering.

We’ll meet on the sunny beach at the southern end of the island. We’ll talk about Holland’s ingenuity with dams and dykes, and he’ll explain the physics of sailing. He’ll attempt to explain the physics of kitesurfing to me, but I’ll have too little experience with the sport to get what he’s saying.

I’ll tell him about some of my interests involving the representation of words and ideas in general, as co-ordinate points in multi-dimensional space. Initially he’ll be skeptical, but at some point he’ll come around and find it exciting. He’ll tell me about the Bauhaus- say I’ll be interested in the philosophy behind it. I’ll open up a mobile Safari tab to check out later.

We’ll talk about his work at KLM. About his bosses and how they receive very fleshy salaries, but aren’t doing all that much work. We’ll talk about his intention to move to a larger apartment- one that costs about two thousand euros a month. The salary is capable of handling it, he says.

I’ll introduce some girlfriend talk. I’ll be surprised to hear he has never had one. I’ll be going through some wrenching heartbreak at the time, but I’ll still suggest that he think about getting one. He’ll appear receptive to the idea.

He’ll tell me about his friends in Holland and their recent trip to Thailand. He’ll ignore phone calls from his mother, wanting to know how he is doing in Cape Verde. He should be old enough to handle himself, he says. I agree. At the time, I myself will be embroiled in some brain-scalding disagreements with my parents in Nigeria.


In a few weeks we’ll be at this restaurant, and he’ll point out to me that you slant the beer glass while pouring the beer. So the foam accretes on top. Apparently that’s the cool-guy way of pouring beer. I’ll realize it also looks better.

In a few years I’ll message him on Facebook, but he will not respond with the enthusiasm I expect. There’ll be too little information to discern why. It’ll probably have to do with the possibility that he has forgotten most of what happened on that day.

That’s something I’ll become aware of in the next few years. That people generally forget pretty much all of these things, and so I shouldn’t immediately attempt to pick up a conversation we were having years ago, because they usually don’t remember ever having that conversation. Sometimes they don’t even remember having ever met me in their lives before.


And so in a few weeks I’ll be at this restaurant with a new acquaintance from the Netherlands, laughing and having conversation he’ll most likely completely forget before long.

I’m done with my food. I call over to the waiter-cum-manager of the place. I ask him a polar question about his opening times. He responds with a vigorous “Of Course?”, that is accented to sound like a question.

This is like the fifth time this guy is going to respond to my questions with “Of Course?”. Initially I thought he was somewhat offended by my question- that it meant I felt the need to ask for something that should simply have been assumed.

Now I’m beginning to perceive this behavior differently from when I initially met him: I don’t think he’s a native English speaker. He’s black, and generally feels like someone who originated from somewhere on the continent, but I don’t think he’s Cape Verdean. Probably from a non English-speaking African country.

I think his English lexicon is limited, and “Of Course” is one of the few expressions in his vocabulary. That’s probably why he says it so often.

I pay for my food and get up to leave. The “Of Course?” guy is heading out to serve some chicken. I let him know I enjoyed the meal, and that I’ll definitely be back sometime soon.

He appears to appreciate my compliment, and wishes me goodnight.

There’s a hearty “Of Course?!” somewhere in his response.


Image Credits: https://www.origanico.com/product-category/food/extra-virgin-olive-oil/

Cape Verde: A Story of a Transgender Prostitute. [Part 2]

The first part of the story is accessible here.


He passes me the computer he has been typing on. He’s working on a CV. Says I should go through it. Point out modifications which could be made.

I think I might be influencing him somehow.

A few hours ago when we met, he explained that he used to study Informatico (what I think is the Cape Verdean/Portuguese term for general Computer/Information sciences. He was a student at a pretty prominent university on a different island- the capital. Now he’s entirely dependent on his boyfriend for upkeep. Well not entirely dependent; he side-hustles as a prostitute.

That was a few hours ago. And he seemed pretty fine with the state of things.

Now he’s telling me to help with his Curriculum Vitae.

I’m not quite sure how to feel about this though:

I myself am not particularly positively disposed towards CVs. Towards tertiary institutions of education, and resumes and CVs and all that stuff. The idea that textually presenting this pretty formulaic depiction of yourself with the intention of only plugging into already-existing value-creating structures, is the non-negotiably singular way to find some sort of a place for yourself in life.

And that anyone who isn’t doing that, doesn’t quite know what they’re doing with their life.

It gets me so annoyed- that way of thinking.

This existential disagreement is one of the reasons I’m on a gap year from college in the US in the first place. And I’m seriously considering not going back.

I go through the CV. It’s in Portuguese, but I try to give some helpful perspective regardless. He seems grateful.

No problem, no problem.


We are at the place of a trans-woman friend of the initial trans-woman I’ve been interacting with for the past few hours. I keep hanging out in their living room, just looking around and trying to make sense of the bewildering number of toothbrushes I saw in the bathroom.

At some point he signals to me that it’s time to leave. I respond to his signal and get up from the chair. I’m not sure what he’s going to end up doing with the CV.


We’re outside the apartment. He says he’d like to go back to the restaurant. Some European tourists were eyeing him while we were there.

I nod in understanding. I know what he means. The European guys at the restaurant want him to fuck their ass.

Hmm.

I mention that I’d be heading elsewhere. He asks if I have some money to spare for another drink. I make him aware that that is not exactly the case.

We exchange pleasantries and part ways.


Part 2.


Image Credits: (Person in image is completely uninvolved with the story) https://nohat.cc/f/person-wearing-purple-lipstick/e09e1b7f84294cbba7ce-201907080307.html

A Derelict Train Station, and Ruminations on Krav Maga. 2.

What is your work?

I am now being quizzed by a man I believe to be a police officer. There is a Police Station in the Terminus.

He’s asking for my occupation.

Engineer. I’m an engineer. Software Engineer.

I prefer “Researcher”, but I think he’ll be more likely to relate with “Engineer”. The last time I attempted giving some elucidation on Artificial Intelligence research to some law enforcement officers who stopped me at a roadblock for questioning, I don’t think it quite got us anywhere.

My motorbike was parked by the side of the road. My helmet and gloves were on the ground- they made me take them off.

I was explaining to the very doubtful-looking soldier like:

Artificial Intelligence has to do with giving machines the ability to—-

Shut Up!! Shut Up!!! You are gay! Look at your mouth! You are moving your lips like a woman. You are gay!!! You are a gay!!!

I was astounded. Like, what?? Howww??? Whattt?????

So now I just say “Engineer”. Pretty much every one has an idea what “Engineer” means.

I’ve been thinking of some other words I could describe myself with. Like Founder or CEO or Managing Director. I don’t know. Maybe then people would let me off with fewer questions.

I don’t know though. The research is what I primarily identify myself with. All of those other fancy terms are just to make the whole thing sound legit. Plus, there’s the chance law enforcement could begin to demand bribes befitting of a CEO, from me.

Please I have no CEO money to give you abeg. I am but a modest researcher. Please accept this humble token, sacrificially carved out of my very unassuming wages.


Where is your ID card?

Hm that’s true. I don’t have an ID card. Not yet. It is on the list of things to get done. I explain that the company was just registered a number of months ago. Things are still taking shape etc etc.

At some point he walks away. There is a lingering suspicion and distrust on his face. He looks completely unconvinced.

I head out of the train station.


I am on the pedestrian bridge right opposite the Terminus. I need to take a picture. I’m thinking I could write a blog post about this? I don’t know. In any case a straight-up picture of the building’s facade will be helpful.

The sun is behind the building. It’s in my face. The lighting is weird. Ugh.

I take a few pictures and head back down the bridge.

There are some guys seated on the bridge. I’m not sure what they’re doing. They look like the sort of group that hangs around in secluded places with the aim of ambushing passers-by.

The only issue is that I am sure there are no passers-by here. The bridge smells of bad weed and dried urine on asphalt. I am about a hundred percent certain that I’m the only non-street-gang guy to use this bridge today. And so I kinda wonder who they’re ambushing and robbing, and how they’re getting food to eat.

Hey you! Why you dey snap us??!! Why you dey snap us??!! Bring that your phone make I see am!!

It’s one of the strange guys on the bridge. He seems to have suddenly awoken from the communal trance they appear to all be in.

He claims I’m taking a picture of them.

Hah. You wish bruh. You wish. I’m here for this decrepit train station.

He asks to see my phone.

That’s something I know I should never do. Give them leverage. Once my phone is in their grasp, I’m somewhat beholden to them.

I ignore him and briskly walk past.

As I do, another bridge guy tells the first to calm down and let me go.

I turn briefly to fling some insults their way once I am at a safe distance.

Nonsense people.


Later I’ll think about personality. Personality and contingent situational attractor states. A character in a TV show will make me starkly aware that amenableness to reason and dialogue is not to be assumed for all possible confrontational situations.

And in response I’ll begin to think seriously about Krav Maga.

A Derelict Train Station, and Ruminations on Krav Maga. 1.

I am at Oyingbo.

There is this “Lagos Terminus” building here.

I looked it up online. It says there’s a train that goes all the way to Kano, from there.

Kano. Hohoho.

I need to go see what’s going on. I need to go know what’s happening.

Usually the thought of visiting Kano or anywhere in Northern Nigeria, would infuse my mind with dread. Boko Haram and a number of other terrorist factions and sub-factions, have been wreaking serious havoc in the north.

And usually for people whose experience living in Nigeria is mostly within the southwestern region, all the Northern states sound the same. Kano. Katsina. Jigawa. Borno. They’re all pretty much the same thing. Just another state full of Hausa people.

A classmate originating from Northern Nigeria once pointed out to me- somewhat bitterly, that I was being unfair. That Boko Haram’s activities were predominantly within Borno, and that the other Northern states were relatively safe.

I heard something in the news about some kidnappings in Katsina a few days ago.

I don’t know- Maybe the stereotype “All states in Northern Nigeria are under siege by terrorists” might not be so unfair, if it’s fairness was weighed against it’s usefulness with regard to traveler safety and welfare.


I am at the Lagos Terminal.

I am walking about excitedly, looking around and asking questions.

As is usual with a lot of places in Nigeria, my excitement feels very absurd and out of place. The overwhelming weight of the incumbent socio-economic climate is evident in the general demeanour.

The hall is mostly empty. I don’t think any train is leaving soon. The workers are talking in relatively low voices. Some of them give very brief and not-so-enthusiastic responses to my questions, as they walk away.

My excitement is definitely misplaced.

I don’t really care.

I step back and take a look at the arched ceiling, comparing it in my head with the Hauptbahnhof at Frankfurt.

There are commonalities- there definitely are.

Hm, I wonder what sort of an aesthetic the architect was going for. I wonder what train stations in the world they were inspired by.

The ambience of the waiting hall fits just right with film recordings from the times before I was born. Like something you’d see in an old documentary about Nigeria- overlaid by the commentary of a very nasal British journalist.

“The Premier of the Western Region of Nigeria boards a train to Kano, to discuss a collective response to the extant British influence in the nation.”

And you’d see like Obafemi Awolowo, looking all made and affluential and important, striding into the booking office while adjusting an arm of his agbada.


There is a mouldy-looking inauguration plaque on the wall. It says the plaque was unveiled by a Sir Hugo Marshall, and Honourable Tafawa Balewa. Balewa’s face is on the Five unit denomination of the Nigerian Naira. I don’t know who Sir Hugo Marshall was.

You know, I’m really not sure what the whole point of nationalism is. I’m not sure why I should feel an unconditional sense of allegiance to, and identification with, the country I found myself having originated from. I’m not even sure what the point of a country is, to be honest.

With Nigeria specifically, the whole thing feels a lot more ambiguous and ill-defined.

“Nigerian”. What does that even mean?

Denotatively, I do not know. Other than the trivial geographical implication- which has limited usefulness, I’m not sure if any coherent meaning exists.

Connotatively, ah. That one is generally terrible. To some people, it means “Internet fraudster”. To some others it means “Drug dealer”. The list goes on and on.

And so as I walk around this Terminus, I engage myself with concepts divorced from any sort of nationalist perspectives or interpretations. Like concepts involving architecture. And engineering.


Hey! You! What are you doing there? Why are you taking pictures?

I knew it. I knew this was too good to be true. I knew at some point that overbearing, demoralizing Nigerian psychological virus would lunge out of the ominous darkness beyond and attempt to claw at my skin.

That brooding virus that causes otherwise innocuous behaviour to be consensually perceived as absurd and suspicious and even dangerous.

I was walking about in a train station and taking pictures. In most countries I don’t imagine anyone would even have the time to pay attention to me. But in Nigeria, no. It’s a crime. It’s a motherfucking criminal offence.

I turn towards the voice. It is one of the workers at the train station.

He walks up to me and asks to see my phone.


Part 1.

Traveling across Lagos During the Violent #EndSars Protests in Nigeria. Addendum 4.

We just left Obalende.

I had run out of liquid funds. A trenchant consequence of the severely disorienting impediment constituted by the violent protests, was that the trip had taken about two days longer than planned.

It should have been about four/five hours max. It is now about two days since I left my place of abode. I’m still not yet at my destination.

I asked a number of people for money at the bus stop, because cash on hand had run out.

I used to think asking people for money was a sign of poverty- A negative thing. Okay well maybe when it’s a continual occurrence in one’s life. But every once in a while? In cases involving like unprecedented/extremely unlikely circumstances? I don’t think there’s anything wrong. I really do not think so.

A few months ago I was in a public transportation bus. The fare was about N50 more than I expected, and I didn’t have enough cash on hand to pay the bus conductor. At the time I had a few million Naira in the bank. I was literally a millionaire. Like, millionaire in terms of liquid funds, and not even assets or net worth. Well in Nigerian Naira at least.

Two options seemed clear to me:

One: Exit the bus, go withdraw some money, get back.

Two: Ask the guy sitting beside you to help you out with the required fifty Naira.

I was very tired that afternoon. The Nigerian sun was extra-blistering that day. Just the thought of re-entering the searing radiation being propagated across space from the distressingly merciless object at the center of this solar system, injected my consciousness with some serious despair.

There is no way I am leaving this bus. Entering that sun? Waiting for the “next turn” bus to be full???

No, no way. No motherfucking way. I do not care what numbers my bank is reporting to me. I do not motherfucking care.

I turned to the guy sitting next to me, and I asked him for assistance. No time.


We just left Obalende.

About ten minutes into the journey, I realize this is the fastest I have ever been transported across the Lagos Third Mainland Bridge.

There is like nobody on the road. Traffic congestion right now, is a non-sequitur.

Just the occasional group of random guys with their arbitrary roadblocks and their unconstitutional financial demands.

On the way, we see some soldiers driving along the road in their pickup trucks, scaring away the illegitimate roadblock guys.

At some point the driver stops giving the roadblock guys money, and begins threatening them with soldiers coming from behind.

Soldier dey come, Soldier dey come!!!

They would be too startled with apprehension to demand money before the bus breezed past.

In a surreally short amount of time, we are at the Ikeja Secretariat.

I alight.


Shoprite Bus Stop.

There are a number of law enforcement officers up ahead. They are beating up some guy.

I come to a halt and turn into a corner by the left, while I take some time to properly assess the situation. I’m not interested in being a victim of physical assault this morning.

As I stand there- watching and pondering the situation, I see a guy walking up to the main road. He looks like he’s coming from a jog.

His breathing is moderately heavy, and his shiny sportswear shirt is somewhat wet with sweat. He is marching towards the road, exuding a convincing aura of adrenaline-enhanced confidence.

Ah. Look at his guy. Look at this guy walking like there’s absolutely nothing in the world which can constitute a respectable problem for him.

Ah. Ah, I think I need to move closer to this guy.

I walk towards him and interject his march with a question. We exchange a few sentences. I latch onto his momentum, and join his march.

There’s another guy close-by. He joins the procession as we proceed into the main road, and towards the soldiers.

I’m staring at the back of the jogger guy. His back looks so broad and muscular and entrancing. He is swaggering towards the officers ahead with unquestioned confidence. I wonder if this is sort of remarkable formidableness and assuredness that women experience in men, and become completely disoriented and dumbfounded.

Like, I’m a guy and I’m very inspired and impressed by the sweaty jogger guy and his unreal confidence. I wonder what a woman would feel, especially given the additional sexual angle to it in that case.


We are at the roadblock.

The soldiers begin to accost us.

WHERE UNA DEY GO???

The jogger guy responds immediately with this reassuring dissatisfaction that convinces one of the legitimacy of his position:

I dey go my house. All these protesters just dey cause trouble for this our road.

My mind is very blown.

Our road. “Our”. Like, OUR, road.

Jesus. Jesus Christ. This guy owns he road. I am walking with the guy who OWNS the road. Okay o. Okay Sir. Okay Sir, let’s go.

I am immensely impressed. Before the soldiers can come up with more questions, we’re past the roadblock.

We keep moving. At some point we head in different directions. The owner of the road heads in what I believe is the direction of the place where he lives.


I am heading towards Computer Village.

A building by the left catches my attention. The outfit on the ground floor says “24 hour Cafe”.

I am surprised and interested. I wonder what a 24 hour cafe in Lagos will be like. I make a mental note to stop by some time.

Computer Village is up ahead. I’m kinda tired. Legs hurt. I keep moving.


Image: Somewhere in Lagos.

A Carnivorous Beach/Meeting Aurelio.

For accompanying (interesting Cape Verdean) music, click play 🙂

Badia, by Mayra Andrade.

I am drifting through the desert of Terra Boa, on Ilha do Sal- one of the islands comprising the archipelago of Cape Verde.

At this current time, I do not know the name of this desert region. I do not know it is called Terra Boa- not yet. In about ten months, my apartment at Santa Maria will get burgled, and I will be forced to relocate.

I will move into a remote house located in the middle of the desert- in the middle of this desert. My neighbour’s name will be Timothy. He will pronounce it something like: “Timurtiu”. Probably something to do with the Portuguese accent- I will find it amusing.

About half of Timurtiu‘s right index finger will be missing. I will wonder how that happened. I will not live at the remote house in Terra Boa long enough to get to ask him how he lost half of a finger.


I am drifting through the desert of Terra Boa.

I’ve been having some strange thoughts flowing into my head recently. A while back, I was at a store. There was this bicycle for sale outside. At some point I found myself thinking:

Hmm, what if I spend the last few euros I have in my account on purchasing this bike, and then ride out far into the desert?

There’s this mountain visible in the distance. I could ride out to the base of the mountain and just like chill there for a while.

Hm, how do you get food out in the desert? Water? Shelter?

I don’t know, I don’t care. Let’s just buy the bicycle and get the hell out and into the extremely inviting desert.

I didn’t buy the bicycle. I later thought against that plan.

I stop to sit under a tree.

Except it’s not really a tree- its this very sparse shrub-like piece of vegetation that looks like it would be more like a tree if it wasn’t out here in the desert.

As I sit here on the floor, I soak in the view of the city. From the outside.

As I sit here and watch, a new awareness dawns on me very heavily:

I realize, experientially rather than just cognitively, that buildings are a human construct.

Initially there was just land in this place. Just land. Desert land.

And then at some point some human beings began to move about. They erected buildings with concrete blocks for shelter. They built roads, they set up electricity– They generally put together the structures and amenities that have now come to be perceived as an intrinsic foundation for, and a non-negotiable shaper of, human existence.

But I’m here right now, sitting under a tree in the desert, looking at the distant colony of humans up ahead.

I am not dead. I am alive. And I believe I am alright- I am okay. I am generally healthy, and not in any immediate danger.

Hm, so it is actually possible to exist outside all of these human-introduced conceptual and physical structures, and still be like alright? Hmmm!!

I take some more time to soak in this realization.


I am drifting through the desert of Terra Boa.

At some point I come upon a shelter. There is a man in the garden, tending to some plants. I call out to him, and we begin to talk.

His name is Aurelio. He is a considerably friendly guy. He has a farm of corn and beans at the back. Corn is used to make Cachupa- Cape Verde’s flagship meal. Beans is called Feijão. Feijão pedra.

Hmmmm. Feijão. Feijão pedra.

We keep talking. He talks about São Vicente- a different island in the Cape Verdean archipelago. Says parties are thrown there all the time. Party is Festa. I’m listening and learning with excitement.

Sao Vicente. Festa. Alright. Alright, I see what you’re saying.

We keep talking. We talk about me. I tell him about my studies in the US. He mentions his son who he sent to the US for studies. He talks about his son with pride.

We keep talking.

He asks me where I’m headed. I hint vaguely in the direction of the general desert area beyond us.

I mention to him the mountains I’ve climbed so far. He mentions that he also repeatedly climbed a number of mountains. When he was younger. I’ll spend some more time thinking about that clause. I’ll spend more time thinking about age. About age, and aging- and what that does to people.

He talks to me about Fiura. Fiura is the deserted shingle beach at the northernmost end of the island of Sal. Aurelio says people die there every year. Drown. People drown there every year. He says it’s almost like a part of the calendar.

People die at Fiura every year. People will die this year- it is expected.


In a few months, I will find myself at Fiura. I will head out of Espargos for a walk, and find myself at the very end of the island.

The beach there will be dull and misty and desolate and full of lonely black pebbles and pieces of string and net and wood, washed ashore from the fishermen’s boats. There will be a number of crumbling wooden shelters at the shore, under which fishermen probably sat during fishing breaks, for shelter from the sun.

There will be a rectangular hole in the ground which looks like a grave. I will lie in there- inside the hole, curious what life feels like from that perspective.

Standing ankle deep in the notably rough waters of Fiura, I will realize I never had the time to properly grieve a painful event involving a sibling Nigeria, until that very moment. Life in the past year was a whirlwind of classes and assignments and internship tasks and discount flights. The autonomous expression of grief was repressed and delayed by all of that.

The belligerent waves will astonish me. The waves at Fiura will be notably more rambunctious than any I have seen on the island. I will wonder what exactly it is that kills people at Fiura.

Is it the waves? The menacingly unruly waves? Or the pebbles? The black, suspiciously mute pebbles? Are they devilishly slippery? How much danger am I in?

Or is it something else? Something I’m not seeing? Something I am not thinking about? Something I do not know?

I met a man from Poland camping in a tent one morning at Calheta Funda. He said he arrived Cape Verde by boat. Did he come through Fiura? Was this where he came through?

Palmeira is Sal’s shipping port. Palmeira is at the western end of Sal. I will not know that at the time. I will not have visited Palmeira then.

I will spend a considerable amount of time at Fiura.

At some point I will realize I have to head back. Nightfall will be approaching. I will turn away from the ocean and begin to trek the desert miles ahead, on my way back to the man-made colony of humans.


I keep talking with Aurelio.

At some point he shows me a dining room at the backyard. The extended family has dinners here every once in a while. I think maybe I’ll come along some time.

He works at Palmeira. He is the manager of the Oil terminal there. The gasoline and diesel and oil and brought in by the arriving ships, are stored at the terminal, prior to distribution around the island.

He says it’s a considerably demanding job.


In a few months I’ll be at Palmeira. I’ll remember a man I met at Terra Boa who said he worked at the oil terminal. I’ll visit the facility. The security guard will be unwilling to pay me serious attention. His disposition will change at the mention of Aurelio’s name.

At some point I’ll be let in.

Aurelio will be very happy to see me, and he’ll show me around his workplace.

It will be an interesting day at Palmeira.


Image: Another beach, another country.