I woke up a few minutes ago.
I’m still on the bed. The faded pink – you know I don’t know if the mattress is actually pink. Or if it was pink before the colour faded so much. It looks pinkish now though. It’s a dull dispirited pink that has definitely had better days.
I’m on the mattress, hearing the rusty springs inside it softly creak as my weight shifts.
He said he was going to get me a better mattress.
Come to think of it, he said he was going to get me a lot of things. That was why he charged me a bit extra for the room.
For example, he also said he was going to install locks on the door.
At some point I realized all of that was never going to happen. And so I stopped bothering him. I have more prominent life quandaries to contemplate anyway.
I feel listless and unenthusiastic.
I’m wearing my camping jacket. The dark green one I bought at a thrift shop in San Francisco. I’m wearing it indoors now, I’m not quite sure why. I guess it helps me feel warm. Warm and protected somehow.
I head out the door of the studio apartment.
It’s a dull day. The sky is somber and grey. It’s almost like it’s echoing my mood.
Today’s sky is actually atypical. Sal island is usually sunny like all the time.
When I first got here, one of things I found extremely thrilling was how clear the sky was. Sometimes there would be practically no clouds. Just this sparkling hue of entrancing blue.
Today there’s no stimulating blue to lift my spirits.
I’m on the walkway, trudging by the row of neighbouring apartments.
I’m by the staircase. The wide staircase that leads to the apartments on the storey above.
There are a bunch of Cape Verdeans neighbours sitting down and having a chat.
To hell with it – I think I’ll join them.
I’m sitting amidst the group. Gleaning whatever I can of their conversation in Creole.
Nino is in the group.
Nino looks very different from the rest of them.
He is a Sambajud.
Sambajuds are generally first-generation mixed-race Cape Verdeans. They’re usually very light skinned, and usually you can tell just from looking at them. This is in contrast to the Badiu who are generally darker-skinned – way more Cape Verdean than they are Caucasian, although they might have some European streaks in their ancestry somewhere.
I feel like Cape Verdeans generally – even the most Badiu of them, are not entirely genetically African – whatever that means. In relative terms, the most Badiu Cape Verdeans will generally have some features different from what you’ll find in more mainland Africa.
For example their hair has larger curls. In like more inland West Africa people generally have hair with type 4C curls – tightly coiled strands of hair that generally give the impression of being one coherent mass.
Badiu Cape Verdeans will have more 3C sort of curls – wavy springy hair – what your hair strands would look like if you wrapped them around a pencil or a crayon. I think it’s because the Cape Verdean archipelago has historically been some sort of cultural confluence – a port for European cargo etc ships on their way back to Europe (I learnt this from Tony while I was having drinks with him and Peverto the other day) – with people of African descent generally accompanying them as underlings – as is usually the historical case.
Something I’ve never quite understood – why aren’t there any historical stories (or at least none that I know of) of colonial empires which grew out of the African continent? At that time there wasn’t such a widespread moral objection to colonization – it was just what people did. People rampaged whatever territories they could, and abducted its inhabitants as slaves- expanding their own empire and furthering their own fictive narrative of ethnic superiority.
My question then is, why was the colonizer-colonized dynamic so biased against the people from the African continent?
For a group of people to successfully, continually, and persistently overpower another group they need to have access to resources the other group does not. Somehow. They have to be at some sort of advantage – have some sort of an edge.
Technology? But these different groups of people had existed for about the same time. None had a significant temporal head start – if any, the people on the African continent did have the head start, because I believe there’s evidence suggesting that human life began in Africa – something like that.
Co-operation? Large-scale inter-tribal co-operation? E.g on say a national scale? Maybe. I think that’s an actual possibility. Maybe the absence of co-operation and a collective identity on a much larger scale than tribes or regional kingdoms – maybe that makes it more likely to be overpowered by a coherent group unified at say a national level. But then there are questions of relative size. Some Western European countries are relatively tiny. Size-wise, how would they compare to say a kingdom elsewhere with a larger geographical area/more people? I don’t know.
Differences in the collective priority attached to innovation? That’s another one.
The discovery of technology that dramatically catalysed technological progress? Eg writing?
For example if one society discovers writing before the other, you’d expect a positively nonlinear acceleration of progress in that society – because all of a sudden people can reliably share large amounts of information more quickly, more effectively, more efficiently. That’s one possibility that occurred to me a while ago. I should look through research papers in Sociology to see if it’s something people have already talked about.
One of the Cape Verdeans hands me a stick of marijuana. They’ve been passing it around as they engaged in their Creole conversation.
As the joint floats in my direction, I ask myself:
Hm, am I really in the mood for weed today?
Do I feel like today is that sort of day?
The joint gets closer.
Ah to hell with it. I’m in a weird-ass mood today anyway.
I accept the joint and take in some puffs.
I feel my headspace gradually begin to transition, as the THC perfuses my bloodstream.
oooooKAYYyy. Now I’m in a different place.
I’ll just chill here for a while longer. Hazy with drowsy and distant excitement while immersed in the gargle of excited Creole chattering around me.
Random night on Sal. I was trying to get into a casino- “Casino Royale” along Avenida dos Hoteis in Santa Maria. But I wasn’t granted entry because I wasn’t wearing actual shoes. My actual formal shoes were swept away by the ocean waves on a night I spent at the beach a few weeks prior. They were both frustrating nights.