I am walking down the street.
There is a problem- there is an immensely disconcerting problem on my mind.
I am visibly grappling with this problem. I am talking to myself. My arms are moving about as I walk.
My hair is extremely rough. The red dye is beginning to fade. It’s probably due for some retouching.
There is a problem.
It is a foundational conundrum which I believe to have very far-reaching implications on the general domain of Statistical Learning :
It is an issue involving statistical learning models and what I believe to be an unfounded presupposition of input variable completeness.
I look extremely unkempt.
I look like I just emerged from weeks of living alone in the desert with wild animals.
And that is actually true. All except the wild animals part. I really did recently emerge from living alone in the desert.
For some reason there are like no animals in the wild on this island- at least I haven’t come across any. For some strange reason.
Someone is laughing at me. He’s in the grocery store by the left.
It’s Meky. I can tell from his voice.
I’m angry at him for mocking me.
Of course I’m not entirely sure, but I believe I’m the one he’s laughing at. I feel sad about being laughed at, but at the same time I somewhat understand. If I was in his shoes I’d probably laugh at myself too.
Walking about the island like an insane person, with no definite purpose. Wonder why he won’t just get a job. Always having sand in his hair. Talking aloud to himself. Fighting against problems nobody can see. Getting arrested every once in a while. He has a computer that is probably worth a few thousand dollars, but he has neither money nor food to eat. Strange guy. Very very strange guy.
Yeah, I’d most likely laugh at myself too.
Meky is cool though. We met in a restaurant at Espargos earlier in the year. I was there for some breakfast. I still had some money left from the hundred dollars I landed in the country with. That morning he introduced me to Cachupa- Cape Verde’s flagship meal.
It’s very filling.
It was indeed pretty filling.
I like Meky. He’s very tall. Tall and burly. He is like a wall. Like a smiling, brown-skinned wall. I like him.
But he’s pissing me off this afternoon- Why is he laughing at me?
I don’t have time for him and his painful derision right now- I have an illegitimate statistical learning presupposition to worry about.
I need to pay him back his money soon. I’ll feel comfortable enough to really dish him a piece of my mind then.
It’s difficult to properly express annoyance at someone when you’re owing them money. You can’t really say the things you want to say, how you want to say them.
Don’t worry Mister Meky. Wait till I pay you back your fifty euros. Then you’ll know what’s going on.
I needed some money that day. I needed to open a Cape Verdean bank account, and a deposit was required by the bank.
I had recently reconnected with an NGO in Nigeria, and we had just vivified a monthly financial agreement which was hibernated by my travel to the USA for studies a few years earlier.
My Bank of America account was unusable because my balance there was a very negative number.
I had a Nigerian bank account. In fact, I had some money in it. It was to my inestimable dismay however, that I learnt the Central Bank of Nigeria had banned the use of debit cards outside the country- in a bid to somehow prevent a further devaluation of their currency.
And so the little money in that account had been transformed into a sequence of meaningless numbers which could not rescue me from the hunger and general pecuniary anguish I was experiencing.
Oh God, these Nigerian people have struck again. They want me to die in this place.
Meky owns a grocery store.
A grocery store is like heaven when you’re hungry to the core, and you’re like friends with the owner.
He helped me with some direly needed food. He wrote me a cheque for fifty euros after holding on to my GoPro and tripod and other recording gear as collateral.
This is not a GoPro.
He looked at me, with a smirk on his face.
Ah, Meky. GoPro. Chinese GoPro clone. Whatever. Just sign this cheque you this wonderfully benevolent being so I can move forward with my life and not die of frustration in this strange land pls
Thanks to him, it was possible to open the account. The new account still was not usable for the NGO connection though. There was another infuriating complication with international transfers that precluded it’s use for that purpose.
This life and problems.
Meky’s voice is sounding more distant now.
I keep walking, and grappling with this very important problem that no one can see.