Opportunists

Upon a dusty street at dusk, we’d met them first. Their hair, too long for entry to Malawi, they hid by wearing on their heads, waste baskets bought from border guards. They journeyed north while we were headed south and so we sat with beer, exchanged some tales and parted ways. It was some weeks before we met again, this time at City Park. We were returning from the coast, Dar es Salaam and they, Kampala in the north. Uganda was in turmoil and the Asians forced to leave without their worldly goods. The opportunists drove a rental car, near new and far above their traveler’s means. With fever in their eyes and speech, they searched the car for contraband or hidden wealth. A man, who faced the loss of all his rental cars had asked their help to get one car across the border. In exchange they had free use and gas until they left for home. They told of seeing Asian bodies strewn between Kampala and the border post. Asians who had tried to carry more than just the clothes upon their backs were shot dead. Convinced there must be more than just the car, they tore apart upholstery and doors, looking for some cash or jew’ls the Asian must have tried to hide from confiscation. No empathy, or sympathy for refugees who faced the loss of everything they’d worked for years to build and save assuaged the anger rising from their failed search. They trashed the car and tires, and then abandoned it, as well the man who’d asked for help in saving something of his life. They may have left him destitute but did not care.
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved

Opportunists

Upon a dusty street at dusk, we’d met them first. Their hair, too long for entry to Malawi, they hid by wearing on their heads, waste baskets bought from border guards. They journeyed north while we were headed south and so we sat with beer, exchanged some tales and parted ways. It was some weeks before we met again, this time at City Park. We were returning from the coast, Dar es Salaam and they, Kampala in the north. Uganda was in turmoil and the Asians forced to leave without their worldly goods. The opportunists drove a rental car, near new and far above their traveler’s means. With fever in their eyes and speech, they searched the car for contraband or hidden wealth. A man, who faced the loss of all his rental cars had asked their help to get one car across the border. In exchange they had free use and gas until they left for home. They told of seeing Asian bodies strewn between Kampala and the border post. Asians who had tried to carry more than just the clothes upon their backs were shot dead. Convinced there must be more than just the car, they tore apart upholstery and doors, looking for some cash or jew’ls the Asian must have tried to hide from confiscation. No empathy, or sympathy for refugees who faced the loss of everything they’d worked for years to build and save assuaged the anger rising from their failed search. They trashed the car and tires, and then abandoned it, as well the man who’d asked for help in saving something of his life. They may have left him destitute but did not care.
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved