Near Port Selao
Friends back home are often amazed at how quickly I can go from reports of death to talk of my daily routines. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a sad consequence of being in such volatile surroundings for so long. Today’s post may be one of those stories given my last report on Fred:
We left the hotel this morning in search of fresh fruit and vegetables. That alone can be a formidable task here, but it was made doubly difficult today. We walked two blocks when I realized we were being followed. A plump African hovered about 20 metres behind us. He was doing a miserable job of hiding himself. I suspect that was intentional. He wanted his presence known.
I told Peter and Michael (both oblivious to our interloper), but we kept walking as though we didn’t notice the man. I wanted to lose him fast. We entered a small market and split up. We all agreed to meet at the far exit.
I kept stopping to examine items, glancing behind me. The man was gone. I’d lost him. I could only hope the others were as lucky.
When we met minutes later at the far entrance, it looked that we’d lost the man. Before we started on our way, another African appeared. A lean man in jeans and a sleeveless t-shirt, he walked straight up to the three of us. He had a brought smile, his teeth knotted like ancient tree roots. He asked, “Good shopping?” A French accent, possibly Côte d'Ivoire.
I didn’t need this nonsense and pushed him to the point, “What do you want?”
He locked eyes with mine, his obnoxious toothy smile still grinning, “You’re being watched.”
And then he walked away. He waved to someone in the market. That’s when we saw the plump African shuffle up alongside him. The two disappeared down an alley.
I can’t tell if they were APR or UFLL. I suppose it doesn’t matter. The consequences are the same. We can be got at any time.