I Wuz Robbed

One of my favorite stories by Ryszard Kapuscinski is one where his apartment in Nigeria keeps on getting robbed and his neighbors tell him he should feel happy, since the robbers are doing him a favor, by making him their equal in a way, at least equalizing somewhat the material possession imbalance.

He likes the principle but still decides to buy a voodoo artifact to pin on the top of his door. And then the robberies cease.

Well, I was robbed last night, a clean, quick swipe, that left me without, among other things, my personal computer, Ipod, sneakers, CD player, and favorite watch, which changed colors for no apparent reason, and gave me great pleasure to watch change colors for no apparent reason.

I will try to send to the local black market a posse posing as computer buyers to see if the stolen goods can be intercepted, in which case, if they are found, would amount to some sort of social tax with thieves.

There seems to be a growing crime wave in Dakar, failed migrants in debt, youth angry at the burgeoning riches of villas being constructed everywhere by regional representatives and government well to-doers, desperate gigolos, street sellers who had their stalls destroyed, and what have you, with unemployment and hustling rates very, very high.

In the new blogorreah theme of recommendation here, let me add, Ryszard Kapucinsky is one my favorite traveler/journalists, in the way he grandiloquized snippets and narrow windows in a world he made great strides in, and also pontificated big theories on topics he didn’t totally grasp, but always with beautiful language, and fiery fire for some sort of justice out there, which must be better than most of the carnage that seems to repeat itself. Ha, to be a savage without an AK, or for that matter a screen glaring back. Or to have other options than the cave or 1984?

Not to fall into Emile Cioran either. A défaut d'avoir sauvé le monde, la grâce aura au moins sauvé les femmes. Short of saving the world, grace at least saved women.

It’s been a long day, and a longer day yet for Chadians wondering if they will be under rebel control when they wake up. I hear a noise upstairs, is it another robbery?

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