The Chronicles V – In Country


Here the roads are dirt; the tar has long since vanished. The road is about 40cm lower than the pavement. The suburb looks like a South African Township, most of the roofs have collapsed but because the Portuguese build concrete ceilings the people seem to be happy with this. My cousin’s house is large and well kept. It is one of the few gardens in the area that has grass and flower beds. I am shown my room. It is ok, has a double bed and a chest of draws. Jay brings me some curtains, a mosquito net and two bath towels. I will shower in the main house. I hang the curtains and the net. I am let known that I am not really welcome in the house other than to use the shower and collect my supper. There is an outside toilet next to my room. As usual I have some books to read and so far I find nothing in common with this cousin of mine, less with his wife. She speaks in baby talk a lot, calling my cousin Vaughnie. Surface friendly, but this boy has been around the block and underlying currents that many will miss are all too clear to me. I get my supper and read in my room. We will go to the office tomorrow and I will begin my new career as an unskilled construction worker, on minimum wage.

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