The Chronicles V – Black Market Fuel


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Short Story


We sped along the N1 for a while, and then all of a sudden we turned on to a dirt track. We came to a halt next to two grass huts; my large lady pushed me out and disappeared into one of the huts. As all the people in the taxi were jabbering away, I thought that she had asked for a pit stop in order to use a toilet. I get a little bit of Portuguese, but not when it is spoken very fast. I was having a smoke and looking about, and then another woman came out the other hut with a large plastic container. This was full of diesel she also had a funnel and a rag. The rag was the improvised diesel filter. The taxi was filled up with a couple of these containers. Black market fuel. I presume the truckers traveling along the N1 substitute their pay by selling off fuel. Africa! This fuel is most likely half the price of the Petrol Stations. We arrive at the border post and I walked out one side and returned minutes later on the other. But add all the rigmarole and cost of entering a foreign country, visa and all. Money making racket is what this is about. I find a taxi that is going back to Matola, my Portuguese is good enough to make sure we are going to Matola and not Maputo, one has to do this because the price difference.

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