Chapter 1: Our troubles
The following three days after arriving in Paris, i stayed indoors in the daytime and moved around in the night. I chose the areas where i knew there weren’t many Immigrants; Areas such as La Defense. I would walk around in the night for hours before returning to the hotel. I was even controlled twice there simply because a young African Immigrant was not expected to be seen near the French Parliament building. I absolutely had no business being there but the resident permit card i had with me was French and i went to the immigration office to get it by myself. It was the original and genuine permit. They would control and check the numbers, call the database and confirm it was me; then they would hand it over to me and apologize. I wasn’t scared of going anywhere because i wasn’t scared of being deported to Nigeria. I worried more about my enemies and their thugs because i had hit them several times. I didn’t have Friends in France because the kind of things i did required utmost secrecy.
I had eventually ventured into Marcadet one night and found the usual suspects loitering around. I had left my bears to grow tall which changed my facial structure. I had also adopted pulling my face caps down to cover my face.
I didn’t call any of them, i just walked past them and considered whether to pick one up. I wondered the kinds of risks i was going into with whoever i picked but at the end, i decided to forget them and go home. I believed that the Paris sex workers should have heard that three of their colleagues had been taken away and that Olokun hadn’t killed any of them. That news alone should have motivated them to make plans on how to escape from their Madams as well. Other cities deserved to witness atleast one run from a prostitute. For that reason, i decided to go home and forget them. “It is where a child that has a mother is being cautioned that a child without mother learn things”
Back in the hotel room, i arranged my clothes in the Red Samsonite and stuffed €9000 in the belthole of my most dependable blue Jean trouser. I had called George my friend and forwarded my information to him to buy me a Ryan Air ticket to Stockholm Sweden. When he called back, he said there was no immediate Ryan air or easy jet going to Stockholm. However there was a Ryan air to the Skavska airport in Nykoping, a small city an hour from Stockholm. He said the airline would provide bus for us when we get to the airport. He also said the flight will leave from Beauvais, a small satellite city an hour from central Paris. Of course there were flights to Stockholm from Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in Paris but they were the major European carriers. A Lufthansa flight from Paris to Stockholm was €279 while Ryan air and easy jet cost €27. It was the reason why i never used those over priced flights. They claimed that they have more safety craps but which pilot wanted to die or which airline wanted its flight to fall from sky?
I met George at the hotel bar and picked up my ticket. We had a few drinks before i took a cab all the way to Beauvais. The Beauvais was a small airport used by the German airforce during the WW2. It had been converted to an international airport that served small flights to other European Countries.
When we arrived at the airport, i located a cybercafe and bought a 30 minute voucher. I opened Google search and keyed in ‘Scrap Metal dealers in Stockholm’. The result showed pages of scrap metal dealers all over Stockholm. I opened the first link and called the company.
“Hello, My name is Mr. Sam. I came across your address and phone number on the internet. I want to know the prices of 100 percent Copper and Brass. I am interested in buying it and shipping to Shanghai China” I said.
The manager of the company after greeting me, told me the prices of Copper and Brass. Immediately he finished, i told him that i was in France but will fly to Stockholm before the end of the day. I also told him that we will meet the next day. I printed the company’s name and address from the computer and carefully placed them inside my bag right there at the airport.
One thing i learnt how to do at the European airports and bus terminals was to open my bag at every slight opportunity. The purpose was that we Africans and Arabs were naturally suspects everywhere we go in Europe and America. There was this mentality among the whites that every African was a drug dealer while every Arab was a potential terrorist. I always opened up my bag and fumbled inside it even if there was no meaningful reason to do so; but of course in those contexts, there were always meaningful reasons. I just wanted them to know that the bag was not packed with dangerous drugs as they might have suspected.
When i finished at the cyber cafe, I sat at a restaurant inside the airport and waited for our time while i drank a small bottle of red wine. My MP3 blasted musics from Lucky Dube until the airport speaker announced that it was time for us to board. At the immigration control, we were stamped out with ease. Going from France to Sweden wasn’t a worry for Europeans. We were just moving around Europe. It was only Germany and Switzerland that always scrutinized documents whether you were going from one city to another inside the same Country.
We got to Skavska airport in Nykoping Sweden less than an hour and half later and landed in the snow filled runway. As always, the two black men in the flight were stopped at the immigration control and taken to private rooms; I didn’t know who the other guy was. A lady was in charge of my interrogation. She asked what i was going to do in Stockholm and what i had in my bag.
“I am going for scrap metal business” i told her. She opened my bag and searched it thoroughly before requesting that i go into the bathroom and get her my Urine sample. When i gave her the urine, i was taken to another room where i was told to remove my clothes. They searched my anus before asking me to put on my clothes back. After an hour of searching and more searching, I was released. I didn’t know what happened to the other black man. It was one of those times when everyone was expected to answer his own name.
“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can anyone deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”
This powerful thriller season is protected with password from the next chapter. To read it, contact the author on firstname.lastname@example.org or whatsapp/wechat – 008613145790981
– Written by Zuby