Chapter 9: The beginning.
Going back to how it started, My Father (RIP) died two days after i entered Amsterdam. I had gone out to buy cigarette since i smoked then, and got a call from my elder brother. It was on a Saturday. A suitor was coming for my immediate younger sister’s traditional marriage that very day. I had bought a bottle of Hennessy to celebrate with them. I got the call from my elder brother. It was shocking since the man wasn’t sick in anyway. He said the man had slumped inside his room and was taken to hospital, he had died a few hours later. I had proceeded to the kiosk and bought my Marlboro menthol, then returned back to the house and opened my drink. Dozie came in from gym and i told him what happened. He had sympathized with me and joined in the drink.
It was weeks after my father’s death before Dozie had announced that he had bought some drugs worth about €1500 for me. I didn’t know how it was sold or measured or mixed. I just had to agree with whatever he said.
I had stood and watched as he grinded the stuff and mixed them with Ntugwa. He had also employed two people who had tied the stuff in 10gram balls each. After tying the drugs, someone had come in the middle of the night to swallow them. We had cooked Okro soup which he used to swallow them for easy injection into the stomach. The bird, as they were called, had swallowed 80 balls of the stuff which amounted to 800 grams of cocaine. He was not able to swallow the whole 1kg of the stuff. As a result, 200 grams/20 balls were left behind. Dozie had wickedly announced that my 100gram was among the leftovers. He promised that it would follow the next move which i wasn’t sure when it would be. I had no option than to wait. He had also given me the 10 balls that he claimed was the worth of my money to keep. I hid them inside my bag and forgot it there since i didn’t know what to do with them.
One afternoon, i ventured out alone to the Amsterdamse poort and met Mike. Mike was from Nkpor in Anambra state. He lived in Venserpolder area of Bijlmer. We introduced ourselves and got to know each other. He told me where he lived and said he lived alone in a two room apartment. I had also told him my predicament with Dozie. Mike said that i could come to his place and stay if i wanted. But he warned that i would be contributing some money to pay the rent after each month.
It was the best news i had heard in Amsterdam. I had told him that i would move-in the following day since i still had to sit down and discuss my departure with Dozie. I also wanted to buy some drinks to say thanks to him since accommodating someone wasn’t that easy. People were too mean and wicked in Amsterdam. Everyone wanted to be n his own. No one wanted to help anyone including accommodation. It was survival of the fittest for newcomers.
After following Mike to his place, i went back to our apartment with a bottle of Hennessy. When Dozie returned, i told him that i would be moving the next day.
I wanted to move out peacefully, he could claim that i stole something from him if i left without his notice.
In contrast, Dozie had asked me to leave. I had spent over two months doing nothing in his apartment. He didn’t care what i did. He would do his business, buy foodstuff and cooked them himself. He wouldn’t ask if i was hungry or not. I would simply go and take my own food. I knew he would be angry but Naturally, humans couldn’t survive without food. Why should i care. He never asked me not to eat but his body language suggested he was not happy. I had become a nuisance for him. It was funny. He didn’t know what i was capable of doing.
He had woken up one day and while going to the gym, he had told me to pack out before he returned. I knew a day like that was coming but i wasn’t ready anyway. I had hoped to do at least one two business deals before finding my own place but i didn’t see the opportunity.
It was his last ‘pack out’ warning that propelled me to the Amsterdamse poort where i met Mike and started telling him the story. He had asked me to join him.
”I bought this drink for you Dozie” i had said.
”I don’t need your drink, i told you to leave before i come back” he had shouted.
”The drink is to thank you for accommodating me for so long. I am leaving now”, i said.
I kept the drink on the glass table and picked up my bag. He watched as i opened the door and walked out. I took the lift and went down to the ground floor, then i stopped a cab and took it to Venserpolder.
Mike said that he knew Dozie. Everybody knew almost everybody in Bijlmer. He said Dozie was never a good person but i tried to remind him that he had the right to boot me out. I was never afraid of such things. The reason why i even spent up to that amount of time with him was to learn the ropes of cocaine business but unfortunately i didn’t learn anything from him, not even the simplest basic things such as cooking cocaine with ammonia or tying it. It was wasted months but i didn’t care much. I had time.
As i settled with Mike, he was fun to be with. He laughed at jokes and made jokes too. Things Dozie never did. I played playstation with Mike daily as we waited for business deals. Mike knew how to tie cocaine balls very well, therefore people would bring the stuff for him to arrange. I would help grind them and watched as he tied them. I Started learning.
It was then that i learnt how to cook and measure the stuff. Mike would take me to night clubs in Central area of the city. He didn’t like the way Igbo boys bragged in the closer night clubs. His girlfriend who was half Dutch – Half African would come and cook for us sometimes. I wasn’t yet doing business but i was getting used to the system.
My money was going down gradually. The good news was that i had 100 grams of cocaine in my bag which nobody knew about. I had planned to send it out to Austria whenever the opportunity came. I had told a friend of mine from my town who lived in Austria about it.
” Giving up doesn’t always mean you
are weak â€¦ sometimes it means
that you are strong enough to let go”