Chapter 5: Holland.
As i sat in the Eurolines bus from Berlin to Amsterdam, i wondered how life could be so cruel. We humans were collectively impatient. We achieved something today only to fail tomorrow. In Jennifer, i thought i had found a life partner. She had suspended her life to me. She had given me hope that a woman could readily abandon prostitution to follow a man. She had trusted me with her life. I wondered if i made a mistake by traveling to Nigeria in the first place. What did i even went to do in Nigeria? Nothing. I was just scared that Some dark clouds were hovering over my head. People who came to hustle in Europe at the same time with me had not started to plan going home. It was true that i made money quicker but what if i had decided to move to Holland before going to Nigeria? Peharps Jennifer’s fate could not have been the same. But the truth was that nobody knew tomorrow. I blamed myself partially but right inside me, i knew that i was going to be there for her, at least until she had her baby. If i had known, i would have gotten her pregnant before leaving Germany but as a field hustler, i didn’t know where life would push me next.
During the night Journey to Amsterdam, we drove past many German cities. We had stopped at Hanover and Osnabruck for refreshments.
We got to Utrecht, The Netherlands around 5:20 am. I was tempted to go out of the bus for the fear of being controlled in Amsterdam but i knew that Germany was one big giant of a nation in continental Europe. Getting to other surrounding countries from Germany was never a problem. The problem had always been getting to Germany from the neighbouring countries.
We got to Amsterdam Central bus station a little before 6am. There was no control whatsoever. There were also other buses arriving from other Countries such as France, Austria and even as far as Iberia Peninsula.
My German simcard was still working in Holland, therefore i called Dozie. He told me to use the metro line 54 heading to Gasperplas from Central Station. He also told me to stop at Krainnest and call him back. I bought the metro ticket and did as i was told. When i got to the Krainnest station, i called him again. He came down from his apartment to pick me up.
The buildings where he lived were different from what i was used to in Berlin. The area was called Bijlmermeer. Bijlmer was a new settlement in Amsterdam South-East.
The settlement was constructed in Late 80s and Early 90s when It was apparent that the Apartheid regime in South Africa was coming to an end. The kingdom of Netherlands had constructed the area with hope that the indigenous South African Government would send the boers and other Netherland citizens out of the Country but After the independent of South Africa in Early 90s, the Nelson Mandela led government had pardoned the Europeans and had asked them to stay in South Africa as equal citizens. The area was then opened up for low income earners from Surinames and Antilleans.
The Suriname people, the Antilleans, the Ghanaians, the North Africans and other races that had large presence in the Netherlands had bought the blocks of flats under cheap mortgage scheme. The Nigerians who came afterwards were then forced to rent the apartment s from them and pay monthly.
Some areas in Bijlmer such as Gein and Bijlmerdreef were cheaper than the Krainest area where some places were as high as €1400 per month for a two or three bedroom flat.
Dozie lived in the ninth floor of a tall 18 storey building called Kempering. We had taken the lift up to the ninth floor which also consisted of four flats. When we came up into the one room and parlour apartment, Dozie had taken my bag inside the room while i had settled in the long sofa inside the parlour. I needed some sleep.
I had pulled off my Jean trouser and lay on the Sofa. I needed to stay in a quiet place and think but unfortunately Dozie was a Music freak. He had put on the music video and left it with me back to the room. I wanted to call him to off the music but i had just arrived. I didn’t know how he behaved. I had no right to tell him how to manage his place since i had no stake whatsoever in the apartment. I just stayed awake and listened to the music. He came out around 9am and said he was going to the gym. It was an opportunity for me to sleep.
When i woke up around 11am, he was not yet back.
I took the opportunity to call my brother back in Nigeria to tell him that i was in Holland. I also called Johnson, Akunne and some other relevant European acquaintances.
Then i called Chinelo and Andy. Chinelo said she was already missing my presence which she said had given her maximum assurance while i was there in Lagos.
The Bijlmer area was more like Lagos, only that it was more organised and neat. One could walk the whole day without seeing a single white man. The whole place was occupied by the Surinames and the Africans which were both Blacks. The small country called Suriname in Central America was colonized by the kingdom of Netherlands. They had been granted free Visa to the country due to the fact that the Netherlands were small in Population. The Surinames were violent people. They controlled the drug business in the streets of Amsterdam while the Africans only did their business inside their apartments. Since there were many Nigerians all over Europe, it was good for the Nigerians in Amsterdam. What they did was to package drugs in Amsterdam and send it to those in other European countries to retail. The biggest Destinations were Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Austria. But of course drugs were also shipped to the entire Scandinavia countries, France, Belgium, Poland and even small countries such as Slovakia and Luxembourg. Some sent their drugs to Greece, Malta, Cyprus and Hungary. The only exception was Spain and Portugal. Drugs arrived directly to those two countries from South America which they both colonized.
Amsterdam was one big drug hole.
” A dream doesn’t become reality
through magic; it takes sweat,
determination and hard work”