|Title:||the diamond dealer|
|Text:||km 56 731
i took the helicopter back to lungi airport this morning. musu came to say goodbye.
i boarded the plane to monrovia, and again, i had a funny feeling. while sierra leone is firmly involved in a peace process, liberia is far from being a 'safe' country.
i was one of very few people who got off in monrovia, most passengers were on the way to accra. but i met a danish guy who is selling carlsberg in africa.
"how do we get into town from the airport?" i asked him.
"someone will pick me up," he answered, "and i'll give you a ride. it's not safe to take a taxi, even if it's the only option..."
"uuuh, do you know a cheap place to stay in monrovia?" i asked him, glad to again meet someone who knew the place.
"it's my first time to monrovia," he answered, "but you can ask my partner here. he a lebanese and has several shopping centers in town."
the danish guy was clearly nervous on the way back into town, could hardly speak and when he did it sounded like he didn't get enough air. the lebanese was an easygoing guy. "my driver will drive you to any hotel you want, don't worry, there are a couple of good places around". lucky me again!
i took nice room at the african palace hotel, right in the center. i just came out of the bathroom, when people started screaming outside... i went to the window: people running everywhere. screaming. shouting. waveing flags. liberian flags.... now i remembered that today liberia was playing against mali in the african cup: liberia just scored the first goal!
i went down to the bar/restaurat in the evening and had a beer and a sandwich. it was a funny place with dimmed red light, good atmosphere.
i was sitting at the bar, next to probably the only woman inhere who wasn't a prostitute. she knew the owner of the place how is a good friend of her husband. we had great fun and laughed all evening long.
"i'm a tourist" i told her. she burst out laughing.
"can't you come up with a better story? tourist? no way!!! don't worry," she said, "nobody cares if you're in the diamond business!"
"well, i'm not" i said, "i'm really just a tourist". i tried to convince her.
she almost fell off her chair, laughing "there are no tourist in liberia. if you're not into diamonds then you must be a spy! and if you're really a tourist... then you're better off telling people you're into diamonds, because it's not good being considered to be a spy here".
"alright, i told her, but i won't buy any diamonds from you...".
and so we went on until quite late. we'll meet tomorrow when she'll show me the beach. "tourist should see the beach, you know".
i think i was still laughing when i went to bed, hadn't have so much fun in a long time!