|Title:||the heart of darkness|
last nights cultural event had its after effects on me and so i slept until late in the morning. then i went to pick up my passport at the gabon embassy and went straight on to the ghanian embassy to apply for their visa.
the ghanian embassy, following the gabonese example, had also chosen to change their address. i was very lucky, therefore, to make it just in time to apply for the visa, before the embassy closed.
back at alice’s camping, i had a chat with eric, a french guy who is travelling with his 4WD car. we face similar problems with the rainy season and the rumours, saying that the sudanese embassies no longer issue visas to overland travellers. this cuts us off, effectively from the rest of the african continent. i will try to find a boat to gabon in order to continue south from there. but eric seems to be a tired of africa and is looking for a boat to brazil… not a bad option!
as we were talking an elderly man, entered the restaurant and ordered a beer. he was rather well built, his voice was still strong and penetrating, but his face looked fragile and worn out. he seemed tired, exhausted and frustrated; a once strong man who had been weakened and deteriorated over the years in africa, so it appeared. very soon he started to complain. he complained about all kinds of things: the restaurant, the waiters and alice, herself. but mostly he complained about africa and the africans in general... eric and i tried not to listen to him but the constant grumbling and the aggressive discussions he led with himself were impossible to ignore.
it was then that i remembered alice talking about an mad old german guy who did nothing but complain about africa, who had been expelled from various african countries, but who continued to live on this continent, as he had done for decades. a man, she said, who criticised and despised this continent, its people and their culture; who had created his own little ‘kingdom’ at his house, spending the night there with different young togolese girls every night…
i could only imagine the strange ceremonies that might take place every night in his little ‘kingdom’ just outside lome, and i almost expected that old, worn out man, on whom africa had apparently taken its toll, to take a last breath and exclaim ‘the horror, the horror’ before collapsing over his beer and passing away…
he didn’t. so, maybe, togo is still waiting for a new joseph conrad to come and take him away…