this morning arnauld brought me to the CIB where i washed my bike. his friend there, a french man said i could use their facilities whenever i wanted, but he was not very friendly. i somehow felt that he didn't trust me for some reason. after that arnauld left me and said he would meet me at the auberge in the afternoon when we would leave for the place where CIB does the logging.
on the way back back to the auberge i was arrested by the gendarmerie who took me straight to their headquarters. "why didn't you register with us upon arrival?" their chief asked me. i explained him that i had already registered with the police and the immigration and that i had not been aware of the necessity of registering with the gendarmerie, as well. i also told him that i was very unhappy about being treated like a criminal all the time. i was quite angry at that moment and i did not try to hide my feelings. in the end the chief apologised for the inconvinience and whished me a nice stay in congo. i just hope that this is the last time i am being treated like that.
aboullay, the shopowner from chad, met me at lunch. i felt that he something was on this mind and asked him about it. "you shouldn't go to visit the place where they do the logging" he said suddendly, looking a bit worried. "how do you know about it?" i asked him. first he hesitated and then he said "everybody does... some people are worried... you know the logging company is the only employer in the region and people are scared...". now i suddendly realized what was going on: "you think some people believe that i am working agains the CIB?" i asked him with surprise. "yes," he aswered. "about six months ago there had been an activist who had entered as a tourist and started a campain against the company. now people are afraid. you know their lives depend on the company". i started to laugh. now i understood why some people always looked at me strangely and why the police and all other authorities treated me with such suspicion. i thanked him for the explanation and asked him to tell everybody he meets that i am really just a tourist who's only waiting to take the next boat out of here. he looked relieved and told me not to worry about anything.
i told arnauld about the story when he arrived and explained to him that the trip in the afternoon was cancelled. he understood and we went for a walk in town instead. there was a painter from whom i bought a nice little painting for less than 10 dollars. i think he was surprised when i agreed on his first price, just as much as i was surprised at his first price.