Friday, September 14, 2007

Scared of No Nigga

“I was the baby boy, I could do no wrong.”
Jay-Z

Been here five days, fuck that, I’m loving it here. Life is hard, each day is a beat-down to survive and life is so precarious I do not know if I will eat today. I thought I had lost it but I had not. It is still here. Tougher than ever. I’m laughing all the time. Nothing stresses me. At least I was not fired on the first day here like the other guy. His first few hours in Juba, right from the airport, his laughter was gone. We are in a car and we do not know if we will get where we are going. The road is a slush of deep, rich brown mud, and if this car dies here we will have to come out and push. The dread because we know there is no water at home, we will have to go to the borehole and get it ourselves. But if we are to do that we will not have supper because supper here is first come first served and then all that is left are the beans with weevils and matooke that is so sweet it is like eating mashed bananas then there is nothing to do. I love those times.

Meal done with, shirt off, we are seated on the stairs of the dormitory style house we live in grassing. Talking. This is like counseling time, everyone talking of how their work day has been except they are saying it like they are not talking about their workday. It’s this and that and though no one smokes, it feels like this is illicit pleasure talking smack about the boss who pays all the bills in half hearted fashion and the comedy that is life here in Juba, but others have been further than Juba. They have been to Wau, Yei, Darfur, Bor and all the towns and small villages in between where they are received like they are a delegation sent down the mountain by God.

Yeah, there is this guy talking about how often he was ill, head hot and vibrating like there was an all night dance going on inside his head and it was morning but he was the last man standing at his station. Everyone had already been bussed back to Kampala malarial, and somehow everyone was counting on him. All he wanted was sympathy, tell me you understand, that’s all. But there’s none here and you work even when your legs can barely keep you upright, he was told when he said he was too ill today, “This is Sudan.”

Look at this philosopher, the wryness not coming from his years on this earth, he does not eat anything that he knows comes down Juba from Khartoum because he heard that the Arabs want to render the Southerners less fertile and “I have not yet done anything for my family. You want my girlfriend to start complaining when I’m become a sterile action pump?” his eyes might see different ways, but he has a talking voice like you will never hear anywhere else and there is a richness when he guffaws he does not miss TV, any sort of TV, because “I’m living in the Big Brother House itself. This is Big Brother Sudan. You get to watch all types of characters.”

He is beyond it all, he says little, speaks in staccato, but everyone waits because what he says comes from a year and half of living here, “I’m the grandfather of living in Sudan.” He has never been ill, he has never gone back home, he is not on the run, he enjoys the solitariness and silences of Sudan and he is happy manning stations where no one else will go, he sleeps ready to go, in the couch in what we could call the sitting room, “My double bed couch,” every night. Life is in his grim lopsided smile. “When Sudan loves you, it takes you into its heart and you will never want to live anywhere else.” He has eaten foods that make other stomachs cringe here and when he tells you of how he has seen men in the bush squat by River Nile and dip their faces in the chalky, dirty water and gulp then get up and walk away, you believe.

Everyday is a lifetime and I’m loving it!

14 comments:

Omutahinga said...

I.am.so.jealous.

For real.

The 27th Comrade said...

Well, you just gotta love it. I stop just short of re-iterating my old Juba blessing ... 'cause you're havin'-a, havin'-a lots of fun. :o)

Baz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baz said...

Gwe, did you quote Common in the title of your post?

Vaya Con Dias, I meant to say earlier, but you know me and how I can never keep a grip on time.

thrretypesofcrazy said...

I am speechless!!!

choco fudge said...

You are in Juba? okay i hope you keep posting

lulu said...

hey hi, now i can post a comment, i so loooooveee your blog

cb said...

juba is a life fuller than fiction, i have heard that told. as you can see, iwaya's pen is already puking breathlessly what with the blinding thrills on offer. we must hold our breaths for truly what will emerge out of juba is a volume whose prefound degree of quality will take the higher position on your bookshelf.

scotchbiscuits said...

It's amazing how so much lighter you seem being over there. whats that cliche about change being good?
still, take care of you and don't get malaria, ok?

Duksey said...

Why is everyone going somewhere just when am coming back.
Juba!wow,i don't know whether to be exicted for you or afraid.Read about how women are raped, i sure hope men are not raped.
Have fun and keep us posted on the BBH drama.

Jasmine said...

everyday i think how jealous i am of you. i so envy you. hope you are well.

modoathii said...

right, you're in juba. jeez enyewe it's been a while.

i've heard the northern arabs hate the south, but i didn't know it was that bad...ati they poison them so fertility is nil...aw man....

have fun!

http://modoathii.wordpress.com

ish said...

iwe i miss u. and i'm happy 4 you, Juba sounds like your kind of place

Degstar said...

Ssebo,
okola ki e Juba?