Life became kaleidoscopic immediately as they had to pass through the needle to reach Wang-liao- the scourging sun, the hunger trip and stings from Androctonus australis- a sahara flat-tailed scorpions.
The trip from Maradi to Wang-Liao is like a coin of two sides- good and bad, the good thing is that he made it through Wang-Liao and finally to Libya, the bad news being that they lost a fellow, Isah from Mali who decided to take a walk from their makeshift camp in the middle of the desert and couldn’t trace his way back.
“Don’t bother looking for him, Ikoh” said the desert master,
“But why?”, Ikoh blurted,
“Because we can never find him, you see, in this journey, when you lose the track you can’t retrace it", the desert master retorted.
Libya, located in the northern part of Africa, predominantly Muslim and densely Arab speaking. The city was buzzing with activities, given the fact that the country is just waking up from months old political turmoil that ravaged the country, though the environment still smells of smoke and the citizens wearing stern faces, Ikoh boarded a private transport so as to make it to Tripoli unseen and unseeing and that he achieved. Tripoli was the most wrecked city with soot in most of the buildings and some stores looks like it has never been opened for God-knows-how-long.
For the. past three days, Ikoh has been impecunious and afraid of going out there in the dreaded streets of Tripoli to find a part time job. On the fifth day, he left the boarding house and went wandering hither tither looking for a job that would put meal on his table and save some money to link up with uncle Josh in Erfurt, finally he got a job that will pay him 15 Dinar per night in a restaurant, Ikoh accepted the Job without any objection simply because most expatriate in Tripoli patronizes the restaurant which means he could find someone that could help him out, and again, he could also live on tips from the customers and save the wages for his travels, so he thought. Ikoh was amazed by the influx of expats on his first day of work and he seize the opportunity, his tip for the night was triple of his wage for the night, the third day was slow as tensions was high in Tripoli, though it is not unusual given the fact that the country was swept by the Arab spring, it didn’t bug him but diverted his interest- a Maître d’ name Fatia, he made advances to Fatia and promised to come for her when he gets to Germany- a big, fat lie- but she laughed it out and promised to pay him a visit in his boarding house when the birds have gone to their roost because it is haram to have premarital sex in Islam, so she claimed. That night was like a Christmas for him, he went to his friend, Jeff an apothecary to buy a nitrous oxide known popularly as laughing gas so as he can shag Fatia in ecstasy without a flinch of his super ego interfering.
Ikoh woke up the next morning with his door widely open, the bottle of nitrous oxide sealed and his bed still freshly made, Fatia didn’t make it. The boarding house was quiet and shots from rifles could be heard from earshot, Ikoh leaped from the ground and saw the owner of the boarding house gazing down at him from the door, a tidal wave of emotions ran through his vein, "I think you should leave, Libya is at war again."
To be cont'd...
Written by Ejioffor Ikechukwu alias Lionet