Adventure Fiction East Asian

Their plane touched ground around 8:38am that faithful Sunday night, he once again followed others like he has done since taken off in Lagos and in their transit in Bangkok. It was his first experience travelling by air. He doesn’t know the protocols involved or even the name of the papers in his hands, about five of them.

Most of those papers were written in English and few in Ethiopian language the operators of aircrafts he booked. He wasn’t that good in asking strangers the purposes of the papers and where he is required to present each. So, he did what anyone with common sense who is trying not to appear like “Johnny just come” to others would do. Used his eyes, and brain. 

Abel kito has been good in playing out old-timer game whenever he is lost, even from his year two secondary School. His eyes and brain never disappointed him, why should they now?

Most passengers bought their tickets from the same agency, so, the color of the tickets were the same mostly. Never try to be in front in any checking place, at least be sixth or seventh on the line and then observed those in front of you and select the same color of the papers they were handing over to the staffs and do the same while pretending to be less concerned. That had been his strategy.

That was how he passed through the checks in Lagos, Bangkok and Guangzhou international airport and once in the arrival section of the airport, he smiled to himself on how easy the whole thing had been. Someone supposed to welcome him there and he doesn’t know him in person. He kept moving outside as if he knows where he was going.

  “ Excuse me please, are you Abel?” one middle aged man asked.

 He planned to make China his home for four years before calling it quits. He planned to be sending goods home to his friends in Nigeria and they selling and makes returns to him. At times what they recommends guides his purchasing decisions.

Mr. Mike Igwe that welcomed him were into similar line of business but in a huge way. He had been in it for years and buildup enough capital to diversify into other African countries. 

Abel spent a month with the man and having known the routes a little and made few friends decided it is time to stand on his own feet. He rented a four room apartment in neighboring city of Nanhai about 40 minutes by bus from Guangzhou with his two other friends. 

China is full of gardens like those estates were known there. Gardens of different qualities. They took the rooms each and the remaining one was used as guest house.  Water garden as their estate is known, probably due to the a small stream near the garden has about twenty buildings in it.

Those twenty buildings has different qualities probably developed in such manner with high and middle income earners in mind. It was a wonderful place complete with security apparatus of every kind. Humans, dogs and electronics.

Opposite the garden is studd of stores dealing in different things: drugs, tailoring, confectioneries, super store, and house agents outfit.

In front of their garden is bus stop station and before it were arrays of flowers of every colors some natural, some fake well arranged in a attractive way that magnates attention. When you are new like Abel is his flat mates, you can’t just ignore it’s magnetic powers. Abel never stops admiring them. 

Three minutes walks from the garden would bring you to the market another Chinese wonder to Africans. In Africa, there is this belief that market should be noisy, disorganized and not well kept place. Not minding the taxes being collected there each day both from the buyers and sellers by the local governments. 

How Chinese run theirs is what I actually don’t know the place is so organized, clean and almost noiseless. Africans takes the place as sight seeing site. It is the first place any new African is taken by his host to mesmerize the person.

Abel wasn’t an exception. Mr. Mike had taken him the following day he arrived to the market to buy eatable things. He intentionally wants to expose him to that wonder first for most of what they bought that day he still had in the house. He recalled that the man was secretly observing him, monitoring his reactions he tried without success to masked. 

“ You see that half drum like over there” he began, “ it is machine for removing chicken feathers within seconds” he said

“ You mean you can’t take live Chicken home?”

“ You saw that security man at our building don’t you?  You cannot pass him with any live Chicken. He will turn both of you back and warning letter issued to you. Try again, you are out. It is the law”

“ Why are they grinding everything, can’t you even pound minor things in your house too?”

“Minor what? Our building is 43 storey building. We are on 12th floor for your knowledge. It is offense of highest order to pound anything in tall buildings in China. A terrorist act”

“ But why? If you place foam or rag under the mortar, no one would hear the noise”

“ the floors has sensors attached to them to deter actions like your thought. Whether people hear or not is not the reason but for your own good. The sensors would pick any repeated noise very easily and security guys would start hammering on your door even before you could replace your pestle.”

“why so keen?”

“ So keen? Do you know how many people that would loss their lives if that building collapsed?”

Abel smiles as he recalled his surprises a month plus ago in his first outing. It had been nearly two months since he came to China and he is feeling already as an old-timer. One funny thing is that he actually only knows about 25 percent of the places in Guangzhou city and now, he has added Nanhai to places to master in his to do list. 

He discovered that it’s difficult to learn routes well while sitting in the bus. He needed to trek aimlessly on Sundays to learn his route a bit.

He had embarked on that aimless junketing for two Sunday now, he had not only mastered few places but mastered a few institutions he never knew existed on the route he took each evening from Guangzhou to Nanhai. That was how he met Marbel an African exchange student in the university there from Benin republic. 

   How can a blind man lead another blind man. The girl had requested to be taken around. He is new like him. He had been taken the girl back to Nanhai three times each week for two weeks now. Each time the bus stops in front of his garden, they would cross over to the confectionery store to buy things. He had noticed that Marbel like chocolate a lot. He usually go for cake and yogurts but Marbel would descend on the chocolate section. He had noticed since he started entering there that the store has only three sets of chocolates which Marbel found enticing. 

On his fifth day in China, he had followed Mr. Mike to Foshan city to buy cabinets he sends to African countries. They had entered a confectionery store after finishing their business with the supplier. The chocolate he bought there made him fall in love with chocolates. Thinking that all were like that, he had descended on chocolates in Guangzhou on getting back to his disappointments. The difference between the Foshan brand and the ones in Guangzhou is miles different. 

He had not actually tore Guangzhou apart in search of that brand but that years valentine is three days away. It came to his realization that his girl needed a special treat from him. Having tried to described to the lady managing the confectionery store near his garden in mime language what he wants without Success, he hired a cyclist in Guangzhou that took him to all the confectionery store he knows. Having been in 21 of such stores without success, he paid off the cyclist and entered bus heading to Foshan one hour drive a way from Guangzhou. As the bus was on motion, he prayed that the store and their brand would still be there when he gets there. At times, he wonders if nature wasn’t conspiring against him.

February 12, 2022 07:18

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Boutat Driss
09:56 Feb 17, 2022

a nice tale well done


Philip Ebuluofor
20:53 Feb 18, 2022



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