Book 2, Chapter 39

My bags are full of mud.

Everything’s gonna need a wash.

One of my bags has got a massive tear along its underbelly. Dunno how that happened... I'm lucky it didn't gastro my stuff out all over the road.

Gotta get that fixed.

It’s outrageously hot and humid today.

In fact, I don’t even reckon it’s that hot. Just mad humid.

Jungle humid.

I step out of my room onto the back balcony (yeah, I've got a fuckin balcony). I’ve got a stunning view of the massive Cross River. Within seconds I can see small wet, red splotches all down the front of my old pink t-shirt (that used to be red), the dots turn into streaks in minutes. Not much later and it’s saturated with sweat.

Not a good look.


Morning.

I hit the streets.

Despite the never ending stream of "WHITEMAN!" that I cop - and not being able to pin whether the language here is French or English - I still kinda like Mamfe.

I hit-up breakfast. Black beans with rice; The best I reckon I’ve ever had - and I've had my fair share.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life...

While I’m chowing down about 50 cents worth for breakfast, I watch some blokes hauling thick bundles of long, awkward, heavy-as-fuck iron re-bar for concrete support from out of the back of a truck.

Doing the lion’s share of the work is maybe the strongest bloke I reckon I’ve ever seen. I'm not being racist or nothing - but there's no other way to describe him; this guy is a deadset shaved-down silverback gorilla.

And I mean that in only a complimentary way.

You’ve never seen nothing like this guy. Not in your life.

Of middling height, with a bulging pot belly on him that - somehow - is covered in a painted-on looking, monstrous six-pack.

Or is it an eight pack??

His arms are two lengths of wound bridge steel. Ripped as fuck. Or at least some mad combination of being fat and ripped to shreds at the same time.

I don’t get how it works.

He's a human lump of pure, functional strength.

This guy’s never even heard of a gym, yet he’s picking up bundles of steel re-bar the way I’d pick up a pile of sticks, walking to the edge of the truck tray, and then just chucking it.

It’s awe inspiring.

It looks like he’s been throwing re-bar around since he first started walking.

And here I am, working up a sweat by lifting a spoon of beans to my face.

There’s a lesson to be learned about desk jobs in there somewhere... I’m sure of it...

Anyway, enough of that.


After some Marco Polo with the locals I find the Customs building for the village.

The chief bloke is an albino.

That’s a first. Not an albino, that is, I mean an albino in a position of authority. I haven't seen that before.

Albinos are everywhere here. Surprisingly common, and some more proof to add to the "there is no god" pile.

It's just fucking cruel.

How do they do it?

It’s a very strange thing to behold; pure black features plastered over with pinky white skin, covered in blemishes and freckles from the brutal hard sun here.

Anyway, we've been talking for a while and my new mate is a little confused about what I’m driving at, but he’s happy to oblige me anyway, and tells me that they’ll get someone to bring me an LP from the border, and he can write it up for me tomorrow morning.

Good stuff.


Back home and over to the bike.

It looks like shit.

I washed it yesterday with some really “hard” water. When I say "hard", I mean the kind of water that you find at the bottom of your kettle - all full of calcified who-knows-what. I then left it out in last night’s rain in the hope that the clean rain would rinse off the calcifications, and some more of the mud.

Nope.

Just a lot of rust.

The chain copped it worse than most. It's fucked... I give it a drenching in grease for its trouble.

For reasons of physics that I don’t understand, after getting greased up the chain slackness tightens - a lot.

Very odd, but I’ll take it as a win; the chain has been "slapping" with looseness a bit lately, and was due for a tightening. Now I don't have to bother.

I swear, this bike mends itself...

My spidey senses are telling me that this chain’s at the end of its tether... Other than that, I’ve done nothing to fix the “tonking” problem. I’ll just cross my fingers and hope that it mends itself too.

Rain, hail or shine, I have to crack on tomorrow.

Fingers crossed that the weather clears up...

Oblivious | Luke Gelmi