The Beira Bash


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Africa » Mozambique » Southern » Inhambane
January 24th 2009
Published: January 24th 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

March 1999: In Beira I had staved off Malaria with a dose of Larium (a nasty cocktail in itself) and rested my aching sweaty body enough to continue on to the beach side town of Inhambane for more rest. I sat in a nice cool little cafe across from the bus stop waiting for my afternoon connection. I had convinced the porters to let me carry my backpack onto the bus with after it was thrown on the roof with chickens and fish baskets the trip before and still stunk. I sat in a single seat towards the back and took my book out for the voyage ahead. I noticed that the two young guys in front of me were nicely dressed so maybe business men or government staff. One of them soon turned around and started talking to me and introduced himself, they were diamond miners in South Africa on their way back from leave. The one on the left was pretty quiet but the guy on the right was quite chatty and wanted to know about me and my travels. We talked casually about different things and at one point I noticed a bottle of gin in his right hand. I took note of the amount he was drinking and noticed how quickly his speech became slurred and his tone more aggressive. At one point I told him that I was going to read my book but he ignored that and kept questioning me. I was the only white guy on board so I was worried that he had family and friends here so I kept quiet and polite. Near the end of the bottle he grabbed a small Swiss army knife from his bag and started playing with it, I became nervous as he got drunker by the minute and watched him carefully as he stood up and started accusing me of not liking black people ??? and swinging his knife around. I quickly grabbed my day pack for a shield knowing in the packed bus I couldn't move away. He kept swinging the knife while cursing and carrying on. By now the people of the bus were telling him to shutup and sit down and the commotion alerted one of the porters who came down to investigate. I was terrified and kept my day pack up to shield any lunges he may attempt but he struggled to stay upright and kept on swinging the knife around stabbing his seat. The tall porter kept close and gave him a warning then another, but the guy was too far gone and violent. In a flash the porter dropped him with one huge king hit and the guy dropped where he stood next to me, the driver kept on going and the porter stood over the unconscious drunk. Soon we pulled up to a small town and the porter opened the back door grabbed the poor guy by the legs and with head banging on the steps dragged him off, a group of police had circled him and started laying into the poor man which i witnessed until the doors closed and we moved off. I stayed awake the whole night thinking about that poor guy who copped mob justice and a part of me felt had i not been on the bus he would have gone home maybe without incident, who knows? It stayed in my mind for quite a while after that.

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