Extortion and Marriage Proposals at the Gambian Border

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Africa » Gambia » District of Banjul » Banjul
June 21st 2009
Published: June 21st 2009
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Well a rather long day of travel from Cap Skiring to The Gambia. Early rise thanks to Simon (5:30) and on the bus at 6:30. I hope he didn’t expect any cash? At the Gambian border I got pulled in to the border guards office for my “address”. It soon became clear that I wasn’t going to be allowed to go anytime soon. However, I wasn’t in a rush. Neither of us were willing to bring up the idea of a bribe (for different reasons). We casually chatted about sports, Canada and the weather. All the while the border guard was getting more and more antsy. He kept asking me: “You want to leave?” “Well eventually” I’d reply. Then I started to read his newspaper as his work started to pile up. Finally he asked: “you want to leave?” “Ya can I?” I replied. So he took me to the bus. Possibly he took a cut of the ticket price, but he didn’t get shit form me otherwise --- wonder if he‘ll write to me in Canada like he said he would!

5 KM down the road I was pulled off the bus by two broads in uniform (a border guard and a cop) because I needed a visa! BS (Canadians don’t need a visa to visit The Gambia). They called the main post (probably to my buddy!) and were told to let me go. They even paid for the next bus, which almost got me to where I wanted to go. While I waited for the bus the cop proposed to me. I said I was only here for two days, but she said two days was enough!

Gambia’s OK. (English is freakin’ me out) Thank the gods I found an English bookstore. Staying at a place that was none too clean --- condom in the toilet --- but it’s OK.

Nothing to point out the absurdity of the world than to read about a guy in Canada being awarded $350,000 for there being a fly in his bottle of water when in Africa. I wonder what the people here would think?!


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