1/01/2003

On the run. Part 1

In Sept. 2000, I was ordered to return from Europe to America. When I arrived, I was imprisoned and questioned for several days, and then released without explanation. Shortly afterwards, I was fired from the CIA, and according to my sources, a proccess was being initiated against me for treason. I illegally left the states and went to Israel, where I stayed for 3 months with my cousin in Haifa. And then, the Israeli secret police took me in, and questioned me. Unluckily for them, they did not do this officially, but appointed a freelance gang headed by Dr. Friedman (yes, that one), to perform the interrogatoin. But unfortunately for them, I was lucky, shot the Dr. and escaped into the Palestinian territories.

From there, I travelled back to Tunisia, but unknown people were already watching my father's house. I stayed with my lawyer for a week, and then left Tunisia. I had money, but I didn't have anything else. I couldn't use my American passport, I couldn't use my Tunisian passport, so I could not travel with plane, or cross any borders legally. I needed to get a passport, and I needed to put myself in safety from these people who were looking for me.

I had contacts in South Africa, and I had spoken to a very good friend of mine, Colonel Jacob, who lived in South Africa. I needed to go down there, but it would have been impossible to go through the entire African continent without being noticed. So I decided to go to Europe, get a passport, and then take a plane to the safety of South Africa. But I could not enter Europe by plane.

There was a way. A risky way, but it was a way. I would join the African asylum seekers, who ride small dingies from Morroco to Spain.

I bought a car, and drove to Morroco. There, I hung out with the Nigerians and Ghanians, who were so ultra confident that Europe would turn them into millionares. They wanted the better life, and I would have told them that they were risking their lives for a pipe dream. But I didn't, because I needed their help.

I waited for two weeks, and then secured a place on a raft. I payed almost a thousand dollars for this chance to almost kill myself, but hey, what else could I do? The night came, and 9 of us went down to the shore. a small yellow lifeboat came up. This would be our transportation device across the high seas.

We clambered in, and the raft sank so low in the water that I was sure it would collapse and sink even before we had left the beach. But somehow, it didn't, and our journey started. We went off around 11pm, with the seas relatively calm. After 30 minutes, the first person vomited. It started a chain reaction of vomiting, and someone leaned over to vomit in the water. The raft bent under his weight, and watter came in. It would have been alright if some other fellow had not grabbed at him. As he did so, the weight became too large on one end, the raft overburdened, and overturned. We fell into the water, a few lucky people holding on to the edge of the raft, the swimmers dogpaddling, and one poor fellow sank like a stone.

We made it back in, a fellow called Uche was crying, and shouting that God was punishing him for his sins by putting him on this raft. Well, God decided to make another point by switching on a cold drizzle. Teeth started chattering, and tears ran freely. All this while, I sat and watched impassively, but I was scared shitless. I felt like shitting my pants, but that would not have been nice for my fellow passengers.

Very soon, the waves started. It was like a nightmare funpark ride. The raft slowly lifted itself on the wave, and then crashed down the slope of the wave. Everytime that happened, Uche shouted out loud. I've never seen a bunch of grown men as scared as those would-be Europeans.

After many hours, we neared the Spanish coast. Our guide explained to us what to do if the coastguard got us, and explained how we would get off. He was hardly done when a search light illuminated our raft. We heard the chop chop sound of the coastguard coming up to us. Uche started thanking God loudly.

I am a good swimmer, and I decided to try out for the shore. One other man said he would also do it with me. We took 2 of the 3 liferings, and jumped into the freezing water. I've never swam that far in my life, and I was sure I would die before I finished that trip. I swam, and I swam, all the while hearing the calls of the other men, and the coast guard boat.

20 minutes later, we reached the shore, dropped the rings, and burst into a run. We ran, walked, ran, walked, slept by the sides of the road for two days, till we reached a medium sized town. We were ragged and dirty by this time, and I have actually never felt as miserable in my life. I was not sure what lay in front of me, and I had nothing to go back for. My companion, Mensah, was utterly the opposite. He whistled, and made jokes in strongly accented english, and spoke of finally being free.

2 weeks later, we had met up with Mensah's contact, and he had found us a place to stay. Our 'home' had become a couple of matrasses in an abandoned building site, under a half completed roof, and covering ourselves with carton paper. Mensah had stopped whistling, and was talking about how he had been a well to do and respected fisher in Ghana. I didn't say anthing, but I tell you - those paper bedsheets were mighty uncomfortable.