Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Short Social Fiction: Adventures of Tupi 31

The border crossing into Haiti was something that Tupi did not expect. At Dajabón, there were many people carrying luggage and items on their heads. "Wow they have strong heads!" Tupi said and Alex smiled. "That river over there looks dirty, what are people doing there?" Tupi asked Alex as they walked over the bridge. "Fishing, washing their clothes, whatever they want..." Alex said. "That is Massacre River."

Tupi's eyes opened wide. "Massacre River? You're kidding me right?" Tupi asked.

"Nope, more than 20,000 Hatians were massacred here in a genocide." Alex said.

"Is this place haunted?" Tupi asked and Alex shrugged.

They walked by a large open Market and it was crowded. Tupi looked inside and many of the items were old clothes and shoes. "What the hell? Aren't these things donated? Why are they being sold?" Tupi asked.

"Haitians buy these clothes in bulk to bring back to sell in Haiti. There is some form of economy created by these clothes." Alex said.

Tupi looked at the items and nothing interests him. "Lets go!" Alex said and led Tupi to the Customs checkpoint. "Wow, this is a little confusing. So many people, yet not much queue." Tupi said. 

"Its open border day, and Haitians can come over and buy and sell stuff at the open Market." Alex said. "But for us, we need to chop the passport. and pay the visa fees."

Border crossing was surprisingly easy with Alex's help. They navigated to another area where they boarded a different bus to go to Port-au-Prince. This bus ride was surprisingly much better than the Dominican Bus where Tupi was squeezed in a corner. Tupi had his own seat, and the bus ran direct with no stops in between.

In many of the roads, the bus ran on gravel, leaving a trail of dust behind it. The bus also passed by several old mining area and quarry, and the area looked deserted but pretty. Tupi enjoyed looking outside and there was quite a bit of trees and greenery along the way.

Approaching Port-au-Prince, Tupi saw more buildings and shophouses. There were many "Business Schools" which were in small buildings, size of a convenience store. Tupi also noticed a lot of stores selling lottery tickets. "So Gambling is big here?" Tupi asked.

"Sadly, when you are poor, you will bet everything to have a chance to have more, but lose everything." Alex said.

As the journey continues, Tupi sees more lottery stores, and on a block, there can be easily 3 - 4 lottery stores on the same stretch. "This gambling thing is ridiculous. Just like NTUC, our Trade Union that turned into a Supermarket. They seemed to have gambling beside every supermarket as well.

The bus stopped at a big depot and Alex brought Tupi out and Alex has a friend who was waiting in a car and they left to go to the school where the NGO is.

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