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Journey into Disaster
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Bad experiences in front of the cell building.
It’s around 3:30 p.m. The yard in front of the cell building is well filled with visitors and inmates. There is a constant coming and going.
One of the visitors recognized Jacub Castro from the vegetable wholesale market. Then word got around quickly that Jacub Castro is a Kagawad — meaning a local mayor. This fact probably protected me from the intrusive Filipinos and their questions.
A Kagawad is a person of respect.
Now, after Kagawad and Franco have left, talking to the teenagers is no longer possible. We are sitting on the Coke crates next to my cell, and the questions of the disinhibited Filipinos rush in like a tsunami over me. Questions about myself, about the fact of being imprisoned and what I’m being accused of, and that the allegations only served to pull the money out of my pocket. I can’t understand all questions, because they are in the Visayan language. The language spoken in the central and southern part of the Philippines. Some Filipinos speak a little English.
Are you American?
How old are you?
Are the teenagers your sons?
Do you speak our Visayan language?
Are you married?
How many children do you have?
What is your religion?
Do you like basketball?
Do you like Philippine women?
After they found out that I am a German, I am asked if I know Dirk Nowitzki (The former NBA basketball player.) and Adolf Hitler personally.
From this point it’s too stupid. I have headache and the last 18 hours were stressful and then the lack of sleep. Now the point is reached where the funny question and response game tends to turn in stress and annoys me. The Filipinos continue penetrating questioning and do not notice my distress. I get up abruptly, smooth the short pants and shake me. The Filipinos back off a little, but the questions or the appreciative words about my appearance, such as “Ikaw gwapo (You are handsome.)” or “Taas ilong (Long nose.)” do not stop. The stout officer then recognizes the distress and scares away the intrusive, but still happily chattering crowd.
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Poor but carefree!