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Journey into Disaster
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12.00. Ugly morning
What bizarre things does Thomas Heger, arrested in the Philippines, experience, and what is happening in the village?
At night at the cell
Around 10 p.m. the cell door rattles and I startle. A guy holds a cell phone in the dungeon: “Cell phone? Call?”
I grab it. A deep female voice whispers something, but I don’t understand a word because she moans in the Visayan language and the connection is terrible. The guy grins broadly, has an alcohol flag and whispers conspiratorially: “Chicks? 150 Pisos only.”
I shake my head sleepily and return the phone. The man disappeared immediately. He probably tries his dubious luck in the cell next door. I can already hear the murmuring, giggling and cheering from the neighboring cell. Very funny. How does the guy come to the cell forecourt? I notice that the gate of the wire fence is unlocked. Certainly the error of the last officer. The entire site of the police station does not seem to be completely hermetically closed.
The rest of the night is quiet, but a good night’s sleep is out of the question. Too disturbing thoughts spin in my head. Even though I keep telling myself to stop this unproductive rumination, my thoughts are still circling.
In between, I urinate in a water bottle and hope the officer will show up early so that I don’t have to do the bigger business in a plastic bag.
At six o’clock a drizzle sets in, which grows into a tropical heavy rain around seven o’clock. It rains so hard that water enters the cell and I put the sandals and the few belongings that lie on the floor on the upper bed. It is 7:30 a.m. when the officer comes running. As rain protection, he wears a poncho-shaped rain cape with a hood and black rubber boots. The first thing he does is unlock my cell and seek shelter under the protruding concrete ledge without a rain gutter. The masses of water flow like a waterfall from the roof.
In the shower, I realize that there is no point in sitting in front of the cell. None of the students who rush through the rain quickly will be willing to buy me hot coffee
The cell door creaks miserably, the padlock sounds frighteningly, I am locked up again and sit sadly on the edge of the bed. The day does not start promisingly.
Early in the village
Vicente and her children have been desperately looking for Mik for about an hour. It is eight o’clock when the daughter and the second eldest son find their father sleeping in a wooden fishing boat on the beach. They don’t wake him up and ask their mother for help. With half a bucket of seawater, they are successful. Mik is grumpy, because he has a decent hangover. He takes a shower in the toilet hut of Franco’s brother and recovers a little. On the way back to their hut, Vicente stops by her uncle’s hut. That is necessary, because Romolo also sleeps soundly after the alcohol night. He too is grumpy after he is rudely woken up by Silas. Romolo feels as if the pain in his knee is twice as bad today as it always is. That’s why he just takes twice the amount of pain reliever as usual. A lot helps a lot, he thinks and sends Silas to the Sari-Sari store to get more Aspirin. How well that he got by Mik 1.000 Piso from Tommy yesterday. The headache tablet is expensive. The name “Tommy” reminds him of the unpleasant action that faces him and all parents today: appear at ten o’clock in the BSWD Sendong City. He really does not feel well, to going there.
Since he arrived at his hut, his mother-in-law Marie-Ann has talked to Mik: “Mik and Vicente, don’t make any promises and don’t believe the BSWD. They promise a lot, but don’t stick to them anyway. Don’t sign anything. You have to defend Tommy because everyone knows that he is innocent. There has never been anything bad. He’s a good man! Amen!”
Mik sucks the sugar-sweet instant coffee in agony. After Marie-Ann’s “Amen” Mik hits the table lightly with the palm of his hand. He feels as if his skull is about to explode. Vicente is upset and lets the daughter buy Aspirin too. “Today we have an important appointment at the BSWD, and you have nothing better to do than taking part in a drinking bout. Take a look at yourself. Do you know what you look like? I smell the Tanduay Rum up to me.
But Mik doesn’t answer. He goes in front of the hut, stretches out on the bamboo bench and immediately falls asleep again.
“Let him sleep for another half an hour,” says Marie-Ann to her daughter. She has a worried face: “Did you hear the noise in the middle of the night?”
“No, I slept. What was the matter?”
“According to the voices, there was something with Inday — Romolo’s ex-wife.”
“Yes, but not with Romolo? He drank with Mik and his brothers until four in the morning between the huts on the beach.”
Marie-Ann agrees: “That wasn’t with Romolo.”
“Ma, you know Inday, she is a drinking-master. And when it’s time again, she is only searching for trouble. How well that we went home early yesterday.” Vicente laughs: “Well, we will see whether Uncle’s ex-wife is able to appear in the BSWD.”
“Rica and Lang will take care of that. I have the feeling that the three mothers listen more to the BSWD than to their hearts.”
It is 9:30 a.m. The meeting point is the waiting seat. Franco, Marielou and some teenagers are already waiting there. Ernesto had already driven in the BSWD one hour ago. Franco is shocked if he is aware of which constitution his uncles Romolo and Mik are. He cursed his idea with the Tanduay Rum. They will not be great helper in the fight for Tommy today.
Marielou is angry with the two irresponsible men. She has no understanding of the drinking spree last night. “Typical men!” she hisses and pouts.
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