“Bordel”

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Sometimes I wonder if in Mozambique there are people insisting on the idea of socialism and working class supremacy. Sometimes I wonder if in Mozambique people fight the reality of different classes with different status. Sometimes I have proof of that.

 

Imagine the border always full of unemployed people coming and going from and to South Africa as a last survival resort. I am not even speaking of working classes but of a group that seems to grow at amazing rate and I call desesperados.

 

If you intend to cross Ressano Garcia border and you are not a diplomat (you can be a doctor, a millionaire, a poet or a scientist) your fate is to be forced to mingle with the crowd of desesperados for minutes or probably hours.

 

No one from the border services seems capable of solving this growing mess. Even if they don’t want to establish different treatments based on classes, at least they should distinguish business from tourism.

 

I crossed the border recently. I am one of the privileged few not having to face the torture but I witnessed the result of it on a French couple. He came out of the confusion shouting to anyone who could hear: “Quel bordel! Quel bordel!”

 

His wife was smiling, supposedly a victory smile. She had to have what I call “shopping motivation” to suffer such penance but he was revolted. When we crossed with them at the gate, we could still hear his voice coming from the inside of his car: ‘Quel bordel! Quel bordel!’

 

I don’t think he was offensive. He was just telling the truth. The border is a public service and people expect to be satisfied with it. No one can accept to be treated the way it is not used to, doesn’t expect to, and doesn’t want to. Cultural exchange has its limits, or else we end up feeling like we have been in a brothel.

 

My suggestion to the services at the border is: if you don’t want to face a “whites only” situation, you just have to organize a paid service. Those who don’t want to face such traumatic experience just have to pay for better conditions. They would be content and the services would have another source of income. As it is now the situation is a shame and, as the furious French man concluded, nothing else but a brothel.

 

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