Nobody in this story, and no country or continent, thank God, is based upon an actual person or country or continent in the real world. But I can tell you this: as my journey through the diplomatic jungle progressed, I came to realize that, by comparison with reality, my stories are as tame as a holiday postcard.
You are the fourth Secretary and Consul of the Gueuselambix Embassy in the Very Democratic Republic of Great Lakes and Rivers and you were at a reception.
6:30 PM: During the reception, you try hard not to listen to your colleagues of the diplomatic corps usual whining about the hardships of daily life in the Very Democratic Republic of Great Lakes and Rivers and their complaints about the incompetence of the local administration and the worthless local house staff. As you desperately attempt to access the buffet, your Chinese colleague - who is fluent in the five vernacular languages of the Very Democratic Republic of Great Lakes and Rivers but hardly ever sets foot outside his embassy - inquires what information you might possibly have on the tour in the Lower Rivers and Great Lakes province by the Undersecretary of State for Equipment, an event which, as reported in the local press, and according to your Chinese colleague, would be significant of the political evolution of the Very Democratic Republic of Great Lakes and Rivers. You get rid of him by asking him about the role of China in the process of the Korean reunification.
7:40 PM: You escape the reception after you have managed to grab a handful of grilled peanuts and you return to the Embassy. There you find the expat secretary of the Ambassador, aged fifty five, extremely depressed by the departure of her colleague of the Red Cross, to whom she was apparently very attached. Despite the consolations you give her, she leaves the embassy in tears announcing that "something could happen to her sooner rather than later", adding that “nobody in the embassy cares about her anyway" After briefly reviewing the instructions for the repatriation of the mortal remains of Gueuselambixian citizens, you start looking for a place to dine.
8:05 PM: Sitting at a table in the "Tropicana", you are enjoying papaya fritters apparently fried in transformator oil stolen from the neighboring construction site, with the latest hit of a very dead Michael Jackson blasting from a worn out sound system. You are approached by a creature who gratifies you with a venereal smile missing a few teeth. You tell her that you barely have enough money to pay for your meal. She withdraws reluctantly, not without questioning your manhood. Only to be succeeded by a leper, who makes you bitterly regret the papaya fritters you have just eaten. You stagger out of the "Tropicana" and are immediately assailed by a screaming pack of kids who, clinging to your clothes, claim to have guarded your car and require payment for their services. You disperse them with your fists, before entering your vehicle (of course the lock has been forced and your radio stolen) and pull away under a hail of stones.
9:20 PM: As you enter the street where you live - completely dark - as the money donated three times already by the Gueuselambixian Development Agency to provide street lighting in the whole city has been used to built yet another palace for the President - you barely miss a checkpoint that has just been installed by the valiant armed forces of the Very Democratic Republic of Great Lakes and Rivers. Believing your last hour has come, you turn off your headlights, switch on the ceiling-light and crawl out of your car on your knees with your hands in the air. While the overexcited military are about to shoot you on the spot with their brand new P90 submachine guns courtesy of FGN (well known Gueuselambixian Arms manufacturing company), the squad leader, whose breath reeks of beer, gently presses the barrel of his gun against your temple and begins an interrogation in totally incomprehensible pidgin English. Your replies seem to be very persuasive and, as a token of goodwill, you offer him your watch, lighter, cigarettes, spare tire and all the cash you have on you. You manage to temper the murderous ardor of the squad leader and taking advantage of the fight that breaks out over the distribution of your meager offerings, you quietly sneak away.
10:05 PM: Arriving at your place, you light a few petroleum lamps and empty your last bottle of gin to recover from the emotions. Lulled by the sound of rocket fire that picks up in the northern slums and the buzzing of millions of blood-thirsty mosquitoes, you sink into a sleep filled with sweet dreams. In the distance you can see the zodiacs of the Gueuselambixian para commandos, surfing the blue waves of the infinite sea, arriving to providentially evacuate you from a posting of which you bitterly regret already the hardship allowance …
Mr. Robert Dikshit (pronounced Dixit),
4th Secretary and Consul of Gueuselambix.
Embassy of Gueuselambix to the Very Democratic Republic of Great Lakes and Rivers.
Chancery: 3, Avenue of the Popular Growth For the Democratic Rectification of the National Revolution of December 20 (former Beach Rd.) -
BP 000002 - Matabish Ville.
Telephone: Out of order.