Thursday, May 03, 2007

The rose

February 2003

That night we were treated to a banquet and cabaret aboard a ship, as it took us on a tour up the river.

We were dropped of about a hundred yards from the ship. It was a difficult hundred yards to cover. The road was crowded with people selling all manner of food, souvenirs, novelties, watches and pens. And as soon as they saw me, I became their only interest.

‘Hello’ they were calling, ‘Rolex, Rolex’, ‘Monteblanc’ or just ‘Please sir’. Some would grab my arm or start touching me. ‘Careful of your pockets, honey’

We tried to push through, but it was impossible. There were many small children selling candy and roses. One boy approached us, and tried to hand me a single rose. I shook my head, but he wasn’t deterred.

He just walked by our side, holding the rose in front of me whilst nudging my arm. I tried to shake him off; we turned slightly as if to change direction. He stood in front of us, walking backward, holding the rose toward me.

Just as we got to the boat, realising he was running out of time, he allowed us to pass slightly and then slid the stem into the back of Maggie’s jeans.

‘Honey?’

A grabbed the rose, and then, not knowing what to do, and wanting to appear as Maggie’s protector, I bent the stem in two, and through the rose to the ground. As the boy bent to pick it up, we rushed past onto the ship, where he couldn’t follow.

‘So annoying, don’t you think honey?’
‘Mmm’

I saw him walk off, and wondered what would happen to him. Did he have more roses? Or would the loss of this rose deprive him of food for the night?

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2 Comments:

Blogger Anali said...

That reminded me of when my mom and I were in Tijuana and we got off the tour bus. Little kids swarmed all of us begging for money. We couldn't believe it. It was really sad.

3:52 pm  
Blogger something from me said...

Oh yes it is sad, but read on my babe, it will get much sadder yet.

5:02 pm  

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