Saturday, October 16, 2004

Boom boom

Having five of our clients go into prison has made me realise how much of a family we have become. Every so often someone will get a dejected look and start shaking their head, uttering the names of one or more of the guys that were arrested.

Another indicator of the family vibe is the collection of nicknames that we use. A Sri Lankan client who listens to hip hop has become '50 rupee'. A very large Congolese client is now 'boom boom' - apparently the Somali equivalent of 'fatso'.

We won't forget the imprisoned ones for some time because one of them left his phone with a friend. The arrested client was a vigilant collector and the phone has been ringing non stop over the last four days with calls from various girlfriends.

The friend doesn't speak great English and he often passes the phone over to me with weeping girlfriends on the other end. It's hard to know whether to feel more sorry for them because their boyfriend is imprisoned or because they were one of ten!

Some of the girlfriends seem to have gotten over their loss, however, and have arranged to meet with the phone's new owner tomorrow. I hope they don't mind exchanging a 27 year old 6'3 Nigerian for a 22 year old 5'1 Sri Lankan.

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