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Literature Discussion -


The Cursed Fortune

By Dr. Claude Shema Rutagengwa



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Johan Gate Street in Oslo is a well known in that Scandinavia nation: Norway. It is decorated with flowers and horse riding parades in spring to summer, while the winter flourishes the Royal city with the snowy wind. Just working on that beautiful heaving leading street in summer, I met an African-Arab who, with nice looking style, wore a jeans'n T-shirt style.

He looked embezzled by the crazy crowd street that receives thousands of hundreds –if not millions- of visitors in spring and summer each year; then the guy approached me. It was a few years after the September 11 attack on the twin towers known as Trade Center in NY, at the heart of the word most powerful country- USA.

When he approached me, I was a little bit shy and distant. I never had any friend from African-Arab nation or people of a similar background.

But, I took that chance to do so that time.

-« Snakker du norsk eller engelsk? » The stranger asking me if I speak Norwegian or English.

-“Begge to….” Both… I replied in Norwegian!

His poor Norwegian accent doubtlessly led me to conclude that the best communication with him would be made in a foreign language. English, French or another.

After I confirmed to him that I do speak both, then he continued in English.

-“Yeah, my Norsk is so little, so I feel comfortable in English then,” the smiley stranger said.
The first astonishing question came in without introductions. “Where can I find the toilet?”
He asked.

“Oh! Do you mean the washrooms? The rest room I mean?” I asked him.

“Yes, you got it right.”

“Ok. You can either go to the pub (the bar) or to public places like the library, or national car-park.”

“I think the car park station would be better. I do not like bars.” The stranger replied, shaking his head.

“You are right. Actually in the bar you are exposed to the temptation of alcohol, and you may meet with drunken people and they may bother you any time since they are under alcohol’s influence,” I replied affirmably.

“Can you please show me where that place is?” the stranger asked humbly.

“Sure I can. No problem,” I replied, nodding my head.

While heading to the public washroom, he asked me what I do in Norway.

“I am a student sir!” I politely replied.

“Oh, that is cool! I like studying too,” the stranger said.

“So, then we walked about two hundred meters and now we were the heart of Oslo known as "OSLO S." (Oslosentralstasjonen).

“How do we get the token to be able to use the toilet?” the stranger asked?

“Just pay 2 NOK (Norwegian currency) at the cashier there.” I showed the stranger while holding his hand. Then I helped him to pay, and he headed to the toilet. His wish to go to the toilet also became contagious. I wanted to go for it as well.

After paying for my entrance token fees in that little private room, I entered. The stranger’s shoes seemed to be off, because I could see them under the half wall made in wood.

This was only the wall that separated us. I mean me and my stranger man. Usually, I wouldn’t pay attention to anybody who is doing that kind of private business. But this time I become so curious, and I could not stop myself from watching to find what the guy was doing in there.
Shoes down, his pants belt down, his leather wallet down, even his heavy winter jacket was down on the floor in that toilet.

That was fine, but what surprised me was yet to come.

On the floor of that little public toilet, I could see some plastic bags, with some herbs packed into little clean plastic bags. At the beginning I thought they were just some candies, because they looked alike. But that similarity was far to be the reality on that little ground.

“Where did they come from then?”  I silently asked myself.

All the sudden, I got surprised by seeing the stranger man making them.

He was washing them with the 1.5 little bottle he had in his hand because they looked dirty, and pretending that he was cleaning himself after the toilet mission as some people use to do instead of using the common toilet papers.

My curiosity increased, and I bent down to have wider range of view, and horribly I realised that those little tied plastic bags were falling from his anus, and he was pushing them in the way he would normally push the usual humane excrement. In other words, he did not sit on the toilet stage, to make sure that he does not lose that cursed fortune under flashing water.
My time to be in that public toilet for private business was almost enough for security guards to check me out, and still I was curious, but I could not stop myself asking the stranger about that mystery. Calmly, I asked him:

-“Excuse me sir! What are you doing with that stuff?”

-“Shshshshshshshshshsh! Do not dare to ask aloud!” he replied in an angry, agitated and warning tone!
But he continued afterwards...

-“These are drugs, but never tell anybody. Here I have...have you ever seen cocaine?”

“No!” I replied.

“What about marijuana?”

“Never!” I replied again.

“Oh! Cannabis only then?” he insisted.

“No way!” I replied with shaking head, in an almost upside down position due to the situation.

“Oh boy! You must be kidding me. How can it be that an African man living in Europe does not know anything about drugs, drug trafficking or similar struggles?” the stranger asked, astonished.

“Believe me or not, I am really innocent in the field Sir!” I replied kindly.

“Would you be interested in such a business then? You can become billionaire in one year only, if you can manage to swallow at least 1 kilogram of cocaine each week and travel to meet the customers all over the world, poor boy.” the stranger said.

“Well, that is really a heavy business to me. I am sorry I cannot.” I replied with a confused face.

“But why is that butter-like then?” I asked like a school pupil!

The stranger explained, “This is fatty part from lion crown. And the reason we use this is to ward off the police dogs, so when I put on this butter on my body, the police dog won’t approach me at all, because when a police dog sniffs this butter it runs away or at least stays away and becomes a coward, scared, as if it meets a real lion or feels threatens because of this smell. In other word, when you put this butter on your body, the police dog never approaches you, and then you can survive and pass through any police checking point or police dog-patrolled interventions.”

“I see. But why do you have to swallow those drugs with their plastic bags then? Isn’t there danger for your stomach and your life in general? Don’t you think?” I curiously asked the stranger.

“Danger stuff? Do you mean risking life?”

“Yes sir!” I interacted and replied.

“If you risk for nothing, you will get nothing!” The stranger man tried to convince me by intellectualizing his smuggling ideas. He continued to explain that we human beings are exposed to any kind of possible risk since the first day we come out of our mom’s womb.
“So, no worries about taking the risk at all, because, if we do not even take the risk at first opportunity, the risk will take us instead. Then, I do not swallow the risk, poor boy, I swallow the fortune, the fame, the richness, and I can travel easily with it inside my stomach, so that no scanner would bother me at all. This is the best and safe and humane way to transport my goods, since the Babylon’s law and CIA, and stupid FBI doesn’t allow me to carry on my business. But POLITI (Norwegian police) here seems to be cool. That is it!” the stranger explained to me meticulously with a serious tone.

“I understand. But then what happens if you want to use the toilet? It never happens for you to lose your “fortune” and expel them into a public toilet?” I asked the guy again.

Never! I am washing them now, and then I will swallow them again, and continue my journey until I will sell them. So this is the cycle of my business. Swallowing- sheeting -washing-swallowing, and so on and so forth, until I will sell the last knot.”

“Oh my God!” I exclaimed.

The conversation got interrupted by noisy knock knocks on the toilet doors.

-“Hey get out guys! Time out! Get out! Please get out!”

When I looked through the door’s hole, I saw the guards with their Securitas logos on shoulders, then I got out because I was ready, not swallowing and eating the cursed fortune like the stranger. But for him, he was not able to do so. So the Securitas guards came and opened the door with their special extra keys, and they got the guy with his messed-up stuff.
I was watching from distance, and I saw him getting in trouble as he explained his secret business. May be differently from the way he explained to me? Who knows!!!

He got handcuffed, and I left the crime scene to avoid any problem I could imagine, in case the Securitas guards would have suspected me being the accomplice or part of the game in the cursed fortune, while I was not.

After leaving the crime scene, I went all the way back to Karl Johan gate and took a little glass of cold drink at Sir Houston pub, refreshing my soul and mind and arousing my innocence while thinking and cursing the cursed fortune indefinitely ...!