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Pilgrims Of Fortune Part 4

China City situated in downtown Johannesburg was the hub of my new host’s business. Early each morning, they drove into town for stock whic...

China City situated in downtown Johannesburg was the hub of my new host’s business. Early each morning, they drove into town for stock which included clothing plus electrical gadgets.

They would sell the regalia from the boots of their cars to regular consumers, including white South Africans. Most of the clothes were imitations imported from the East but it required a keen eye to notice the minute difference. 

Voslorus, about 30 kilometres outside Johannesburg my new location offers a sneak preview of the South African ghetto life. Unwaged youths lined along street pavements sharing illicit drugs to kill time. Taverns opened early and closed late. 

On weekends only the interjection of the police would disperse the dutiful patrons. Death is very common, it only surprised few newcomers like myself. Opportunities are limited here. Some of my newly-found associates did anything for a living. 

On my next day, I joined the other group. We arrived at a stretch of road, adjacent to the East Rand Mall – a mammoth shopping mall within Johannesburg.

This building was a wonder to me. The largest that I had witnessed back home was the Westgate Mall. But it was dwarfed in all descriptions. 

This mammoth structure housed hypermarkets stocking various groceries. One thing that struck my attention was large containers of cell phone lines on sale. For just 99 cents, one would become an instant owner.
East Rand Mall 
Contrary, back home one would spend eternity queuing to purchase a line. It was not even a guarantee that you will obtain the sim card. Here, if you could afford, you could have more lines. In fact, when I left home I had peddled my line to raise money for transport. It had raised a fortune for me in the process.

Outside, the expansive car park, car guards including some Zimbabwean nationals worked tirelessly. I gathered many could make a decent living, earning more than a school teacher back home.

South Africa is always a place of new things. I was still learning. Even though the car park was secured, it required that extra attention from the prying eyes of potential robbers.

As the cars vacated the premises, one was guaranteed of a handsome reward. During busy days, one was assured of a bounty that could sustain a person for the whole month and forward some back home.

In Pretoria, a friend had performed a similar task as visitors streamed to watch cricket matches. They stood guard for the duration of the match. Lunch was provided plus a reward of R 150 – all in a day’s work. He wished this could be regular, unfortunately the matches were not consistent as he would have desired.

At the road, I did not see any potential business, until my companions produced pirated compact discs from their concealed pouches. This was illegal – came the warning. Truly, it was a dangerous trade – one had to chase after speeding cars to record some sales.

Recently, one fellow had been knocked over by a mobile van. By the time aid arrived, he was crashed beyond recognition. His friends had scattered in fear of reprisal. His family back home had contributed towards his repatriation and eventual burial.

Tinzwei Is A Worth Voyage For Those In Pursuit For Up-To-Date World Events.

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