Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
The drove over 10 kilometers north, passing a number of tent assembly sites on their
way, and then, more tents appeared in front of them.
Their jeep stopped, and the soldiers went down first to make sure it was safe. Remonin
got out of the car and waved. “Mr. Li, please come here.”
Li Du saw an African bazaar in front of him, an open-air affair in the middle of a
There were no roads here, only dirt paths. Because of the dry season, there was a lot of
sand and dust and they couldn’t go forward, or the car would bring a lot of smoke and
dust with it, and the market would not be able to operate.
Li Du took off his sunglasses and gave them to Brother Wolf. He went to Remonin and
asked, “Those on the road are all your tribesmen?”
Remonin nodded. “Yes, they are.”
Li Du wondered, “There is no lack of sand and soil here. Why don’t you live in a house
and not in this kind of tent?”
“Because we are a traditional people living off hunting and farming. We used to migrate
a lot, looking for places with plenty of water and grass. Living in tents was, then, more
convenient than building a house,” said Remonin with a smile.
“Besides, the tent is enough. Mozambique has good weather. When it’s not too cold, we
can easily shelter from the wind and rain.”
Li Du said, “But your barracks are all permanent buildings.”
Remonin said, “Of course, that is necessary. My house is not only for people but also
for defense. In case of a battle, it would be a soldier’s bunker!”
Li Du was shocked. Do you still fight with bows and arrows? It’s a small hovel, no
cannon would be needed to break through. A bazooka or even a large caliber rifle would
Remonin, who was obviously aware of the drawbacks of his camp and district, was a
proud man and clearly did not want to talk too much on the subject. “Come on, Mr. Li.
Let’s get going.”
The soldiers moved on, with guns at their side.
At first, their appearance caused panic at the market, but slowly, as the people saw that
the soldiers were not making any trouble, all calmed down and returned to normal.
It was a large market, about two hundred meters long, and it was full of people, at least
a thousand or two, all bargaining noisily.
There were no shops here, and all produce was sold in randomly placed open stalls.
Vendors sat on the ground, bare-footed and bare-armed. Some people came to talk
business, and all had to shout to be heard.
Remonin told him that they were not shouting, but singing.
The vendors seemed fairly prosperous. There was plenty of land near the market.
Several tin buckets of produce were standing on the ground.
The market was crowded, but the atmosphere was safe. There was no pushing or
This, of course, had to do with the authority of police. The democratic army of Remonin
was in charge of that.
If thieves or robbers were caught, they would likely be shot dead on the spot.
The bazaar was run following the barter system, with stalls selling local groceries and
fresh fruit and vegetables from the jungle.
Among daily necessities, local people mainly provided crops and foraged food, which
could be exchanged for food stamps or for other commodities without a clear price tag.
Someone was selling money, yes, actually money. The vendor stood in front of a pile of
large bills. Li Du went up to have a closer look. It was quite a bundle of money, he could
not count how many billion.
Needless to say, this was the Cecil coin.
Li Du smiled bitterly. The inflation rate of the Cecil coin was quite a feeble joke.
There was no local market for Cecil coins, and the old vendor sat with his head down
and his arms around his stomach, looking very sad.
Li Du turned to him and asked, “How would I exchange these?”
The old man blinked, opened his mouth and mumbled a few words which Li Du did not
Remonin said, “He is hungry. He sneaked in from Cecil to get something to eat
because, in Cecil, money doesn’t buy food.”
Cecil, once Africa’s breadbasket, has turned into a land of famine because of a severe
Li Du waved to Godzilla, who always had food in his backpack.
When the big man approached, the old black vendor was startled and fell on his knees.
He wouldn’t have believed it if someone had told him such a thing could happen. In
many parts of Africa, people had no human rights. They lived like livestock, and poverty
eroded morals and compassion.
Li Du opened Godzilla’s backpack, took out a packet of dried mutton and handed it to
the old man. Then he took one of the valueless banknotes and put it in his wallet as a
The old man took the dried meat and smelled it. He held it in his arms excitedly and
smiled. He took all the notes and gave them all to Li Du, and left at once.
Li Du was surprised, “He gave me all his money.”
Remonin said, “It’s worse than waste paper. It’s only good for starting a fire.”
The lion hunter added, “If you go to the bank, all this is not worth a dollar. Of course, no
bank would take it.”
Cecil’s government was not going to print money, and not due to an attempt to control
domestic inflation. It was just that printing money required paper, electricity, and ink,
none of which the government could afford.
A boy carrying a box came to Li Du and said, “Hey, roast bananas. Tasty roast
bananas. Want roast bananas?”
Li Du held up the Cecil coin and asked, “How much do I get for this?”
The boy shook his head. “Don’t this, want that.”
He gestured at Li Du’s chest, where he had a pair of sunglasses clipped to his shirt.
“You can get meat for sunglasses, give you this meat.” Another vendor patted the dark
red meat on the chopping board in front of him with his greasy black hand.
The young man cried out, “Mine is traveler’s bananas. Who wants your stinking meat?”
Mozambique was warmer than South Africa, being closer to the equator. In September,
a piece of meat would certainly spoil outside very quickly.
Li Du retreated. The young man looked at Godzilla again. “Traveler bananas, deliciously
roasted bananas. Exchange with your sunglasses, can I?”
Godzilla looked at him suspiciously and said, “Are you sure? My sunglasses are too big
The boy said, “One day, I’ll be as tall as you.”
Shrugging his shoulders, Godzilla took off his sunglasses and gave them to the boy,
receiving the box in exchange.
“Can a banana be roasted?” wondered Li Du.
Brother Wolf said, “The name is misleading. Traveler’s banana is not really a banana,
it’s a root with water storage capacity.”
Godzilla didn’t care. He ate like a pig.