love in the driest seasonexcerpt: love in the driest season - the best car alarm
A bureaucrat like US is not a happy person, and it takes a long time to understand that I am the source of his anger.
Richard Tambadini is a senior official in Zimbabwe's immigration control department.
In May 1997, in a monotonous office in a dull government building, he looked at my documents.
He spoke very slowly and was very careful, so he rarely looked up.
"You 've sent your stuff here in advance," he said, sounding like reading the indictment.
"You think we will give you a work permit.
You think little black Zimbabwe needs big white American men like you
He paused and looked out the window in the center of Harare.
A car alarm sounded on the street below, and the horn repeatedly sounded above the sound of early morning traffic.
I changed in my efforts. back chair.
It became very embarrassing.
Vita and I packed up our items in Warsaw, Poland a few weeks ago.
Crates must be transported by truck to Gdansk, waiting for a ship, then across the Baltic Sea to Amsterdam, to another cargo ship, and then to sail along the European coast, the entire West African coast, at the southern tip of Cape Town, head to the port of Durban, South Africa.
It must then be transferred to a railcar and then dragged to Zimbabwe.
The shipper said it would last up to eight weeks;
About three or four months.
My predecessor in Harare assured me that the government of Zimbabwe would issue my work permit as a foreign journalist long before that.
The crate was ready in three weeks.
Now I am in Harare, trying to explain to tambadini why this unexpected delivery does not constitute an ugly act of American arrogance. "Mr.
"Tambadini," I tried to mitigate the situation, "I'm 5 feet 7 inch and I don't think anyone said I was trying to act like a big man ---
"We just met, sir.
Tucker, but I know you very well, "he cut me off, looking at his nails.
"You are from the United States, a country that belittles black people.
You're a rich man.
You come here and you will see poor little Zimbabwe where even the people who run the government are black and you think we need you.
You think we are very grateful that you can join us and you think we will save you from our laws.
This is the way white people live in Africa.
His tone turned cold and disdainful.
"So we have a system for people like you.
We hold your goods at customs until you are approved and the price is $ HundredS.
$ Per day.
If we decide to approve your application-
It could take months. -
You will then pay us and you may receive your goods.
But you will pay us.
Tucker, your arrogance.
"He's giving a speech, and I know it's not the first time, but I'm still upset.
He insisted on combining regular traffic
As a deliberate racial discrimination, the idea that I am a rich man can be interesting in another situation.
But, telling my editors that they will be fined thousands of dollars is not a prospect I like.
So I took a deep breath and ate a humble pie.
"Sir, I am very sorry if I or my company made the assumption, but that is not the one you said.
My newspaper, Detroit Free News, has been published here for 17 years and is the longest in any media company in the United States.
We have been in Zimbabwe since independence because black Zimbabweans have taken control of their own country.
After apartheid, when all the other American newspapers left for South Africa, my newspaper stayed here, in a country in its 90 s --
The city I reported is the most black city in the United States. It is seventy-
The editor-in-chief of my newspaper, the man who sent me, is a black American.
The Lady in Black waiting in the hallway, the lady with pigtails and blue skirts, is my wife.
If my paper, my predecessor, or I think it is necessary for me to come here a few months ago to apply for a work permit, I will do so.
Unfortunately, the shipment came too fast.
But that's not why you suggested.
Tambardini looked out of the window.
"Maybe," he said, waving and sending me away.
The work permit was approved two days later.
But I will remember that little episode in the next few years, and the warning light went off before I knew to look for it.
The racial conflict that morning was more of a weary restraint to me than a new angry mantra, as race has always been a defining issue in my life.
I grew up not learning about the native country of tambaldini, a small south-east African country known as Rhodesia at the time, but my hometown deep in the South fell into a strange ethnic struggle.
In the 1960 s, when black people in Zimbabwe fought for independence from the white colonial regime, black people in the southern United States were fighting for their rights.
Especially in my hometown of Mississippi, the reaction of white Rhodes and White Southerners is almost the same.
For a while, for the few who have noticed this, the two struggles seem to have been carried out in the split tone.
Just 1,000 years before rodsia's prime minister, Ian Smith, announced in 1965 that white people would rule rodsia, Alabama's George Wallace shouted: "I draw a line in the dust, I said. . .
Isolation now, isolation tomorrow, isolation forever!
In his inaugural address to the governor
Martin Luther King
In the same year, an African nationalist and school teacher named Robert Mugabe was imprisoned in Zimbabwe.
When Smith was intimidating black people with color Wolf Scouts, the three k party was burning the cross in Mississippi.
One night, they were at 60.
Four of the eighty in Mississippi
Two counties just to show that they run the place.
A man named Byron De La Beckham shot Medgar Evers in the back;
Young white thugs beat demonstrators, activists and free riders.
One of the most notorious incidents of this era, Klansmen killed three civil rights workers ---
In local terms, "two Jews and one black man"-
Outside Philadelphia, Mississippi.
Although Rhodesia has been sanctioned by the United Nations and has become an abandonment of the international community, the most shocking thing for Americans is Mississippi.
Nina Simon did not sing "Georgia golddam" and Anne Moody did not write "about adulthood" in Alabama, nor was the film later called "Louis Anna"
In the white village of Mississippi, we seem to insist on becoming the dark center of the Southern symbol.
It was in this season of apartheid and despair that I was born in Homs county, the poorest and most important black county in the poorest and most important black state in the United States.
This land crosses the low
Hanging on the fertile edges of the hills and Delta in central Mississippi, three out of every four faces are black, a place so poor and lonely that sometimes it seems only the soil is fertile.
Between the Muddy Creek and the towering oak trees, a stands pine tree blends together, and then the land tilts down along a kudkud --
The place covered is called the Valley Mountain, which is the last slope of a hundred miles.
The flat fields of the Delta extend to the distance, a vast plain, full of black earth and water, extending to the embankment and the vast brown river.
The rolling father of the water gave the country a name. On a slate-
Gray afternoon of November-
The rain fell on rows of picking land in the continuous drizzle --
On the cotton straw and trailer left by the roadside, as well as the sleeping wooden church and the cemetery of believers and tin people --
Barn with roof top and shotgun shed-
This is a place where the bone marrow is soaked and gathered there and will never leave.
We live in Lexington, a community of about 2000 people, and later in Starkville, 80 miles east, where we raise sheep and cattle.
My father, Duane, is a local assistant county agent working in the cooperative promotion services, a state and federal agency that helps farmers solve crop and livestock problems.
My mother Elizabeth, everyone calls her Betty, who plays the piano or organ at the Southern Baptist church.
My brother Duane junior, everyone is Shane, and when my father goes from farm to farm, I sometimes sit with him on his pickup truck, from the narrow paved highway to the gravel road, the long trail of red and brown dust spins behind us.
Late at night, on our little farm, I would curl up under the sheets and listen to the train whistle and look for open space.
I would sneak out and watch it pass by our door in the moonlight.
I stood in the yard, Lulu soaked my feet, raised my head from the oak trees and pine trees, looked at the stars above, and as the train passed, I felt the earth rumbling.
I really like this place.
The sway of the trees and the whisper of the wind create a language of their own, and the night seems warm, beautiful and secret.
On long summer days and endless nights, on rainy winter afternoons, nowhere to go, not much to do, I began to immerse myself in books and stories, imagine a world away from our sleeping pasture.
I will start turning the pages and our house will disappear and replace it with another world that is everywhere.
Before I was thirteen years old, I read Treasure Island and Haq Finn and all the Hadi boys and the Old Testament (
When I was bored in church, the little boys often were)
Lord of the Rings and things far beyond my mind, including the memoirs of Ernest Hemingway and Papillon, Henry chalice, a French prisoner who fled Devils Island
Those worlds seem as real and important as anything that happens in our town. -
There is more excitement.
Not only do I want to see the train pass through our house, but I also want to grab the arm rest of the next freight train and ride out from there and travel to some of the places I have read.
Then I will sit on the rails and wonder what the real fairy tale is.
At least since 150, as we all know, everyone in my family is a farmer in rural Mississippi.
But an era is coming to an end, and even as described in a landmark book, the "closed society" of Magnolia State is finally open to the larger world.
As the calendar pages dwindled, the years turned into late 1970, and the more vicious forms of racism in the depths of the South began to ebb.
Ethnic clashes swept across the country moved to the northern part of the city.
As the civil rights movement became a memory, at least the southern apartheid system was officially abolished,
Black and white teenagers in Mississippi began to try something that our ancestors didn't have. -
It's painful, weird, and sometimes surreal.
The latter's most bizarre example can be found on the university football field, which is the altar of the deep south Saturday afternoon.
At the age of 1970, the University of Mississippi football team was integrated together, but the school still went proudly with the nickname "Miss Ole (
The word "slave" used by the wife of the plantation owner before the war ---
Instead of his daughter, she will be "young lady ").
The school team is called rebels, referring to soldiers of the Southern Union.
The name was selected in the 1930 s when Ole Massas, another popular choice for student groups (
Like the name of the slave owned by the plantation owner)
It turned out that Miss Ole Massas was a little tongue twister.
Nearly half a century later, a football match in Oxford looked like this: a black slave descendant wearing "Ole Miss" would score points for the rebels. The lily-
The white school band will explode the battle song "Dixie" of the Southern Union. Thirty-
5,000 white fans will begin waving the red and blue bunlian flag, which has been loved by the three k party.
No one is acting like we all need to commit.