Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hole in the Wall

One of the rules of Feng Shui is that bad spirits travel in straight lines and anything in their path is prone to misfortune. That's why, for example, many Chinese restaurants will put a barrier in front of the door forcing you to go left or right as you enter and thereby neutralizing the bad luck.

A manifestation of this ancient principle happened last Friday, when a car driving down Martin Luther King Street (my street) approached the T-bone intersection with Roan Road and instead of slowing down, accelerated through the concrete block wall.

In my neighbourhood live former presidents, NGO czars, and affluent Zambians and is consequently a maze of walled compounds. From the street all one sees is ten-foot-high whitewashed walls, black gates and the occasional 4-wheel drive roaring past. For those without a car and driver it can be very oppressive. So it was almost therapeutic to walk out my gate Sunday morning and see this perfect Hulk-sized hole in the neighbourhood's armour.

With the car long gone, I could see my neighbours easy chairs and braii stand (barbecue). I felt the urge to explore further but right then a guard in fatigues and a beret popped up with his arms crossed. I decided not to take a photo.

There has been a guard standing there, in front of the hole, day and night now for almost a week and this morning for the first time there were men rebuilding the wall. By evening it should be secure again and the guard can finally move from that inauspicious spot.

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