Trafika Europe 11 - Swiss Delights

Max Lobe

Their patience, like ours, is wearing thin. They seem exasperated. Not far from them, a gentleman in a soaked white tank top pushes an orange wheelbarrow with the town’s letters stenciled on it. It ’s a wheelbarrow from their department of public works. Whistling, the man empties the garbage cans. At least we’ve got that, the old woman’s look seems to admit, though she hasn’t stopped complaining. A poster near the garbage man catches my eye. It shows three white sheep on a peaceful red field that bears a white cross. One of the white sheep, with a smile, chases a black sheep out of the field with kicks from its hind legs. ‘Creare sicurezza’ is written on the poster. I calmly smoke a cigarette as I study the poster thatI find rather amusing. At that moment, it occurs to me that ‘black sheep’ was a favorite expression of my father ’s, who worked in the regular army in Bantuland. Aside from ‘black sheep,’ he often said: ‘lousy KGB’ (for spy), ‘Senegalese squawker ’ or ‘motamotor ’ (for someone who talks a lot). When we talked about traitors in the ranks of the army or wimps or even of soldiers fallen in battle, my father always exclaimed with glee: just a bunch of black sheep! A distant church bell begins ringing. I realize I’ve been waiting for the bus almost three quarters of an hour. In earlier days, not very long ago for that matter, I’d


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