Trafika Europe 11 - Swiss Delights

Max Lobe

multicultural neighborhood. I think of my Bantu f lag—yes, I do have one. I ’d taken it with me when I left the country. That was a long time ago. I ’d put it on top of my things. Then I closed the suitcase. I did it with a feel ing of pride I sti l l remember today. The pride of an emissary given the honor of representing his country abroad. But since then, that sense of pride has dwindled. My f lag now sleeps in some rat hole or other. Why didn’t I ever hang my f lag in my window l ike the others? Was I not proud enough? Could it be that I ’m ashamed to say where I ’m from? Visitors to the vi l la my former employer and compatriot from Bantuland bought himsel f in the countryside near Geneva are greeted by the Swiss f lag and the Geneva city f lag right at the front gate. You don’t get anymore Genevan than that. A feel ing of gui lt washes over me. To escape it, I think of Ruedi . I imagine he must be smoking on the terrace of a bar perched high above his val ley. I think of Kosambela who, at this hour, must sti l l be in some federal prayer group. I think of the inevitable mi l itary parades that display our pride in the Bantu f irst of August. There aren’t just soldiers, pol ice off icers and f iremen in that parade: schoolchi ldren, col lege students, and our multiple pol itical parties also take part. The only ones missing are the ambulance drivers. It ’s not that they decide to


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