Thursday, August 06, 2009


I was sitting in a restaurant in Cotonou when this Chinese woman outside was going from person to person and chatting them up. It looked like she was panhandling, but I figured there was no way there'd ever be a Chinese woman begging in the streets in West Africa.

But then when I came back a few weeks later she was wandering around the neighborhood near the Peace Corps bureau. When I got near her she walked up to me and asked, in perfect English, "Excuse me sir, do you speak English?"


"So, I was wondering if you could please offer me a financial assistance."

I didn't, at the time thinking that, how did she even get here in the first place, and also, why does someone who speaks fluent English not have a job here? Though it was later proposed to me that she was exiled here.


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