Saturday, February 04, 2006


I am kicking myself for being very slow in jumping on the ferry disaster story. It is heartless, no doubt, but it's journalistic instinct. I didn't realise that there had been an accident until Alaye Scoro told me online, at 5pm local time. It was pointless going to the dailies, because they'd be going to print in a matter of hours, and I definitely woudln't be able get to Safaga (the destination of the ferry) before they went to print. The next best thing was to get in touch with the Sunday papers, but even that was pushing it for time.

I did get in touch with the Sundays, but I suspect it was too late. Before coming on the trip, I wanted to buy a shortwave radio, but I'm the king of procrastination and last minutism. If I had one, I'd have been listening to the BBC World Service, and heard about it as soon as it came off the wires. I grew up listening to the clipped tones of the World Service. I remember during the Gideon Orkar coup d'etat of 1989 the local radio stations had bene shut down, but if you tuned into the BBC, you could hear the gunshots rifling around Dodan Barracks.

I haven't given up yet, but right now, there's the small matter of revenge against Tunisia.

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