This morning I got the final confirmation that Bryonn and me can visit Nanon this saturday and sunday! Great!
I rented a bike this morning. 5 dollars, 24 hours, just swipe your creditcard on one of the bike-stations around the city. And I went to the swamps north of Houston. The lady who advised me to dio this warned me: keep your sack on your back and do not put it in de basket in the front: people could grab it and run. And be aware of alligators, she said. So, this Crocodile Dundee looked it up on the internet and this is what happened.: a guy was missing and they found remains of him in the stomach of the alligator they suspected.Of course they immediately killed the animal. Nobody knows, of course, if the guy died from a hart-attack or something else and if the alligator took a bite afterwards. The last time somebody was killed in Houston by an Alligator, before this incident, was two hundred years ago. I say: this is wildlife, Texan style: alligators are mean, kill the animal if there is any suspicion and put his sort on the long long list of Enemies of the State!
It was nice to leave the city by bike for a few hours and sweat a little bit, because it is very hot over here. I must say that the river is nice and the path too, but it all looks a little bit neglected and they love grey concrete over here: highways all over the place and mostly two or three levels above one another! And I did not see any alligators!
Coming back in the city for a late lunch and immediately falling into the crowd of homeless and mentally disturbed people, begging and hallucinating all over the place. On this monday you see all this modern buildings and skyscrapers and the working people in their need clothes passing by. Two worlds, separated bij an invisible but impervious wall. On one of the corners of main street I take my lunch, outside on an empty terrace. Police and security staff everywhere . Also three policeman on horses. They have caught a guy. They make him stand on the crossing with handcuffs on, for at least 45 minutes just in the middle of te public all staring at him. He tries to hide the handcuffs, but that is not so easy. A small, skinny afro-american guy with dirty clothes on and a tired face. What a misery and what a way of treating another human being. I wonder if I could give him a glass of coca cola but when I approach him one of the officers immediately reacts and points me back.
Last saturday I noticed a young lady, hired by the town, who walks the streets, asks everybody how they are doing and offers the help, advice and information. So strange to see that in this surrounding of neglect ion and disrespect there is an courtly approach towards “normal people”, probably to settle some balance. I met this girl again this afternoon. At least: I thought it was her, but the girl explained that it was her twin sister who worked last saturday! I asked her how it was to do this kind of work in this surrounding, explained why I am here and asked her if I could interview her. She agreed to do that after work and we will meet in half an hour! I will share the result of course.
And, by the way, I had some email exchange with bus bud about the fact they were not clear about the location of the busstop. And that I had to buy another ticket to San Antonio. In the end they emailed me that they give me a free ticket to any bustrip I want to make. I do not think I will find time for that during this trip, but I will certainly use it the next time. And it also feels like a victory too: one man fights a nation-wide system and wins. I become a real Texan, John Wayne in The Alamo kind of fellow . “Make my day!”.
And my little plan did not work out, I could not interview the girl. A very nice and friendly older lady was waiting for me. She is the supervisor of the girls, telling me dat they cannot speak with people, other then in the line of duty, without explicit permission of their superiors. Who I, of course, could approach with a letter or email. She explained friendly to me that their task is to look for irregularities on the streets and report them to the police. Their other task is to give service to the public with maps and information. And that was it. No comment on other subjects, like the giant group of desperate people in the streets. “In Texas rules and regulations are incredibly important, is it not madam?”. “Yes they are, sir! Have a good one!”.
Tomorrow I will have lunch with Ray Hill, Citizen Provocateur. On his card it says: Writer, Activist, Actor, Raconteur. And tomorrow evening I will attend the monthly meeting of the abolishment movement. Wednesday I go to Austin and then four days in prison with Harvey Earvin and Nanon Mckewn Williams. And of course in the Prison Show again and meeting Gloria Rubac and her colleagues, and Bryonn Bain and others. And now I am going to try to finish my article on Greece, Ukraine and Holland…..