Monday, October 29, 2012

Chapter 13 - Tribute to the Prince of Death

Today is a day like all others, the Java Street is as usual full of passers-by, yet there is something else going on. All shop entrances on both sides of the street are decorated with garlands of different flowers. The shopkeepers dressed in festive clothes are standing as straight as candles in front of their stores. From Java Square, on the left side, until the tunnel, thousands of fragrant roses are spread out on the pavement. A young Moroccan dressed in royal Islamic clothing, like a figure from the fairy tale Thousand and One Night, surrounded by handsome fellow countrymen acting as his bodyguard, walks slowly over the flower-strewn steps of Java Square to the tunnel. The shopkeepers bow low before him. Approaching him one by one they kneel on the pavement, kiss his hand, and then anxiously, as if they fear it is not enough, they stop rolls of European banknotes in the same hand.
The Prince of Death deftly hands the gift to one of his companions, bows to the giver, who humbly goes to the side, and calmly walks on.
In front of a laundry mat with the number 51 stands a fairly large Arab. His beard reaches almost to his waist. When the Prince of Death reaches his shop, a plain-looking Arab - he looks like he accidentally ended up here - comes between the Prince and the bearded Arab.
One of the companions of the Prince of Death - built like the mythological God Atlas - grabs the unfortunate passerby and throws him like a rag doll to the side. The unfortunate man folds like a ripe pumpkin against the wall of the shop and after gathering himself goes, constantly excusing himself, away in direction of Java Square.
The bearded Arab bows to the ground. First he kisses the feet of the Prince of Death, and slowly getting up, gently takes the hand of the Prince, kisses it and fills it with a big bundle of bank notes...

An old scrap iron-collector with a hidden camera in his scrap-cart is filming the tribute to the Prince of Death.
The trio walks towards the tunnel and enter the supermarket 'Dirk van den Broek’.
The old iron-collector parks his scrap-cart opposite the supermarket in front of a payphone. He grabs his camera and sits down on a bench. A uniformed policeman with the rank of sergeant walks up to him. "What are you doing here?" he asks sternly.
"That's none of your business."
The policeman put his hand on his gun. "ID!"
"I'm a Dutchman."
The scrap iron-collector takes his identity card and hands it over. "We're colleagues."
The policeman looks at the card. “Look who we have here, James Bond."
"I have been ordered to ..."
"What have you been ordered to do?"
The man shows his camera. "To film."
"Are you crazy? Do you want to spoil everything!?”
"That’s none of your business."
"Аha! You wanna play that game?"
The policeman grabs the camera. He pulls the film out of the camera, puts it in his pocket and then gives the camera back to the owner. "So, now you can shoot as much as you want, but without a film."
"Give me my film back!"
While this is happening, another police officer with the rank of inspector leaves a computer repair shop and walks towards the tunnel. "What’s going on here?"
The sergeant smiles. "Sir, here's spy from RIAD."
"Mr. Inspector, he’s taken my film!"
"That's his job."
The sergeant puts his hand on his gun again. "Get out of our district!" he says in a rough voice.
"I’ll report that you confiscated my film!"
"Report as much as you can," the police inspector snarls. "And now get lost, or I'll beat you up completely."
The scrap iron-collector obediently gets up from the bench and walks with his scrap-cart through the tunnel towards Eerste van Swindenstraat.
Both policemen walk back to the computer repair shop. The sergeant hands the film to the owner of the store, who then pays each of them two thousand euros.

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