Short Stories

The Djuku Trip (Part 1)

We don’t always pay attention to the people around us and, more rarely, try to know what their story is – do we lack boldness?

Coming from far away, Djuku is one of those people; Here is a piece of your story.

Just as he leaves, Djuku realizes this is the first time he has left his village.

From birth to today, Djuku has always lived surrounded by his own in the small village on the edge of the savannah. She knows every nook. And no one is unknown to him there. Similarly, all villagers know who Djuku is:

– Djuku? It’s the one who can whistle, even better than a bird!

– When there is a party or ceremony lunch here, it’s always Djuku who makes them: she knows all the recipes and even makes up more!

It is true that Djuku cooks chicken like no one else, but today Djuku is leaving. He decided to go far, far away. Because here in the village, despite friends, despite ceremonies, there is not enough work.

He turned to the road and fixed his eyes on the horizon so as not to turn, not to cry. Well, let’s see, leaving like this is too hard. Then one last time, and before the village disappears in the clutter of the tall grass, she looks at her. He looks at her for so long and so passionately that all the things his eyes touch touch his body.

Now yes, Djuku can get on his way.

Quecuto’s old guitar enters his body. And with her all the perfumes of the songs so often heard.

The sloping palm and the baobab tree enter his body.

Nho-Nho’s cauldron enters your body.

Pepito’s house enters his body despite its shaggy ceiling.

Benvindo’s barge and fishing nets that rest on the sand enter his body. She feels that all these things are inside her firmly bound like a ship’s cargo. You feel that with every step of the many you will take, the village will be with you.

During the multi-day trip, the discoveries follow one another and dazzle Djuku. Little by little she will forget the village.

It crosses immense plains caressed by friendly winds and crosses blue mountains where it thinks that it will die of cold. Countless rivers and streams keep you company on your journey, and as you walk along the banks, the tumultuous, murmuring waters tell you fabulous stories.

Many people push themselves on the side of the road to see it pass. Some advise her to turn around as it is crazy. Others, on the contrary, encourage her, offer her small gifts, which she hastens to give in turn, as soon as she enters a new village.

“You should go light when you travel,” she says to herself, then adds, “I like these days, I like these new perfumes.”

For the first time in a long time, Djuku is extremely happy, putting one foot in front of the other with a kind of drunkenness. He senses that his journey came to an end when one night saw a shadowy barrier of large buildings illuminated here and there on the horizon by small flickers.

“This is the city I was looking for,” Djuku said simply.

Decide that it will not enter until the next day.

Early in the morning, Djuku enters the almost deserted city at this hour.

Someone, all dressed in yellow, washes the streets with a lot of water. A little further on, a bus driver without passengers whistles happily as he maneuvers. Djuku zigzags on the sidewalk with the impression that he is walking on virgin terrain.

He pays no attention to the large noisy green fly that swallows the last bits of night with a gigantic mouth until it, after much chewing, throws itself at her. Djuku flinched and almost fell if a wave of people from nowhere had not taken her on a crazy ride. Thousands of men and women rush to their workplaces. They turn right and left, nonsense, plunging into the bowels of the earth, then out ahead, up and down stairs, corridors, streets, and then blows of screams and whistles, horns and whistling whistles.

– It’s a forest of people on the march! Exclaims Djuku, who has never seen so many people in his life.

This time no one offers you gifts or asks where you come from.

Djuku lets himself drift with the current all morning, unable to resist, shaken by some, pushed by others, not knowing where to go. At noon, when the current has subsided, Djuku, with a tired body and sore feet, manages to escape and will run a little further on the bench of a square.

“I was hardly drowning in this tide!” – sighs Djuku massaging his ankles. “No one had told me there were transhumance.

Slowly catches his breath and looks around, trying to figure out where he eventually fell. It is a small square with a bald lawn in the center, with a trio of stunted trees and a tiny dog ​​that haunts between them to sprinkle them. All around are pink – gray fronted houses and a few small shops.

Djuku notices that in each storefront there is a hanging advertisement. She approaches the nearest store and reads: “Shampooing spoiled dogs is sought. C.V.”

– This is not for me – says Djuku – I don’t even know what it is!

The next store wanted to quickly find a “comedian for two tragedies” and the third announced: “A brilliant profession? Become a tile washer.”

– It’s too risky. It’s not for me! – sighs Djuku.

The fourth store was looking for a “part-time electric-machine-operator for major repairs to delicate toys.”

– Oh, this is very complicated. It’s not for me either, ”says a desolate Djuku.

The fifth store is a restaurant called BARRIGA DA BALEIA, and a handwritten poster explains, “Good cook? Get in quick!”

– Of course I’m going in! – Excludes Djuku soon – This is for me. CONTINUES… Alain Corbel The Travel of Djuku Lisbon The Way 2003

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