Tag Archives: Black Market

The Black Market

12 Nov

Have you ever wondered where your nice camera or laptop goes after you’re robbed? In East Africa the black market trade is actually pretty sophisticated. Anything stolen in Kampala will immediately get sent to another major city like Bujumbura or Kigali so there is no way of tracing it. From there the goods are sold and whatever extra the seller gets for the product he keeps and then sends the rest to where the good came from. You can get almost anything for very cheap if you know the ‘right’ people but this traveler decided to keep Karma on his side and turned down the temptation.

Foggy

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Meeting Mathieu

12 Nov

I was using my best French to talk to the information ladies in Bujumbura to figure out how much taxis costed around the city when a young guy came up and started talking to me in English. He was a university student on holiday break and he said he would just drive us around if I covered the gas. He ended up being much more than a guide as he showed me much more than the average tourist sees. We toured the black market since he needed a new laptop and we even tried getting into the DRC but even his persuasion skills couldn’t quite manage that. I also needed an extension on my visa which costs $40USD but he had friends in high places and only set me back $10, which I am sure ended up in a pocket. It is always great to be shown around by someone who really knows a city well and a huge thanks to Mathieu for doing that!

Foggy