Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Check the Site First

Everyone had told him he was crazy to buy a piece of waterfront property in a place he'd never been.

"You gotta check the site first!" they'd told him.

"What if it's a scam?"

"My cousin brought property down in Florida that looked like beach front property in the brochure but ended up being in the middle of a swamp! That could happen to you!"

Virtually no one had thought he was sane. But no one had his passion for adventure and steadfast belief that he could make such a leap and be better for it. No one considered that thrid world fisherman probably didn't have the skills to swindle a well educated American. No believed in the global connectivity that allowed him to discover and take advantage of this opportunity. But they would see they were wrong.

... At least that's what he'd told himself on the flight over as his nerves started to finally kick in with shock waves of that terrifying "uh-oh" feeling.

If he'd seen a brochure he would had said that it certainly didn't match but as was all he'd to go off of was the fisherman's description and his own imagination. And his imagination had envision a vast channel leading to an ocean teeming with fish, lush tropical plant life providing ample shade, a sandy spot set back from the shore to build a hut and a small village the closest sign of civilization.

What he saw was not what he imagined.

"Um- er... sam- samahani?" he said trying to get the attention of the man in the nearby boat pulling a crab cage out of the water. "Is this.. um... bahari mtazamo?"

"hakuna, hii ni tiba ya maji taka kupanda" the man yelled back.

He fumbled through his translation book trying to find the words the man had yelled. "Waste" was the first one he discovered, then eventually "Water" and "Treatment". The man in his little boat had set off long before he finally formulated the sentence "waste water treatment plant". Looking at the map again he found the piece of land he had paid for- "Sea View." And indeed, sitting on a slab of concrete in front of him was a large sewage plant with the words "Bahari Mtazamo" on the banner.

He couldn't help but think that it would've been cheaper to buy a swamp in Florida.

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