CHAPTER ONE – PRISON
“Journalists get thrown in prison here all the time,” my English journalist friend Roger said matter-of-factly as he twirled his wine glass. He peered over the top of the smudged wine glass rim as he continued, “Here it’s like getting an MBA. But it’s mainly local journalists though.”
“As a foreigner, you’ll be all right, I think,” Roger added as an afterthought.
At that point, a couple of the regulars appeared in the Captain Bar’s doorway. They sauntered over to their barstools at the far side of the U-shaped bar walking past us as they did so.
“Evening, Kevin,” Roger called out across the bartop. Kevin looked up peering through his wire-framed spectacles as he did so. He slid a hand through his curly brown hair and smiled.
“Roger! How are you, mate?” came the reply.
“Good, good, thanks, Kevin. So, you and James are still knocking about here then?”
“It’s the only bar that will give us credit,” James replied with a wink. “We’ve been turfed out of all the others. The GM here is still new…”
“He’ll soon learn,” Roger smiled. “By the way, this is Fin. He’s setting up a 24-hour news channel here.”
James’ jovial face suddenly turned serious as he turned to look at Kevin. Kevin looked back at James and then turned towards Roger and I. He sighed as he did so.
“You do know they’re arresting people left, right and centre, don’t you?” Kevin asked in a lowered voice.
“And so, what’s new?” Roger replied.
“No, this is worse,” James chimed in, looking around as he did so. “The foreign correspondents are leaving, and the locals are getting more and more nervous.”