“I am a British journalist”
A visiting friend recently left us with a copy of Chris Cleave’s bestseller The Other Hand.
I particularly enjoyed the following scene, in which the heroine, a Nigerian refugee, is deported back to Abuja accompanied by her friend, a women’s magazine editor.
The military police were waiting for me in a small room, wearing uniforms and gold-framed sunglasses. They could not arrest me because Sarah was with me. She would not leave my side. I am a British journalist, she said. Anything you do to this woman, I will report it. The military police were uncertain, so they called their commander. The commander came, in a camouflage uniform and a red beret, with tribal scars on his cheeks. He looked at my deportation document, and he looked at me and Sarah and Charlie. He stood there for a long time, scratching his belly and nodding …
The military police followed our taxi from the airport. I was very frightened but Sarah gripped my hand. I will not leave you she said. So long as Charlie and I are here, you are safe. The police waited outside our hotel.
If anyone out there is short of a few bob, I would pay good money to watch you try that “I am a British journalist” line in a similar setting.