Travel to Haiti
To many people, Haiti appears as a scattered set of frightening stereotypes that can hardly be integrated into one whole: zombies, voodoo, taunton-makuti, Papa Doc and his son Baby Doc, poverty, civil war, permanent cyclones – and again zombies. All these terrible words have done their job – so far, Haiti remains one of the least visited countries in the world, although the climate favors tourism. Of course, not least this happens simply because all these stereotypes are not idle tales. In general, to love Haiti, you need to be born there. Or, at worst, overcoming fears, just to be there.
Four hours before departure, I sat down to watch George Romero’s old Zombie movie. I wanted to refresh my knowledge about the living dead. About their appearance, habits, habits and habits – about everything that can come in handy on a trip. On the screen, the zombies looked very scary. They tore people like candy wrappers. I watched the movie right up to the moment where Peter, the wise black policeman, utters his main sentence: “My grandfather was the high priest in Trinidad. He always told us: when there is no place left in hell, the dead will fill the Earth. ” I turned off the image and repeated this phrase to myself several times to remember. In my hand I had a ticket to Haiti.
Travel to Haiti
After 36 hours, I was already sitting in the waiting room of the airport of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, and looked at the placard, where for an hour the message was on that my plane had flown to Haiti. However, in fact, the plane did not even arrive – all this time the airfield remained empty. There was not a cloud in the sky, so we could only guess about the reasons for the delay.
The landing was announced unexpectedly. The Dominican policeman opened the gate that went directly onto the airfield, and, with a finger at the only flying machine, announced: “Haiti”. The plane was small, cigar-shaped. Its engines roared like two mind-blowing child aircraft models. I boarded aboard and took seat 1B, right behind the cockpit. The door there was wide open. Leaning back in their seats, both pilots calmly drank Coca-Cola. “Monsieur?” One of them handed me a glass. We had a drink. “Oh, Monsieur of a cocacolist!” – those who treated the guests in French or in English noted approvingly. Then the door slammed, the “aggregate” trembled finely, quickly ran along the take-off concrete and jumped into the sky. In the porthole flashed yellow and green rectangles of the fields, closely matching the outskirts of the big city. Then the Dominican capital itself flashed down a mottled spot and disappeared into the greenery … For some reason, the pilots laughed all the time, and in the cabin, on the contrary, deathly silence reigned. It was felt even through the already mentioned hysterical screech of motors. I looked back from my 1B into the aisle. The faces of the passengers acquired a stone expression. At 24 seats sat two dozen people. They could be divided into two equal categories without any conventions. The first was the color of a corrupt Haitian bureaucracy. The second – frightened, but already managed to sunbathe under the Dominican sun workers of European humanitarian organizations who were traveling to save an unfamiliar country. God save them, they looked bad.
It was a daily morning flight from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince, from one eastern end of a small island to the other. We had to get in such a roundabout way not from pampering: the Republic of Haiti is not the most easily accessible place on the map. Regular flights there from “far abroad” can be counted on the fingers.
Judging by the schedule, a short intrasular flight should have taken less than half an hour. I sat and looked out the window. At one point, looking up from the glass, I saw how both helms, left unattended, like in a good horror movie, jerk limply from side to side. Both pilots paid no attention to them. Bowing to each other, they counted American dollars on their knees and shoved them into two envelopes. The pack was thick and melted very slowly. The plane was on autopilot …
All this told me one thing – even if the Dominican Republic still continued down there, here, above, Haiti long ago came. And I, a person from place 1B, could feel this metamorphosis like no one else in the whole plane. My mood was funny and stupid. I finished Coca-Cola, unfastened my seat belt and buried myself in the dirty window.