P. 5

talk, look at postcards and souvenirs, at the many street vendors lined up along

                   the boardwalk, or snatches photographs for the photo album.
                     When the guide and her band of elders leaves, it will take some hours before the

                   bus stop is filled with tourist buses again. There is a much-needed break at the

                   seafront between 17:00 and 19:00. The city-guests return to their respective
                   lodgings to rest, love, bathe and change into more appropriate evening dresses.

                   From 7pm it all starts again - the human crowd, the queues at the restaurants

                   and not least at the main attraction, the Ferris wheel, which will be illuminated
                   with hundreds of lamps. From the top of the wheel you have a view of a radius of

                   at least forty kilometres.
                     Eik looks impatiently across the square. Then he takes the mechanical doll,

                   turns it off and counts the coins thrown on the bag for a total of 3 pounds and 8

                     "I'll save the money and buy some beers for when we get back. There is nothing

                   left for us to do in the next couple of hours, let's go home and eat.”

                   Eik is the dense, solid type, as if he were carved in stone. The face is square with
                   two always-flickering eyes, and his black hair is styled to look like John Travolta,

                   who is his big idol. He is wearing a white T-shirt, blue, worn denim jeans and a
                   pair of ragged rubber shoes on his feet.

                     "George!" He calls out. “Are you going home to The Painter to eat, or are you

                   going with me to help me drag items to my parents’ house? I have to do it today.
                   You can dine with us."

                     "Then I'll call dad once we get to your place."

                   George's father, The Painter with whom he’s been living with - alone, hasn’t even
                   noticed that George has turned ten, and in many ways, is still treated like a little


                     “George, come here. We'll share the money my dad gives us. See you in a couple
                   of hours,” Eik says, and George and he start walking along the boardwalk in the

                   opposite direction - away from the tourist area.

                     “See ya,” says the malnourished Matt, disappearing into the crowd with the
                   plastic bag and the doll under his arm.

                     At the exclusive Hilton Metropolis hotel not far from here, Richard Hove and his
                   young Jamaican wife Jeanett Hove and their ten-year-old son Tom are finishing
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