Living in the OZ

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I am still coming to terms with harsh truths that were delivered to me. Sometimes I just want to give up and leave, but where can I go?

I can't leave my job till I get a new one. I can't look for a new job so soon after starting my first job. I neither have time or the energy to look for a job anyway.

I can't move to different place as I have put a huge dent in my pockets trying to get this room liveable. It would be very hard to find anything decent with affordable rent in this area. There is also danger of living alone in an unknown place.

I console to myself. 'Alice at least you know the people here and no matter what Sam says they are nice enough. For now at least I have Sam's dubious protection. I will use it till it lasts. Meanwhile I will make my own friends. I am still an outsider but it would not take long for me to be one of their own.

Sam might be a Lion King of this jungle and I might be just a scared little field mouse, but I will slowly but surely break away all the obstacles that stand between me and my goals, with my hands, nails and teeth if I have too.

Even a Lion might need help from a little field mouse.

My name is Alice not Dorothy, but somehow 'I am not in Kansas anymore. I am now living in OZ.'

Like OZ this place is bright and colourful and like Dorothy I want to go home back to Kansas.

But that's where the similarity ends. I know there is no Wizard of OZ. If someone comes claiming to be the Wizard then he is definitely a fake. I can't see any yellow brick road to follow. Instead this place is a giant maze, where a person will get lost and hurt. I don't have any red shoes which I can tap together to take me home. In fact I don't even have a home to go to. So I will be living in OZ for a foreseeable future.

This is a war. War for my survival. Loosing is not an option.

So I formulate a plan or strategy. My strategy is to get more allies and friends. To know my enemies and convert them in friends if possible. Clean and simple.

I begin my first step to win this war by starting a recon campaign.

Finding things about people is not easy even in normal setting. This place is anything but normal.

My first source of information is Alex. I already know that Alex is the biggest gossip in this area. I see him often enough sitting in his cab waiting for clients in various places.

Alex is romantic at heart. He is in love with girl named Monique who works in the streets. He is trying to convince her to leave the work and come and live with him. He needs to earn more money so that he can keep her in style.

Currently he is not able to save much money at all as he is giving all his money to her. He is her regular client. She is really good girl and would stop working the street if she can.

I don't have a heart to tell Alex that Monique is just taking him for a ride. She says she loves him because she does not want to lose her regular client. This is a place where friendships, relationships and even love are offered as a trade.

He continues to tell me about himself and his dreams for the future. He is from Bangladesh. His real name is Akram which he anglicised to Alex.

How can he speak English so well if he is from Bangladesh?

He graduated in English major in his country. He even worked in one of the news publishing company as an assistant reporter. However his wedges were so low that he was barely able to survive. He migrated here 2 years ago in hopes of better future.

After coming here he found that his English knowledge was not good enough and he had to become a cabbie.

At the beginning he used to work for a big cab company. The company used to take large chunk of his earnings in fees and charges.

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