Giorgis’s travels: The incredible adventure…Part Iv

About Eritrea - Art & Sport

Giorgis was devastated by what happened to him and his friend. “I thought they would throw us to the sea, but I was surprised to find the captain of the ship ordering his staff to take good care of us and feed us until they take us back to where we came from”. The ship crossed the Suez Canal and finally threw its anchor at port Seid for a ten-day stay in Egypt.


As soon as they arrived there, the captain and some of the Dutch marines took Giorgis and Tekle to the Egyptian immigration police for a brief interrogation. While doing all these, Giorgis and his friend were still thinking of escaping again and disappearing from the custody of the Dutch marines. Exactly when they were both brought back to the ship from their interrogation, Giorgis jumped to the sea, trying not to catch any attention from around him.

“On our way back from the immigration, I noticed a white British ship docked right opposite to the Dutch ship and my intention was to swim and hide in that ship. But still, I was so unfortunate that a man from the British ship heard a splash and saw me swimming, which made him shout loud calling more people”. The captain of the ship was so mad he didn’t know what to say to Giorgis and ordered a lockup until they passed Malaga of Spain.

Crossing the Mediterranean Sea from port Seid of Egypt to Malaga of Spain was around 4,380 kilometers long and Giorgis was locked up all the way through until they left Malaga and began the long cruise of around 7,000 kilometers crossing the Atlantic Ocean to New York. “They set me free when we left Malaga knowing that I could go nowhere. And of course I couldn’t. In fact I experienced the scariest storm in the middle of the ocean”.

Following ups and downs of the ocean storm, the ship concluded its journey to the United States. They could see the Statue of Liberty from afar; they arrived in New York. Before they made the port call, the captain had already passed strict order to his staff so as not to let their eyes off the two travelers, especially Giorgis who made an attempt in Egypt. The ship was docked in between two warehouses, one for unloading and the other for shipment of new cargo.

The ship was scheduled to stay for exactly 10 days in New York before it went to California. “I was stunned at the sight of the city of New York. I never saw anything like that in my life. It was a big city with gigantic and sky towering buildings. I didn’t want to just sit and enjoy the sight. I wanted to breakout but I had to find a mechanism.” Both of them were under close surveillance, especially Giorgis with his previous attempt and relatively fast personality.

The ship crew was busy visiting places in New York and having fun for their 10 days stay but they still left at least one person to watch the two of them. Giorgis started hatching a plot for their escape. “I could see that the marines couldn’t let their eyes off of me. Then I told Tekle to make some move so as to divert the attention and try to use the opportunity if he gets one.” Tekle agreed to do so and asked the guard if he could let him use the bathroom. He was the least suspected and nobody expected him to runaway. The guard told Tekle to make it quick and let him go to the restroom. Five minutes went by and then another 15 minutes. The guard started panicking.

"Where is your friend?" he asked me and I said I don’t know”. The watchman alerted everyone on the ship and they went to look for him and ordered Giorgis not to move an inch. The moment they left, Giorgis also manipulated the event, which went according to his plan and he ran away the other direction.

“I was running for a new beginning. If I get caught then what I had done that far would be meaningless and if I made it that would be a triumph. I ran like an athlete amid the employees of the warehouses, through a path that leads to the city on the other end of the store. I was amazed because the employees just looked at me and did not even try to catch me and the three marines running after me from a distance didn’t ask anyone to stop me”.

Giorgis made it to the city's main streets and kept on running, while the marines were still following him with one of them narrowing the distance between them. He was exhausted and needed a place for a hideout before he could get caught. Fortunately, Giorgis saw a big gate that led to a company building; he sneaked in and crawled under a red ford pickup without being noticed. Moments later, the marines came and asked the watchman of the building if he had seen anyone get into the premises. But the watchman didn’t happen to see Giorgis go inside; so the search crew had to return to their ship.

It was a little past four in the afternoon hours and Giorgis decided to stay put under the car until the search crew disappeared. After an hour or so, Giorgis decided to make yet another move so as to be as far away as possible from the port area. He crawled to the front side of the car and lifted his head to secure the perimeter. It was all clear and calm, but the gates were closed; the watchman had gone and Giorgis didn’t know what to do, because the gate was the only way out of the premises.

…To Be Continued