Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Hibakusha Free State

A dream of Africa from last night:

My friend H and I find ourselves confronted with a map of Africa. There are only a few names printed on it, we are to come up with the names of all the countries. At fourteen, I wouldn't have hesitated, now we have to guess a lot. We start at the east coast, south of Somalia, with Tanzania and Mocambique.
Then there's a rather large country with a free state, named Hibakusha, in the middle. Liberia? No, no, I know where Liberia really is. Big country encompassing Hibakusha Free State? I have no idea. H produces the name, but I can't hear it properly, and don't ask for it, as we move on to the next one, between South Africa and Congo Kinshasa.
Again, I can't remember the name. We are told by a third person it's Zambia. That puzzles me: it's five times bigger than Zambia should be. And where is Zimbabwe on this map? The borders seem to have changed.
South Africa is easy, we pass over it more or less without a mention. And then, on the west coast, which one is that again? We get a hint from the third person: the misty mountains with gorillas. We hesitate. Namibia. I have a feeling something's fishy, those rain forests should be a long way up north, shouldn't they? Oh well. Angola is next.

[Madagascar is missing from the map, but in the dream I don't pay attention to that. And although Zambia is somewhat enlarged and the shape a bit distorted, the dream-me had actually mixed up Zimbabwe and Zambia, while the third person's information in that case was more accurate.]

/ IÖ

1 comment:

NN said...

In a translation project I recently stumbled upon a slightly similar name, Abeokuta, a city in the SW of Nigeria which originated as a hiding place from slave-raiderrs and became "a free confederacy of many distinct groups, each preserving the traditional customs, religious rites and even the very names of their original villages". (Wikipedia)