Smell No Taste

‘Smell No Taste’, Liberia – courtesy: tageo.com

When I came back from India in early Jan, the airline lost my luggage and I had to make multiple trips to the airport to get it. The airport is 25 miles away from the city center, a significant distance for a country with bad roads. On one of these trips to the airport, feeling very frustrated with the distance, I asked our driver, ‘Alfred, why in the world is the airport so far away from city?’ Alfred told me that in World War II, Liberia was an important base for the american troops and the area near the airport was used by US navy to land troops and supplies. The airport was built near the US military base.

After this brief history lesson, Alfred continued on. He told me that during the construction of the airport and the military base, a large number of natives came in search of jobs and settled near the base. He told me how the US military and its supporting staff would get their rations and imported goods and would cook delicious meals. The appetizing smell of the food would fill the air and waft all around the base. Around the base, lived the ill-fed, starving natives. The natives got to smell all the delicious food but never really got to taste any of it. Hence, the natives’ community got the name –

‘ Smell No Taste’.

Today, more than half a century after the end of World War II, the american military base is long gone but you can still find the ‘Smell No Taste’ community just outside the airport.

Kapil

P:S: Read more details at – http://www.africawithin.com/tour/liberia/relations.htm

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