Vorenus: Today, troops seized control of a major port, after a dispute over docking fees in which managers demanded that foreign shipping lines pay all fees in cash directly to them, rather than depositing the money with the central government. People are rioting in the streets around the port in protest and counter-protest. It boils down to the province wanting more autonomy than the central government will allow. The citizens are probably right that the central government can’t be trusted with the money, but I don’t think the local port managers are any better. And that’s just in one city. To make things more complicated, in the poorer sections of the capital, people have begun sacking bars and brothels to protest drunkenness and whoring, and are blocking the streets with the flaming wreckage.
Pullo: That’s completely insane.
Vorenus: Seems more like a return to normalcy to me. October is a big month for violent protests here.
Pullo: If it’s any consolation, the people in charge here are also completely nuts. They’ve just refused to provide medicine to poor, sick children, and they also renewed “Big Bang Theory.”
Vorenus: I read the reports from your country. I know it’s going down the tubes. What surprises me is that nobody’s rioting in the streets or taking over the ports. At least here, people know how to express their righteous indignation.
Pullo: It’s true. Here, people are just hoping the new consul will fix everything in two years. But the problems we face aren’t entirely the current consul’s fault. Many of them are systemic, and he just exposed them and twisted them to his advantage. I fear what will happen when people begin to see that a new consul can’t immediately undo all the damage of the past eight years.