Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Stories of Hojam, the man from South-central has been told independently but today I'd like to write a bit more about him as his stories are worth reading like many people that I write about! 
Hojam, according to him, came form Indonesia or Malaysia, I can't recall really well but I guess it was the first one, as a refugee to Canada years ago. He's a lazy fucked up guy from a small town in that part of the old country who after years of living here never had a real job. Or maybe better to put it this way: Never had a job that a guy has balls for! For the first few years he survived based on taxes of people such as me, may be not years but of course at the beginning. Then somehow ended up knowing The Microbe and his partner and started working for them in their business. The reasons he actually worked there were a few, including but not limited to the following, at least to the best of my knowledge:

1- He didn't have to wake up early. So for a fucked up loser, lozy guy such as him, that was a perfect job! 

2- The Microbe let him stay with him without charging him a Penny for rent and lent his old garbage Mercedes so the guy can have a bit of fun. He was pretty generous to people at time. I guess he even paid for a prostitute for him once, but I cannot be sure. 

3- It was only 5 minutes drive to the business so again a fucking lazy guy such as Hojam will be so happy to do the job. He doesn't have to pay for transit or stay in the cold waiting for the bus or train to come and at times he gets the chance to either drive the fucked up Mercedes or the business's Van. I'd like to mention here that The Microbe was a Mercedes-lover, maybe he still is. He had two fucked up old damaged Mercedes that I even drove one of them once. I was such a heavy car that you would feel that you need to push it to move! The other one was just an ornament to show off, sitting on the street, attracting dust and birds' poo! As he was a washed up loser like Hojam, he never enjoyed nice and clean vehicles and had bough that garbage, the running one, according to him, in a police auction in Saskatchewan, most probably in Saskatoon. He was so proud of that and used to say off and on that the car had pullet marks in the back! 

4- He barely spent any money on food when he stayed with The Microbe, even after that. His food was mainly consisted of old, burnt portions of a type of bread that he obtained for free, cheap Hot Dog, the ones which are made of corn starch and slaughterhouse left-overs (...well most of them are made that way! but there are really cheap ones that you can buy, I guess for $2 a pack and survive on that for a week, maybe!) from Superstore or other bargain stores, most often No Name brand, Yogurt Drink that he made himself and at times stolen items that The Microbe had bought form the people he knew! 
Now there are two interesting points here: 
  • Hojam was, and I assume still is, excellent at making Yogurt Drink, a traditional Iranian drink which is also popular in other countries. The closest product to it in the West would be Butter Milk but I found Iranian Yogurt Drink, especially the one that The Lady and Hojam make, more appealing and tastier, especially because the one from The Lady usually contains herbs. 
  • The Microbe had this addiction of buying used items. His love of life was going to Garage Sales on weekend and sweep whatever available. He also loved auctions. We attended one together once and I still have cheap, low quality items I bought from there(!) The other source of purchases for him was not The Shopping Chanel(!) it was the thieves or the thieves' partners who would meet him and enter negotiations about the items they had stolen or their partners had done. Once he called me at work and left a message regarding a pair of boots that someone had brought him! I telephoned him after work which was probably after 6 hours of his original call! He sounded very pissed off and said that the item had been gone in the morning. A few times when I was at Hojam's I realized rotten, outdated or other types of old and bad foods that, I think he said, The Microbe had given him or something similar to that. Soda of different kind was another favorite food(!) of him. I used to see big ass bottles of different brands in his refrigerator which we know they come very cheap and they give good calories to move. 
Anyways Hojam didn't last long in The Microbe's place neither within his business and moved out and settled down in a Lebanese guy's basement, whom he knew through, probably one of the business guys, his co-workers. He and The Microbe had several times and arguments occasionally and that led him to make that decision. But that was not the end of his miseries. Now he had to pay rent but the Lebanese old timer was smart. He would go down in to the basement early morning when Hojam was still sleep and would turn the furnace down! Hojam would then wake up in a few minutes and sit in sadness and awe! You can imagine how frustrating that could be. I happen not to be able to sleep from cold but have never waken up from cold but that should feel the same! I met with him in that basement a few times and it was not actually very bad. He invited a few of us over for dinner and he made this fantastic, well I don't know if I should say because that will reveal his identity, local Salad and that would be always in perfection. We were happy and he seemed not too be very bad but thing got worse later.

I ran into trouble and made a wrong, overall a wrong one, decision and moved out of the Province and he ended up in an Afghan's place which didn't have to pay any rent. That, of course was the time that the guy was on a long trip. Then he decided to have some fun and I guess he made that decision because he had made his mind to leave the country for good. He crossed the border by his vehicle and took a long trip to the States. He didn't tell me much about his trip but I assume that he slept in his car most if not every night that he was there. He crossed into the States from Montana border and that was where, according to him, the border guys held him for 5 hours! One of the interesting things that he told me was that the US border officers made a copy of his telephone book! As well they made a copy of the sketches that he had in his glove box. Hojam is a good mechanic. He had sketches of the body of different vehicles, his designs, that he liked to make to his car one day. They must have though that was a way to hide explosives or smuggle items. He was questioned two times by two different officer and he though that their intention was to double check on him to see if he provides the same answers or not. he drove to Texas and from there to Washington and then New York, Toronto and finally back to Calgary. This is what he told me without giving any detail but what part is true and what part is not, I can't really say. Although he was an honest guy but he, like many others liked to, at times, hide things or twist them.
By the time he was back, he was ready to go to the old country, for the first time after he had sought asylum in Canada and most probably with the intention not to come back. There was a rumor at the time and I'm not sure who told me that, that he had some $20,000 saved from all these years of hard work, not paying rent, not eating food and not buying any cloths and that money had been given to him either by The Microbe or his partner, or maybe both as his wages and even part of it, up front. I don't know how true that is and how much he really had in hand when he was leaving but it's clear that he didn't want to go back empty handed after almost 7 years. He would be embarrassed in front of the entire family, relatives and the the entire town. People look at you differently when you come from abroad, specifically in small towns that people are deprived of the basics of life, forget about entertainment or anything else.
According to The Chef he started buying properties including stores and lots in different cities and towns and investing here and there. At the same time he pretended that his investments went in vein and in fact he lost most of his money! He probably did that for two reasons:

  • No one can expect any help from him.
  • He could buy pity from people so he could beg for more! 
His relationship with The Microbe was not as strong in the last years but kept a good connection, although he pretended he had not done it, with The Microbe's partner from their mutual business, whom I would like to name him here The Fertilizer! The guy apparently laid him off so he could apply for E. I. and then collecting it when was abroad! At the same time he didn't pay the taxes which saved him a lot, I guess. Here again I can really not confirm anything. Although that was the plan but I don't know whether it worked or not because I guess he told me once that the guy who was supposed to apply for E. I. in regular basis, missed it and screwed everything up. But that could be another lies from him. The Chef truly believes that he owns several properties in the old country now, collecting rents and making buildings and all sorts of good businesses! He also believes that the strong relationship between The Fertilizer and Hojam is still in effect. 
I only saw him a few times after I moved back to Calgary then he disappeared and I learnt through The Chef that he had gone back. 
The last part of the story is really interesting: This guy apparently thought that he was a smart cookie so he tried to make more money by buying four used cars and shipping them to the old country. The cars were sent to Dubai so they could be shipped to Bandar-e-Abbas and then anywhere in the country but the trouble started when he was notified that the vehicles could not leave Dubai unless they are disassembles and shipped as spare parts! I guess that is due to the sanctions! This must have been really bad and I don't know how this guy is going to resolve this issue and if he did would there be any profit out of this transaction?! 
The latest news, according to The Chef, is that Hojam has recently asked The Chef's brother to purchase him a ferry ticket to Dubai so he can go and investigate! The Chef has sent green light to his brother to book a seat for him and has guaranteed that he would pay for that but he told me that he didn't feel good about it. Not that he cannot trust Hojam but he didn't find it right for Hojam to ask for the ticket from the brother.
So This is the guy who have been trying hard to earn money in the past 8 years I know him. He has no talent, he's lazy and he's stupid and he always wants to earn money the easiest way but by going around the law or cutting costs, borrowing and ways such as these but that's him, Hojam. He still owes me money, I guess some $700 in account of the rent that I had paid and he stayed on my behalf. I called his number and I heard the message that the he was unavailable so I asked for his number from The Chef and he could not find it or didn't want to give it to me. I, then, e-mailed me and this time gave me a cellular number (I could tell by looking at the area code) meaning that he's doing well. The last number I had from him and he had given it voluntarily was a land-line. He added that he would probably never go back to Canada! I didn't ask for the money but if he shows up, which is not impossible, I will discuss that with him and will probably blackmail him too, if there will be a need. 
Hojam is The Chef's idol! Probably many more's, especially in the old country, in his small town. He keeps saying that the guy used to make $7000 a month! I know he worked as delivery guy 7 days a week but find it hard to believe that he made that much in a month! He was staying in another Afghan guy's place for free in the past months he was here but he never told us how he finds these free places to stay at! His closest friend whom I met once or twice is a drunk, fool, drug addict who has a wife and daughter and used to work in a restaurant as a manager making $3000 a month, according to Hojam and The Chef but then the restaurant's ownership was transferred to another guy and the new owner kicked him out. Neither Hojam nor The Chef ever said why he was kicked out and why he had to do delivery to manage his expenses, not being able to find a similar job in another restaurant after years of working and gaining experience in the industry. The reason for that could be many but I'm going to name them as, to me, being a drunk, addict, fool who probably cheats on his wife with prostitutes, has no value, smokes weed at that age and makes up story to get money from people. His last trick was making this story that his mother had Cancer and asked The Chef to lend him $20,000 or so! The funny thing, maybe not very funny, is Hojam supported him and asked The Chef to provide the money through a Line of Credit. He refused and hasn't seen him after that. The guy never returned the $60 that The Chef had given him to purchase something with! Hojam and the guy are very close seemingly. They even work together so it's obvious that he supports him but to screw his other friend?! That's not acceptable. 
This is a short story of the fucked up people who came to this part of the world to make a better life and as some have no dignity, ethics and morale, they use any possible way to manage their life and make money. In a Capitalism society which freedom is limitless, people who have come from the backgrounds which all sorts of restrictions had been always upon them, find themselves in a paradise that they think should use every second of it to gain what they want: Pleasure. This might mean different things for different individuals. For Hojam it's been always money, no matter how it's earned. For that Fat Fuck friend of his, it's Weed, Alcohol and at times maybe a poor prostitute that he can screw. That's how it is and they can't be changed or corrected. That's why I now if I get the chance I'll get that $700 or at least part of it back from him. Now that I know he does everything to earn money, I also know that there will not be hard to make that $700 that he owes me because for him it doesn't matter how the money is earned. It should simply be earned. 
(Photo: Statue of Shapur I is one of the tourist attraction of Kazerun, a city in south of Iran. Hojam is originally from a small village in the area, although these days everyone is leaving the villages to live in a major city. I think he lives in Shiraz which is the capital city of Fars Province where Kazerun also is part of it)

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