I drew South America on the map for him and told him that Brazil, too, had been a Portuguese colony. Hao began making some connections, thinking of Macau, the tiny formerly Portuguese enclave near Hong Kong.
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“Son of a bitch,” he exclaimed. “You wonder how the fuck little countries like Portugal controlled so many big, faraway countries. It’s just like the way the Europeans carved up China, I suppose.” After a pause, he asked: “Where is America?”
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I sketched North America onto my crude and now crowded map. Hao had always assumed that it was part of Europe.
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Hao’s geographic curiosity waned and the conversation shifted back to his African ambitions, which apparently went far beyond his farm. “I’ve got lots of other plans, lots of projects,” he said. “1 want to open a beverage factory. I want to produce tea for sale and for export that will be grown on our own land.” There was talk about building a charcoal-processing factory, for which he had already broken ground, 120 miles to the north. It would produce honeycombed braziers for cooking. At first, he said, these would be sold only in Mozambique. but later the export potential back to China, and perhaps around the world, would be very great.