It's A Great Time To Be A PirateWe challenge you to come up with a more badass job to have than Somali Pirate. You cannot come up with one! Except for the fact of living in a war-torn penniless country and taking your life in your hands on the high seas with no guarantee of success or mercy, it is just about the awesomest line of work ever. A million dollars in a single day? Piracy is the I-banking of a new generation! Easy money!
In Somalia, it seems, crime does pay. Actually, it is one of the few industries that does. “All you need is three guys and a little boat, and the next day you’re millionaires,” said Abdullahi Omar Qawden, a former captain in Somalia’s long-defunct navy.
Easy drugs!
Pirates are now at the top of the town's social class, the only ones with money for Western-made cigarettes and fancy cellphones. Known by nicknames such as "Superman" or "Flying Squad," they spend their free time drunk or high on khat.
Easy women!
Flush with cash, the pirates drive the biggest cars, run many of the town’s businesses — like hotels — and throw the best parties, residents say. Fatuma Abdul Kadir said she went to a pirate wedding in July that lasted two days, with nonstop dancing and goat meat, and a band flown in from neighboring Djibouti. “It was wonderful,” said Ms. Fatuma, 21. “I’m now dating a pirate.”
And reporting on the pirates is just as fun. Let's play, who has a bigger dick? The LAT:
Reporting from Haradhere, Somalia, and Nairobi, Kenya — Straddling a wooden crate filled with $1 million in cash ransom, a cranky old pirate bellows names from a notebook as his anxious, bleary-eyed minions lean against the stone walls of their cramped hide-out.
Or the NYT:
BOOSAASO, Somalia — This may be one of the most dangerous towns in Somalia, a place where you can get kidnapped faster than you can wipe the sweat off your brow... Reporting in Boosaaso two weeks ago required no fewer than 10 hired gunmen provided by the Puntland government to discourage any would-be kidnappers.
Either way, these pirates have a great PR guy. How long before the first laid-off young Lehman Bros. bankers start turning up in Somalia? We'll give it three months. [Pic via]