So one week in . . . Well, today we just chilled at the house most of the day. We went shopping at Bellas Shopping Centre after finding both Fresca and Shoprite to the North closed. Bellas is amongst Talatona, the really new cluster housing complex area. With a proper suburb feel and all, except that everything has 8 foot high walls with guards and security fences. So, not much of a truly neighbourhood feel, but close enough. The houses here are really nice, think golf course type estates and you a good idea. They all pretty much have tennis courts, swimming pools and garden areas.
A general market scene somewhere in Luanda!
There is a Shoprite in Bellas, hence the reason for the journey. Also so I could have a butchers (look). Bellas is located literally in the same general area as the departure point for Mussulo, so the route taken to get there was very similar. This time however was much quicker. Must b a Sunday thing I reckon. Bellas is truly mind blowing. Not that it is anything spectacular design wise, but dynamics wise it is fascinating. There are loads of people there, yet the general area doesn’t appear to be the same. The shops are really fancy and if you step back and think that 10 minutes ago you were passing through the outskirts of town, being complete slums and shacks and shanty towns, here you enter an “upper class” haven of shops, MacDonalds rip-offs, movie theatres, and then a Shoprite on the one side. Think Game at Canal Walk! Truly mind boggling stuff. Shoprite is exaclt the same as back home in Cape Town, with pretty much the same items for sale, just at seriously inflated prices. I reckon these guys are laughing up here! The queues were mental and once again we were stuck for half-an-hour waiting to pay. That however would be due to the Trainee cashier we had! Bummer!
We saw a little bit of excitement during the day when some chick rear ended a white guy in a 4×4 Double Cab right in front of our casa. She then proceeded to scream and shout at him. He however wasn’t going to have any of it, and as soon as the road was clear in front of him he pulled away. She tried blocking his way and almost got run over as he kept moving forward and she was standing in front of his vehicle. When she started hitting his bonnet he had had enough of being polite, so put foot. She was literally on the back foot and we expected to see her go under at any second, but she wisely moved at the last moment and he sped away down the road. Some dude in a car travelling the other way, jumped out, pulled out a gun, and let a round go into the air as the bakkie drive down the road. Man, quite entertaining. Definitely the Wild West here! Well the police arrived later, but not before the traffic warden had promptly fucked up all the traffic in the area, so it was just chaos. Anyway, we didn’t see the rest as it was down the road from us. But still . . . a bit of light Sunday action. 🙂
Anyway, so one week. Hmmm, quite a lot to take in for a beginner, and now time to put my thoughts in order. So thus far, Luanda is a fascinating place. A real diversity from the wealth of the expats to the slums of locals on the outskirts. The incredible development going on everywhere with buildings going up in leaps and bounds. The complete and utter lack of infrastructure and support for the locals. The super inflated housing prices, and unbelievably expensive restaurants and general shops. The number of seriously fancy 4x4s on the road, Range Rover Sports’, Toyota Land Cruiser’s, BMW 4.8is X5’s, Mercedes ML65 AMG’s, Land Rover Discovery’s, Double Cabs, etc, etc, etc. It is truly unreal to see these guys driving around in these vehicles, yet the drivers don’t typically live in fancy houses, but rather slums or very middle class flats. The friendliness of the locals in general (my limited experience of them that is), the weirdness of seeing all these black people speaking Porra, and then the general lack of concern for the surroundings and environment, to the overall relaxed party attitude.
Definitely a lot to take in, but as I begin to get more used to life here, and fit in and make more friends and travel and take loads of photos (when I come back with my proper camera), I will be able to explain and elaborate on my thoughts of my surroundings and experiences of my interactions with the locals and various other people.
Well, that’s it for now. Tomorrow is another day – as they say!
Easy Going Guy 😉