Tag Archives: expensive

Back on Land – Launda

Bummed! 🙁

Well here I am back on dry land. The flight back from the Rig was fine, and direct, which made a change to having to route via Soyo. This we were told when the pilots arrived on board with the inbound flight. They said the Wind was good and they still had enough fuel, so it was good to go. Great. Just a quick 1h30 flight, and we were back in Luanda.

2008-06 04 - Lunch CGI

My R 135.00 Lunch!

Got take-aways today, we do this every now and again. I just couldn’t resist this though. This was lunch from a few days ago. There is some steak, chips, and egg, rice and a bit of coleslaw, along with a Sprite, and 2 x Pastis de Nata. Nice. All this for a mere 135 Bucks, and I am talking South African Rands! Yeah 1350 Kwanzas. Okay, fair play that is one of the more expensive meals, but that is the general quantity and quality of food you get over here. Pretty mental huh?

Weather has been cooler now, but I have also been told that apparently this is their dry season.  Winter the dry season, so more in line with JHB weather. Which kinda makes sense I guess.

Hopefully getting out another rig next week for another site visit. The Sedco Express, which is more of a platform than a rig vessel, though it does move around. Do a  search on Google Images for pictures of it.

Hopefully that means I get to do a bit of the living large bit, travelling by chopper and all, otherwise, I guess I will have to hang around here with the rest of the landlubbers and minions.

Click.

Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Life

Warren, Another Braai, Bellas – Luanda!

So, weekend has finally arrived. Thank goodness! The last 2 days have been seriously long and hectic with this bloody FPSO network DHCP issue! 2 Long Nights, and long day on Saturday! 🙁

Rubbish - 01

A typical roadside scene of rubbish everywhere.

Warren, a new engineer arrived on Saturday, and I went straight from work to pick him up. Sly and I were still dealing with this DHCP issue. After two 16 hour days, we found ourselves back at work at 09h on Sat! Not fun!

Warren is from Namibia, though previously from Cape Town. He has worked in Zambia, Mauritania and a few other countries in Africa, so should handle Angola just fine. He seems like a nice dude, having met him briefly at DD in CPT when I was there. He has just been on IPT training, so hopefully he can add some more support to our environment, though he is actually here for another project. An IPT project. Surprise, Surprise!

We celebrated with another braai, of which Blythe pulled in with another dude Bradley, who is managing the cabling of the new BP building. Also a fellow Capetonian. Cool!

More good meat, and more G&T’s! 🙂

Another late night followed by an early morning. We were planning on getting out to Mussulo, but it didn’t happen due to the rain. It had been raining the entire night before, on and off of course, and Blythe cancelled the trip due the chaos that would ultimately ensue on the roads.

We (Sly, Warren and myself) headed out to Bellas to go shopping, and do a bit of looking and grab a late-ish lunch. We headed through to Shoprite to change a bit of cash. However Shoprite Cambio was closed. Man, this was bad, as we had a sum total of about  4000 Kz between us for lunch, as the chick there did say that if the Cambio was closed, they would take Dollars at the checkout counter. R400?? Man, that’s plenty! Wrong! That’ll get like 3 of us a roll and a coke each! We checked out the prices at Portugalia, and figured we could get 3 burgers, and 3 drinks and have about 400kz left over. Yeah, 1000kz per burger and about 200kz per soft drink. Uh, yes, that is R100 per burger!!! 🙁

So I ordered, which once again was a bit of a farce as the dude didn’t speak English, and had to get the chick doing the drinks to help him out. After waiting at our table for about 30 mins for our food, we were now really, really impatient. I had already checked about 4 times for our food. As I was bored I checked through the receipt again, and noticed that we had only been charged 500kz per burger. “Hang on a sec, that doesn’t make sense!”

I went back to the counter and checked out the menu again. We had “Burger no Pao” printed on our receipt. What the f#ck?? Burger NO roll!! How the hell do you have a burger with no roll?? Haha. Quality. Only in Luanda I guess. Or maybe it is a Porra thing. Anyway, it took about 10 minutes to explain the issue, and eventually I got it sorted. Our food however had still not arrived. Ten minutes later it, the burgers arrived. Sonder “Pao”!! Man, this was a joke. It took me another 10 minutes to of waiting at the counter to get our rolls. Man, what a joke. I won’t be back here on a Sunday!! Carnage!

We got back to Shoprite, to find the Cambio open again. Obviously the chick had gone for lunch. I was seriously miffed, as had we had more cash, we could have gone elsewhere for lunch. Bummed! Well,the burger did the trick anyway, and we did a big shop and bought a tub of ice cream, at R79 a small tub. It’s just wrong!

Chilled that eve and got to bed fairly early. In preparation for another long week, still trying to fix the DHCP issue.

Bummed.

Click.

Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Life

Friday = BRAAI – Luanda – Day 6!!

So today I worked from home as I had a meeting with Tonie and Barrie and it just made sense to stay here and not really have to bother about going to the office. Especially with the traffic as always. Shame though as Maria was on her own pretty much as Sly was off, on the FPSO, and I wasn’t there.

Sly has headed off to the FPSO to do a bit of work. Man, lucky bugger. The FPSO is an Offshore Floating Refinery. Think of an oil rig, just on a ship, and then a whole lot more. If any of you remember seeing that massive ship in Cape Town Harbour a few months ago that looked like a city at night due to being lit up like a christmas tree with loads of pirpes everywhere?? Well, that was an FPSO, and BP currently has the biggest in teh world, afaik, and it is a few hundred kms from where I sit right now. And Sly has just gone there! Man, green with envy!! I have given him my camera, so hopefully he’ll get a few decent shots for me. Hence the lack of pictures since yesterday. It does however mean I’ll be without camera this weekend. He reckons he’ll be back tomorrow, but after having heard Maria’s story about her visit, Bradley and myself have a bet going that he’ll only be back on Tuesday. 🙂

So Barrie and I went shopping at Casa dos Freshca (I think) and landed a massive bill for literally one trolley load of food. Man it was insane. A kilo of Fillet will set you back around R450!! We got a load of various meat, soft drinks and the usual party stuff. I can’t quite remember the final amount, but all I remember thinking is that I’ll never worry about over-spending on a braai back in Cape Town ever again.

Luckily for me I got my RPC over HTTP for Outlook working before I left Cape Town, and it has been a massive benefit ever since. It basically enables me to connect directly to the exchange sever in the office over the open Internet without having to use a VPN, or Outlook Web Access. And let me tell you, that’s a massive benefit.

Day 6 - Braai Time

Movement around the table – Dinner is served!

So, back to the braai . . . well, we were expecting quite a few people, a few of the big wigs from the BP DCT team, and then a couple of the ladies too, well so the lads said, as they have invited them. But actually, at the end of the day, Only Maria, with her husband, who doesn’t speak much Porra, and Nina pitched, along with Blythe on his own, as Ash left this morning.  It was an entertaining evening, with me getting a lesson from Nina in some local dance technique, but to me it was virtually the same as windsurfing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokkie in a way). So she was quite impressed that I was already fairly good. Well, I was just as suprised as I typically don’t windsurf. The fillet was awesome and the food turned out really well, thanks to Chef Barrie! There was plenty food left and the evening turned out just right. Probably a good thing the rest never turned up, as it was small and contained and really entertaining.

I let the team down and headed to bed early. Just been really tired the entire week, and think it must also have something to do with my chest (still having shit with my Asthma) and the aircons/heat difference. I have been really tired since arriving – which is probably due to the 2 hours sleep I got before leaving Cape Town, but man, it’s gonna take a while to get into the norm again. Weird as back in Cape Town I was managing fine on like 6 hours a night, if that.

Well, we have plans to get down to the Island tomorrow and then a bit of a party tomorrow night afterwards, so it should be a good weekend.

Click.

Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉

Traffic from Hell – Luanda – Day 4!!

Traffic took about 35 minutes to get to work this morning, a distance of less than 2.1 kms as we drive! It is literally just insane. Reminds me sooo much of Egypt, but just with Black People as opposed to Arabs. Really intense.

Day 4 - Miami Shower

The Shower at Miami – A great vantage point! 🙂

Work was cool, still getting into it, so still bright eyed and bushy tailed. We’ll see yet. I ventured out to lunch, the same place as yesterday, on my own as everyone was busy, and I can tell you, it was strange being the only white person walking down the road to get food, surrounded by mainly very poor locals. Yet, I didn’t get one bad look, or the feeling of animosity towards me. I felt 100% secure at all times, and it is quite an exhilarating feeling to get to your destination and not have been mugged, or felt unsure about yourself. Makes me really wonder how much me sub-consciously fear about being in South Africa, and how insecure we really are back home!

The lunch queue was just as bad as the traffic, and it took about 30 mins for 15 people to get served at a buffet. The lunch “restaurant” – basically a canteen – is 2 floors, with mainly an open buffet type arrangement. On the one side they have a sit down area, where you basically get charged about $10 just to be served, exactly the same food! There are about 6 or 7 dishes available and it is quite a helping, but definitely not worth R 90. But I can see this is going to take time getting used to. THE COST OF EVERYTHING that is!

Introduced to my first 3 power failures in one day, actually in about 2 hours! And we complained about Eskom. Everything is on UPS in the De Beers building, except the lights, so work continues, but the lights go off, and everyone continues as normal. It is pretty much the norm it appears! Amazing.

Dinner was back at Miami, and I had the steak, which was really good. The helpings are usually pretty good, as far as I can tell, but the cost!! Whoa! There was a big screen with the EUFA Cup soccer on, suprise, suprise! 🙂

Once again I was knackered at dinner, and think it definitely has to do with the Malaria Pills and the beers. Okay, tomorrow I change tack! I’ll take the pills when I am supposed to, after meals and just before I go to sleep. Also, no more beers! 🙂

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Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Life!

A Brave New World – Luanda – Day 3!!

So, today I started my new job in earnest. Man, weird to be back in it. Thrown straight into an operational issue that morning, that was interesting considering I was now responsible for managing the issues, as opposed to being responsible for solving them. So quite tough in a way to have to hold back, but I am getting used to it. 🙂

Loads to do here so I am going to be kept very busy for a long time to come, which is great. Means I won’ have to get bored, or restless . . . I hope! So far the first impression is that we are on top of things, which is good.

Day 3 - Neighbours

Our neighbours, literally right on top of us.

We went for lunch down the road, and the around the corner, and it was my first true experience of being on the ground in Luanda, as we walked. Man, I have already talked about the heat, but unless you have ever been to an equatorial or mid tropical country, you really can’t understand it. I believe Bangkok is apparently very similar, if not in fact worse. But the heat and humidity here is intense. I think the problem is compounded by the fact that everywhere you you are in air conditioned rooms, offices, vehicles, restaurants, etc. So when you do venture out you go from a fairly cooled environment, typically in the region of about 20 degrees, or sometimes less, straight into about 32-34 degrees. Man, it is seriously intense. And the humidity just sits. So it is not like being in Cape Town in 32 Degrees, but rather think of sitting in a steam room at 32 degrees. Okay it is not that bad that you break out in a sweat every time you go outside, but it can be uncomfortable if you are in heavy clothing or wearing trousers. It’s also not as bad as when I did my Sailing trip, which I will actually blog after my first trip home, as I left my “diary” at home on this trip. Part of the 32Kilo constraints!

Personally I enjoy the temperature, and the climate. I enjoy being outdoors and it’s great to be able to get out and enjoy the sun and warmth. The only problem though is that you don’t actually see the sun, or feel the rays of it . . . EVER! Everyday is overcast, or cloudy, but not like dark cloudy, but just hazy cloudy. There is glare from the sun everywhere, but no actual rays.

Costs are MENTAL!! I was warned that it was expensive, but man, this is ridiculous! A main meal, just the course itself, well the lunch venue we go to, will cost you about R90! Plus R15 for the soft drink! So you are looking at around R105 for the entire meal. And that’s just a plate of rice and beef stew, or a large pizza slice with salad, pretty much any “Pratos do dia”, the Dish of the day. I will definitely be blogging more on the costs as they occur, and trying to get my head around it as things go on.

Dinner that day was at Portugalia down near Ilha de Luanda, or commonly known as Ilha. Basically Island, which is actually the Peninsula. It is right next to the BP Staff housing, and it is pretty sparsely arranged with a few outside tables and then big screen/blank wall for watching the football, which I was going to find out is quite a big thing in Luanda. I was really tired by the time we finished, and I think that might be due to a combination of the Malaria Pill and the Beers I keep on drinking. And that was all before dinner! Dinner was ok, not fantastic, and once again, really expensive for what you get. Like R 150 for the main course alone, and the portions would be the equivalent of a R60/70 meal in Cape Town, if that.

Anyway, I was virtually passed out by the time we got home, and am going to sleep like a log now!

Click.

Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉

Bom Dia Luanda – Day 2!!

So, last night actually got really wild, and even though I was in bed by 21h, I was wrecked! Barrie finished a whole bottle of Brandy, pretty much on his own, and Ashton got hammered! haha I woke up a few times during the night, due to being seriously hot, before I realised that I had an aircon unit in my room, which I then turned on to find out that this one is the shit! It works like you will not believe!! Great stuff. The next time, cause I had takkie mouth and had to get some water as I was tickets after the night before!

View from the house of a very entertaining Crossroads! 🙂

Day 2 - Morning

Today was tough . . . not really. I had a nice relaxed intro everything. 🙂

It started with the future handyman coming around to the house to see what needed to be done. From there it was off to BP premises at the De Beers Building which was interesting. I met all the players in one go, and was finally introduced to what I’ll really be doing. I must admit . . . quite intimidating actually. To see the relationships and understanding people already have with each other. To be coming in as the outsider, and having to take over. Well, the challenge is huge. The landscape is massive and the potential for growth is awesome, but so is the room for mistakes. But, I’ll take it as it comes, do my best, and then some. A very exciting time for both DD and myself.

After De Beers we cruised to a hardware store, got a few necessary items for the house, like a shower head and more, and then off to the “peninsula”, not too sure what it is called in Porra, but it was cool. We had lunch at a place Miami, just next to Cafe Del Mar, and judging by the pic, it was close enough! 🙂

A view from Miami:

Day 2 - Miami

After lunch we went shopping at Casa de Fresca, I think , and that was surreal. Think Woolworths in Luanda. Really! It is virtually the same. Just these prices are way off the scale. Some things are childishly expensive. A small box of Jungle Oats . . . . R70. Yes! R70 for a small box of Jungle Oats. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, about R80. And that’s the normal size! Not the big one you get back home. Just stupid really. Yet a bottle of Johnny Black will put you back R250, which is virtually the same as in CPT, just about R30 more. So some things, quite close, others way off the mark!!

Then is it was home, and chilled for the rest of the day.

Then off to Restaurant Venezia. Man, the Steak on Rock, which is like a hotrock steak was awesome. About 600-800g of quality, seriously quality steak!! Man I was stuffed, and took home plenty still.

Well, another day done.

Click.

Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉