Monthly Archives: March 2008

Friday into the Weekend! – Luanda

Back in the Mix! Well, work was the same, but I am pretty fired up about what has to be done now. A few things have changed in my absence. We got another cabinet, so the area is now a bit cleaner, and less cluttered.

Day 2 - Another Braai

Another Weekend – Another Braai!

I have checked out our storeroom in the basement, and it is an absolute disaster. Boxes and old kit everywhere. That’s gonna be a project and a half cleaning up, but that’s on the cards for next weekend.

We grabbed a pizza on Fri eve, at rialto’s. My first pizza here in Luanda, and it was really good actually! Not too bad at all. I forgot my Reuteri/”Good Bacteria” tabs at home, well, I forgot to buy actually. And I guess I now know how well they work, as this morning . . . I had a case of the “Angolan Activity!” My tummy was not holding up well at all.

Saturday night was a decent braai at the house, after my 3-and-a-half hour shopping venture to Bellas Shopping Centre, as Palanca was out of bounds when we found out that the Police Headquarters had collapsed on Fri Evening. Reports varied, but stated that around 80 people were thought to be injured. Crazy. Bellas seems to have some pretty up-to-date movies on, and I guess that might have to be on the cards in a week or 2.

Sunday, chilled at home. The aircons got repaired, and that is cool :), as all but one are now working. Great. The repairs go on.



Easy Going Guy 😉

Back Home – Luanda !!

Back in Luanda. The flight back was interesting. I flew Namibian Airways to Windhoek, and then TAAG to Luanda via Lubango, a seriously small airport on the way.

Day 1 - Another Sunet

Back to another Luandan Sunset! 🙂

It started badly with me only once again getting like 4 hours sleep. My bad for leaving it till the last minute as always. Then at check in they told me that TAAG was not yet online, or open for booking, so I would have to get the TAAG ticket at Windhoek. Not a problem I thought, even though my luggage had been checked all the way through. How they do that with only only end of the ticket, I have no clue, but they were confident it would arrive. Ok. I didn’t really have any say in this matter, especially since the bag had already gone through the hatch. I cleared passport control fine and headed to Duty Free, to do the usual. Collect a bottle or 2/3/4 for my stay in Luanda. I would go for Gin this time though, even though my preference is Whiskey. I collected a two-pack of Beefeater, never had that before, and thought I would give it a bash. The only pack that comes in 2 actually. The Gordon’s was singles, and I forgot about the Bombay Sapphire, which I saw a guy at the checkout buying. Well, I’ll do that next time I guess! 🙂 The joy of a long term stint and Duty Free. The guy asked my final destination, to which I replied Luanda, and I handed over my Windhoek stub.

“Ahhh, no sorry, it’s a SADC state, therefore, unless we get an International Ticket, we can’t sell you anything.”

WTF?? Well, that just sucks! He wouldn’t take my itinerary as proof either, so I was gutted. I left the bottles at the counter, and moped off. 🙁

I literally slept 3/4 of the way to Windhoek, as I was that knackered! The stop over in Windhoek was a rather lengthy one, like almost 3 hours, and I grabbed a saamie and chilled at the bar on the rather nice cushions. Almost fell asleep too.

Upon leaving Windhoek, I was once again not disappointed in my observances of the Angolan Portuguese. Firstly, they give you a boarding card with a seat number, but to make things really interesting, they tell once you are on the plane that it is free seating. Unreserved. Great, as though I didn’t have enough confidence in TAAG already, they go and completely f#ck up the entire boarding procedure too. It was legend. I got on fairly early, so got a seat next to the window. Not my seat, but to hell with it. I wasn’t likely to get my seat anyway. The one chick with her family is halfway down, then she hears it is free seating,so she literally turns around, swears at everyone, and forces her way back through all the people boarding to go right to the front of economy to sit there. She delays the entire process by about 5 mins while she pushes through. Then a South African dude gets on, and he is told it is free seating. He tells the air steward that maybe this is where he wants to sit. Hey rightly so. If he had booked a window seat, why should he be inconvenienced by this muppet show? The air steward tells him it is free seating. He says he wants his seat. His numbered seat on his boarding card. Now occupied by a rather large, unconcerned Black Angolan Woman! At this stage I was sorely tempted to press the button and ask for a box to popcorn so I could sit back and watch the show. 🙂 Eventually the guy moved on, as the woman wasn’t going anywhere. She just kept saying: “Sit! Sit! Sit!” Unbelievable.

I didn’t sleep on this flight, as they put on Transformers (with Portuguese Subtitles). Man, I LOVE that flick. I can watch it 1000 times and never get bored. They have got a fairly new fleet of 737’s, 767’s I think. They have Air France branding on the insides, so it must be their old stock. We were about half way through when put down at Lubango. A very small military airbase. You pass a whole lot of hangers with fighter jets in them when you come into land. Really cool! 🙂 When airborne agin, they played some funny shorts, which was just crap, as I was hoping to see the second half of Transformers! Bummed!

We put down in Luanda after a rather uneventful trip, thankfully, and it took us the foreigners ages to clear. We had one chick doing our passport control who was definitely wanting to be elsewhere. She took 20 mins just to do a family of 4’s passports! Man, I was dying of boredom. We eventually reshuffled to the other clear lanes and I got through no worries then. I walked into baggage reclaim, to find NO Kamilo, our protocol guy! I called him 2 days earlier to tell him I was arriving. He would meet me there he told me. So here I am, waiting for my bag, and I’m kinda in 2 moods about calling Kamilo. Since I have already done this before I know that all he is gonna do is rock up and walk me through customs, of which I literally have nothing to declare. So, I think about it. As I am thinking the conveyor starts up. My bag comes out pretty quickly, I grab it, and decide, “Let’s Do This!”. So I head on through to Passport control. The one guy in front of me, an expat with only a togbag, walks straight through after having spoken to his protocol guy, so I decide to follow him. I am through. Suddenly, the one lady reachs out, grabs my arm and points at my bag and says something. Sh!t! Now here is when you need Protocol! I shrig my shoulders and say: “I don’t speak Portuguese.” She points at the xray machine. Ahhh, okay, my bag needs to be scanned as it is a hardshell case. Even though it is a small one, it still needs to be scanned. Cool. No worries. I have nothing to hide. I see a whole host of people having their bags opened on the opposite side of the room. Man, that would suck. Not cause there is anything of value in my bag, but just cause I packed it so tight. 18 kg in a tiny bag. If they open it now, it’ll pop! And I’ll struggle to get it closed. Well, it takes a while and then a lady comes along and scans it. She looks at the scanner, then the bag, then the scanner again, with a funny look, look the my bag, then me, then by bag, then . . . nods her head in the direction of the door. I grab my bag and head straight out. Great! My protocol cash is mine. Lucky I never got those 2 bottles of Beefeater at CPT! I was half expecting to see Kamilo waiting outside for me. No. No such luck for him. 🙂

Jeje was there, though I had to call him too, but at least he was in the parking lot. The trip home was easy enough, and t was actually good to be back.



Easy Going Guy ; -)

Ripping the Ring Out (of my throat) – 13 Days Home – Time out from Luanda!

I arrived in Cape Town on that Friday eve, the 14th March, just after 20h30 by the time we landed. It started with the few drinks on the plane, and then another at the Airport, followed by hitting Oblivion on the run. 🙂

CPT for a while

Cape Town CBD from the Tampon Towers! (Disa Park)

Oblivion! Man what a Venue! Especially when you haven’t seen a White Female in about 4 weeks! Okay, bar Rachel who was with us for that weekend at Mussulo. It was a Mind F#ck!! Whoa, I was like a dog on heat!

Nic kept saying: “You’ve got that Rotation Look!” Meaning I looked like the rotation guys usually do when they have been on rotation for 28 days on the rigs. Well, it wasn’t just the girls. It was everything I guess. White People in general – not that I am racist, I’m very liberal, but being able to speak proper English to people and not resorting to “Pidgin” English, cause no understands you, and just being able to fit in, and have a good time. All Good! Oblivion landed up being a bit of a late one. I met Dave and Nic there, and bumped into Mel, Michele, one of the twins I think, and then also Belinda, Melissa and then Karin’s mate, who is kinda cute, but I keep forgetting her name every time we meet.

Saturday Night landed up being Tiger Tiger, and . . . well, it ended in grief. I apparently threw up in the drive-way, just outside my car this time. Luckily not inside like a previous time the year before . . . long story, also involved Tiger funnily enough though, and then woke up wondering where the hell I was. Ooops. Not cool. Well, I got home in one piece and that was that. I was fine till I started dancing . . . that always seems to do it. 🙁 Well, that was when my throat decided to go to the J&B Met and find a horse to race, as I was hoarse as anything. And it lasted then entire 13 days I was in Cape Town. Got back to Luanda and it cleared up immediately! Weird! So, obviously I didn’t remember much of the Tiger eve, and I was seriously man down for the entire day Sunday, only rising in the late afternoon I think. Ahh, we did watch 10 000 BC before heading to Tiger I think, and that was okay. Pretty funny with the accents though, as they are actually speaking Shangaan or Tswana, or some other African Language, which just made everyone in the cinema laugh! Dave wasn’t too chuffed with me as we were supposed to be organising the speech for Gav’s Wedding.

The next few days were a bit of a blur. Gav’s Bachelors on Tuesday Night, which was pretty cool, especially the marks left on his ass the next day! haha

Gav's B

Gavin looking good!

Thursday was his Wedding, in which Dave and I were the Best Men, and really had Gav worried the entire time. He was sooo worried that we were gonna take him down, and embarrass him to no end, and at the end of the day it was actually very tame. He’s is lucky I guess, but I suppose he suffered at the Bachelors! hehe The wedding was at Meerendal, and he got a friend of mine, Emma (, to do his photography. She seems to have done a good job, even though I haven’t seen the pics yet, but I believe they’ll be good. 🙂

We got ‘ol Haydn, Garry and Dave on the dance floor at one stage, along with the bloody DJ, who I think got more pissed than anybody else! He apparently got the moer in with everyone requesting songs that at one stage he played Kurt Darren – Ek Wil Huis Toe Gaan, to which Dave knows the words perfectly, which is actually quite scary. Don’t worry Dave, you’re next buddy! hahahaha

[ 450 318]

Gavin’s Wedding – Haydn Garry, Dave, Ilse, Gavin and others! – 4:32 🙂

The night ended with Garry and myself adding a bit of chaos to the mix by dispersing polystyrene balls, the really small ones, to the entire bedroom. And bed. And car. Well, it was funny at the time. hehe Yeah, Yeah, I know . . . I’ll be getting married at some time in the future. But Gavin, if you’re reading this . . . who says you’re gonna be invited?? haha Only kidding mate. But, on my wedding night, I will definitely be staying in a different room/hotel/location to one you all think I will be in and I will certainly not be driving home in the car I arrived in! So Go Wild my man!! haha

Anyway, Wedding aside, which was really good – Oh, just be lucky the sheep was too heavy mate, as if it was a light one, it would have been in the back or the car too – and the issue of the morning after bedroom aside, his Missus was not happy, it was a huge success. They are still married after all! 🙂

The rest of the time kinda went by in a whizz. I got to the beach once with Nic, and got in a bit of beach bat too, which was cool. Lamed also happened, which you just can NOT do. I never got to gym , and it is really starting to show I can tell you that. Sitting around not doing any sport is not good for me at all. Guess I’ll have to start push-ups and sit-ups and possibly pull-ups too now that I’m back in Launda, as there is no gym here. Well, there might be, but none that I have yet seen!

The break was cool, but I was getting a bit impatient as my job actually requires me to be in Luanda, and it is far easier to keep a hand on things here in country than remotely.

I got my new Visa, which has me back in Cape Town on the 25th April, just in time for the next long weekend! Yay 😉 I didn’t see hardly as many people as I had hoped this time, and will definitely touch base when back! I will also get out to our Guest House in Swellendam, Klippe Rivier, for a nice break too. It’s been way too long!



Easy Going Guy 😉

The Nervous Poppie & The Irishman! – Homeward Bound – Day 27

NB, I am completing this at Windhoek airport on my way back to Luanda. 27/03/2008.

Well well, I had one hell of an interesting trip home that’s for sure. I landed up next to 2 completely entertaining individuals on each flight. The first from Luanda to Windhoek, and the second from Windhoek to Cape Town.  A very Nervous Angolan Poppie on the first leg, and a Raging Alcoholic Irishman, who could drink even more than Ash, on the second!! 🙂

Day 27 - Airport

The Tarmac at Luanda International – Departing

So firstly I arrived at the airport early. You never quite know with traffic in Luanda. Philip had told me a story just the day before where it had taken him 2 hours to travel about 800m to the entrance of the airport from the circle, to collect his wife a few weeks earlier. I was planning to leave home at about 10h15, but by the time we left it was closer to about 10h45. I was busy sorting out bills and money at home, and got delayed. We did however make it in record time, and I was there around 11h15. Incredible really. I called Kamilo, our protocol guy, and he told me that it only opens at 12h, so he’ll only be there then. I sent Oscar home and I waited outside in the sun. A queue had started to form at about 11h30 inside, and I was watching it to see how it worked. The process is a bit different to home. You actually wait in a queue outside the check-in area, then they allow you through when it’s open. My flight was at 14h, and by 13h Kamilo had still not arrived. I was starting to get worried as I had never been through the whole process before, and didn’t know what was required. Well, he eventually arrived at about 13h15, and I was doing my head in. He was “just arriving” when I called him at 12h, and he travels by motorbike, so I don’t think he had even left his offices then, and then he had the nerve to tell me that traffic was bad. Well, I told him it was unacceptable. He knows better than anybody what the traffic is like.

Anyway, I was the second last person in the queue and there were a few people waiting for standby, so Kamilo, you are a very lucky man I got on, as the prospect of spending the weekend in Luanda was not too enticing. I guess you could say I was now in home mode, and I suppose I just wanted to get home. I guess airports the world over have a habit of doing that to people. So I checked in, without Kamilo, as he is not allowed to be at the desk as he isn’t flying, and everything was cool, and then Kamilo walked me to passport control, where they ladies first check your passport then allow you through to the actual border control. In this case Kamilo did nothing as everything was in order. So basically I waited over an hour for the muppet, only to have him “hold my hand” and walk me from check-in to passport check and then that was it. Well, I’ll have to think twice in future about using protocol services to be honest with you. For departure that is. I think that arrivals is still a very different matter.

Anyway, the departure hall is crap, and the aircons leak all over the place, so you really have to watch yourself. There is a bar or 2 upstairs, and a nice set of couches outside the business class lounge. There is also free wireless if you know how! 🙂 Our flight was then delayed by over 30 minutes, which was not surprising apparently. There is no calling/PA system, or boards telling you when the flight is, and there are only 2 gates, with no signage, so you pretty much have to just hang around and then take pot luck with what other people are doing. The best is when you ask the officials what is happening with the flight as it is now 5 minutes past departure time and you are still hanging around, and they say:

“Yes, just sit”. Great, well that helps loads!

So, I got on the flight and managed to get a window seat which was great as I was pretty tired. The chick who sat next to me was literally what I can imagine an Amazonian Woman to look like. She was very tall – my height – well dressed, quite chick, not bad figure, but a big large on the thighs and buttocks, but otherwise very good for an Angolan specimen! 🙂 She was however incredibly nervous as I found out when we took off. The next thing I suddenly had my right hand grabbed and squeezed the crap out of. She was seriously frightened, when the plane banked, it was just too much. Her hand moved from mine to my leg.

“Hey, Hey, this is pretty sweet. A good way to come onto people”, I thought.

But, when she dug her nails into my right leg, well, that was the end of the foreplay session for me. Man that was it. Every little bump/jolt she would cry out and grab my hand, or my leg. At one stage she almost straddled the seat to get on top of me. It was particularly entertaining. The lady on her right was quite amused too. A glance at her arrival form belied her age to be 22. Hmm, well, she is pretty big for 22, and obviously doesn’t get around much. Once we landed she was escorted off by some Namibian Official who had the dirtiest look in his eyes I had ever seen, so I guess she might be some Ministers Daughter, or maybe Mistress. Anyway, that was leg one!

Day 27 - Windhoek Thunderclouds Day 27 - Sunset

a) Thunderclouds over Windhoek b) Sunset Windhoek to Cape Town

At Windhoek, upon reboarding the same plane, I was seated between an Insurance Broker Manager, and a Journalist. Well, Colman the Journalist was Irish, and was completely crazy. About half-way through the flight my iPod died a miserable death due to lack of charging, and considering it is an old iPod Photo 60 Gig, Generation 4, I think that the 6 or so hours it had already given weren’t bad. I then was reduced to talking to my fellow passengers,and man what a laugh. Colman is an editor of Rock Magazines, or so he claims, and between the 2 of us, we had the entire 4 rows around us in stitches. I thought I could talk shit when required, but this boytjie, man, he put me to shame! We had a rip roaring chat with loads of banter, and by the time we got off all the passengers around us were smirking and laughing out loud. The Insurance Manager wanted to know when he was flying again, as she hadn’t been that entertained on a flight ever. We made really good time getting to Cape Town, and when I found out that my lift, mommy, had not yet arrived Colman suggested we grab another drink at the News Cafe. I thought why the hell not. I literally got my luggage within the first 10 bags, which was great, and once clearing customs with no issues, we grabbed another round of doubles! 🙂 My lift arrived shortly and I left him to yet another round.

Once getting home I headed straight out to Oblivion, to meet up with Dave, and Nic who pulled through too.

That was the beginning of my 13 days back . . . but that is another story to follow! 😉



Easy Going Guy 😉

Last Night (for a while) – Luanda – Day 26

Well, I ended my Tour of Duty last night.

“What’s the Significance of 1?”

I just had to say it I guess, even though it doesn’t actually mean much to me right now. The honeymoon phase you see.

Day 26 - Another Typical Building

Another Typical Block of Flats

So, it was just a typical normal night at home. TV and dinner with Onasis. Guess I might be a more excited tomorrow when I finally get on the road again and get to travel a bit further than 15kms in one day! 🙂



Easy Going Guy 😉

Ashton’s Birthday! – Luanda – Day 25

Okay, so 2 days ago I commented that is was Andre Van Schalkwyk’s Birthday. He said:”Yeah I Know!” Now how the hell could he know. Andre used to work with us in the DD Cape Town Office back in 2000 before becoming part of IS (Internet Solutions) and then going to join DD CH (Switzerland) in 2003, I think.

Day 25 - Wheel for One

One Wheel Business! Yes that is a car wheel! These guys rent their “delivery services” out to other people to deliver goods everywhere. Quite incredible.

I asked Ash how the hell he knew it was Andre’s Birthday, considering that not a hell of a lot of people had seen him in the last 8 years.

“We share a Birthday!” was his reply.

Ahh, okay that makes sense.

I decided that the house owed him a BDay, the benefits of being in charge of the house fund! 🙂 So we went to Veneza, his choice. I had the “Biffes na Pedra”, aka Steak on Rock, which was great. It is basically about 400 grams of raw meat and a piping hot slab of rock. You cook it yourself. This time I almost finished. I only left a tiny piece, but at R370 a pop, it had better be good! 😮

The way they pour drinks here in a restaurant will blow your mind. I ordered a “Gin e Tonic”. The glass arrived with ice and the waiter proceeded to fill 1/2 the glass with Gin, before I realised. By the time I stopped him I had 3/4 Gin, and 1/4 Tonic. Pretty mental. Hmm, that could be half the reason why I got sooo pissed last Friday actually! 🙂 So this time I sipped on my drink, and it lasted the evening. Clever man!

It was a really good dinner and we had 4 BP people join us, one of which was Ian, again, and Michael O’Brian, one of the others. The entire bill came to $350 with tip,and that was quite something, but I suppose pretty reasonable for about 7 people with drinks. It’s pretty sad when you can say a R 2 800 meal for 7 people is pretty good. 🙂

Oscar, our driver gave the rest a lift home after us.



Easy Going Guy 😉

Sly’s 1 is Up! – Luanda – Day 24

Well, Sly’s 1 is Up!What the hell does that mean? Well, the saying here goes:

” What is the significance of 1?”

The answer my friends is: “One more sleep!!” 🙂

Day 24 - Hole in the Road

Pot Hole Protector! This was the hole in our road. The only picture we managed to get of the hole. You can’t actually see much, but it used to have half a top loader sticking out of the top of it. Yes, it was actually about a metre deep and a meter wide. This small tree was put in it after someone nicked the top loader! Quality! 🙂

So, anyway, Sly left and was really happy to be gone. Man, I can only imagine. He was pretty chuffed. OG (Onasis) pulled through to work and was given a warm welcome. he is pretty well know it appears. That’s what happens when you have been here before.

Work is definitely ramping up, and things are picking up. The one thing that is become more and more prevalent is the fact that in Luanda, you have to chase everyone, all the time. My inbox is completely RED! 🙁 Why?? Well everything I get, I have to flag for follow-up, as nothing ever gets done. so I have an inbox that is completely overdue, and all I ever do is spend my entire time chasing things! Not fun at all, and it is really beginning to piss me off! 🙁

Well, off to bed.



Easy Going Guy 😉

Onasis Arrives – Eventually – Luanda – Day 23

Onasis calls today to let us know his flight has been delayed out JHB. He was on a 09h15 flight, and now they have disembarked the entire plane due to technical faults and now it is only due to take off around 12h30. That’s over 3 hours! In JHB International!! Sorry for him. Such is SAA I guess! 🙂

Day 23 - Teixeira Duarte

Teixeira Duarte’s Offices – They’re a big Portuguese construction company. Not surprising is it??

I had an incredible experience at work . . . a typical UK type experience, except it was in Luanda. But I suppose BP is a UK company, so it fits.

I cruise through to ask some guy a question. He’s in the division next to me. He’s a largish chap, and has his back to me, facing the window. I call his name as I approach. I don’t get a reply, and he appears to be on the phone. I don’t really take note, so I hang back a bit thinking he’s still busy. About a minute later I realise he isn’t. So I call his name again, and step up next to him. He remains quiet, I begin talking. A few seconds after I stop, I look down at him, and slowly he turns his head to face me. He looks at his watch, and then turns his head forward again, and closes his eyes. Not a word is said is to me. Not even a nod, or any form of recognition. I am left there wondering what the hell is going on when I realise . . . he is on lunch break! Nice huh. So he has a nap at his desk, in front of his computer, and ignores me completely, cause he is on lunch. No comment to me, or refrain asking me to come back later. Nothing! I had half a mind to ask him if he was okay, if everything was alright, to say loudly:

“Mate, are you sick or something?”

But I decided against it. Man, he would last like all of one day back in Cape Town! haha


Well, we met up with Onasis at the house later that evening, and Ash pulled through for a quick braai. No drinking this time that was for sure. Ok, lie, one drink, whiskey and water. Otherwise that was it! 🙂

Sly’s last sleep, and man was he happy!!



Easy Going Guy 😉

Another Chilled Weekend – Luanda – Day 22

Well, it was a chilled day today. Just relaxed at the house again. Really hot though.

Day 22 - Spin

They have Spin!! 😉

Sly got some bad news about his kid in the morning. Apparently he had a really bad condition/fever too, just like Sly had. Weird man, really weird.

Well, the day petered out, and during the afternoon he got another call his kid appeared to be getting better.

Well, he had 2 days left so he was looking forward to getting home. Hopefully his kid would be okay.

We’ll find out tomorrow I guess.



Easy Going Guy 😉

Worse than Malaria Pills! :) – Luanda – Day 21

Well, Ash arrived yesterday as you probably know from the day before, and man let me tell you . . . If anything kills me here, it’ll probably be my liver. NOT because of the Malaria Pills, but rather the Alcohol! And I’ll be blaming Ash for that! 🙂

Day 21 - Fixed (Luanda Style)

Fixed – Luanda Style!

My head was killing me this morning! Man, I haven’t had a headache that bad since being here. In fact not for a good few months to be honest. It appears I passed out on my bed, without the mozzie netting, and forgetting to take my mozzie pill. Courting with Danger I know. 🙁

I awoke at around 07h and couldn’t get back to sleep, no matter how hard I tried. It rained for about an hour at 08h, and I was expecting the leaks to start up again, but they didn’t, so it obviously wasn’t that hard. We then literally vegged the entire day. Sly was feeling much better, and wasn’t at all affected by night before’s entertainment. In fact it turned out to be another of those really hot and humid days, especially since the sun came out.

We got a call from Ash in the afternoon, asking if we were coming through to work, as we had made plans to get through there the night before. we declined the “offer” :), which he was pretty relieved at, as he could get a quiet one too then.

We just stayed in for the night, and I caught up on my blogging, and back dated all the posts I had missed during the week. So if you’re reading this one, you might want to check some of my previous posts too! Since about Sat last week! 🙂



Easy Going Guy 😉