Friday had been rather uneventful for us. It was a fairly quiet day, and I did see one interesting thing. The Angolan Work Philosophy! By the time 15h01 rolled by, the building was practically empty! One minute they were there, the next, all gone! Legend! 🙂 We obviously stayed late for a bit of work, and cruised around 17h00. Bummed to be out late on Fri! 🙁 The evening was pretty uneventful. We had a quick braai at the house, well a gas braai at that, and it was okay.
Barrie the Braai Meister relinquishes “The Apron” (My Handover Present from the previous weekend)
Saturday I was up early. 06h30! There was a power outage cut-over at one of the branches at 07h00, so we had to make sure we had a guy on site to power down the devices. Osvaldo, one of our 2 local guys, offered to go do it. I gave him to a ring to make sure everything was cool. All good from his end. Great. Back to Sleep! 🙂 Sylvester went to work in the afternoon to do the monthly checks and help test a satellite comms issue. I was gonna walk down to Sistek a few blocks away to get a few electrical bits and bobs, a S-Video to RCA and a Mini-jack to RCA cable for connecting the laptop to the TV. I stepped out of the house around 11h, and stepped straight back in. At 38 degrees there was no friggin way I was walking! 😮 So, I landed up spending the rest of the day pretty much in the house, pooping out every now and again to get a bit of sun. Thank God for Aircon!
I got a bit adventurous that evening and suggested to Sylvester we head to what looked like a restaurant about 2 blocks away. I had finally been getting to grips with my bearings and our routes around the city. Not that hard you may think, considering we only actually drive about 5Kms max roundtrip everyday to work and back. But there were a few weird goings on. Like we never turned left into our road. Upon further investigation I discovered it was because it was illegal! Not allowed! Against the Rules! Now this was a real irony. You can’t turn left (from a main road only it appears), but you can gladly go down a one-way, go straight through a traffic intersection in front of a traffic officer whilst he is directing traffic for the perpendicular directions – and he does nothing, and calmly create your own third lane of traffic, on a 2 lane road, directly into oncoming traffic, expecting them to move out of YOUR way, yet . . . YOU CAN’T TURN LEFT!! That’s just insane! ! !
Anyway, back to the story, so I had been getting my bearings, and had seen on numerous occasions a little place about 2 blocks down, around the corner, that looked like a nice little restaurant called Casa do Dao. So we decided to head through ON FOOT! Now, it’s around 20h at night on a Saturday night. It’s pretty dark, and I’m heading out with Sylvester to walk about half a km through a city to find a place we don’t even know that’ll be open. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I’m the ONLY WHITE PERSON AROUND!! well, this for me was nerve wracking to say the least. Why??? Well, let’s see . . . In Cape Town I would think twice about walking from my mother’s house to Cavendish Square (a distance of about 500 metres) at 19h30 on a Friday night, and that is in Claremont, a pretty good area. And here I was, about to walk through an entire city, well not really, but definitely through a really busy area of town, in a foreign country, where they speak a language I still don’t understand, as the only white guy around!! I must have been pretty crazy at the time! In South Africa we are so fearful of anyone with a darker skin tone to our own. It is actually quite frightening to realise what sub-conscious fear we live in in South Africa. Constantly checking who is around us. Do people look dodgy? What are they doing? Are they watching us? Where are our keys? Where’s my wallet? My cellphone? Man it is crazy. Constantly on our guard back home.
Well, I am really liberal, always giving people the benefit of the doubt. But this . . . this was different. It was weird. Walking down the road with at least one guy who was well liquored in front of us, and yet it was cool. Seriously Nerve-Wracking at the time, but in hindsight . . . EXHILIRATING! I didn’t get very many stares, hardly any in fact. No issues. No beggars running up asking the White Man for money. No children following and harassing us. It was as though we were walking down the street just chilling. And . . . that is exactly what we were doing. It was cool. I actually discovered a lot. We found a hospital, police station, bike hire place, and a restaurant that was actually a little cafe all done up to look fancy like! So, yeah. Bummed! Casa do Dao was really a little caf. Haha, What a muppet! I suggested to Sly we head to another place I had seen in the block opposite the house, and so we were on the way again. Angolans seem pretty relaxed. Weekends seems to be all about chilling and partying. Relaxing and making the most of people around you and just getting on with you own life. Nothing like back home in ZA. There it is all about opportunity. You find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, you’ll get ripped off for sure. Just too much opportunity for people back home to take advantage of you crime wise I guess. Here there probably is too, but they make it less obvious, or I haven’t seen it yet I guess. Oh hey, don’t get me wrong. If I go out to get something from a vendor they’ll rip me off senseless for sure. If it costs 150 Kwanzas, they’ll take me for 500 without a doubt, that’s why Oscar or Jeje, our drivers do the basic shopping for us. The necessities that we can’t get at Shoprite or Fresco, or if we forget to get something whilst shopping. Oh, yeah, our drivers??? More on them later. 🙂 Anyway, so far I have had pretty good experiences of Angolans in general. Hopefully that doesn’t change too soon.
So, we arrived at this restaurant, and Sylvester had actually been to it before. I was actually thinking of the place downstairs, but he knew of the place upstairs so we went there. Well, it was a big Soccer & Basketball night it appeared and they had a BIG screen up. Now, this was on the roof, and the roof is literally that. A roof top with a tables, and umbrellas, and a few make shift shade net gazebos. So pretty open and cool. Ordering drinks was trying, as it was our first real introduction to a Porra only speaking waiter. We finalyl get a Carling and Gin and Tonic (GinTonic) out of him, adn asked for the menu, which resulted in us having to point to the table next door to signify what we meant. The menu was only in Porra, which didn’t help matters. But, I did recognise one thing – Fillette e Dorado, or something to that extent. Dorado Fillet. Great. 2 of those please. Well, the shaking of the head obviously meant that they were out of them. Oh oh, back to the menu.
Note to self – Get a small dictionary to carry around!
We landed up choosing “Chopa” at his recommendation, after lots of finger pointing and gesticulating. Chopa??? Have no clue! But we were going to find out soon enough.
Then . . . it began. A few drops at first. Nothing much, just a slight drizzle in a way. At this point in time it is probably worth noting that the wind had picked up during the day, which was a definite note of impending rain as I had been told, and the sky had grown sufficiently darker and greyer throughout the day. Prior to the few drops of rain, I had seen a few flashes of lightning in the distance. Something I had not yet experienced here. Within minutes the few drops had changed to rain. Not too hard, but not light either. We moved under the shade netting, but shortly it really started to bucket down, and now everything was getting wet. Particularly me, who had been sitting under a gap in the netting. We decided to hot foot it outta there and mission home to eat leftovers from the braai the night before. The 12 metre dash across the open roof top to the covered bar, resulted in my top being totally drenched, so being all practical, I took it off. Well, that got loads of stares, but cleared the way I can tell you! ;-0 By the time we made it home, literally 200 metres or so, we were drenched, and had to change our clothes.
The house however was a disaster. Man there were leaks everywhere. Over the Kitchen, Bradley’s room, lucky he wasn’t here, Sly’s room too, and even the toilets. Man they were supposed to have fixed this issue a few weeks back. Well, Hugo will be hearing from me about this tomorrow. That’s for sure!! Luckily for us the rain only lasted about 45 mins or so, but it was pretty intense whilst it lasted.
Sunday was chilled once again, doing a bit of damage control wrt the leaks and water all over the place. but nothing was seriously damaged so everything was okay. We missioned off to Fina building to perform the power up of the equipment and found they had also experienced water leaks. However theirs was considerably worse in that it had left a horrendous smell behind! 🙁 Man, that was not going to be well received on Morning there!
Sunday night was spent at home.
Easy Going Guy 😉