Tag Archives: Traffic

Luanda Landscapes

So, I finally managed to get right onto the building roof, and remembered to take my camera. 🙂

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Looking down on Luanda!

This is not so much a blog, as just a series of pics of what Luanda truly looks like. Well the CBD that is.

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The SanLuanda hotel construction site.

A new Luxury Hotel with about 240 rooms, 50 suites, indoor pool, 3 restaurants (I think) – one panoramic one right at the top, bars, and a gym. It’s going to be pretty sweet when done. You probably can’t see, but there are 11 cranes in this picture. Now that is development!

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Beauty in the Beast!

An old original building that is being renovated, and made into a restaurant – I think once again.

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The Lovely Banco Nacional de Luanda.

Even better view from the front, but I don’t have those pics here. Those are dredging pipes in the background, not oil -pill pipes.

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Torres Atlantico, with Fortaleza in the background.

The fancy new Torres Atlantico building stands out in stark comparrison to what is around it, apart from the Sonangol building, which I couldn’t see from this roof. Hmmmm . . . maybe I can get onto the TA roof. 🙂

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A new apartment block being built by our friends the Chinese.

It will house retail, office, and residential, and will be massive as you can see.

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Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Life

Living Luanda – Luanda

I’M BACK! 🙂 I have already added a few more posts since the last time, and prior to this one, which those of you with RSS would have already picked up.

Well, this is just a quick few lines to report on the a bit of nothing actually. Well, not really nothing. It is more of a general update on what life has been like here for the last few weeks that I have been here this “tour of duty”. And also to show off a few more pics! 🙂

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1. The Marginal (Promenade) with the National Bank in the foreground on the left, and the brand new Torres Atlantico Building on the right! Our new premises at some stage.

2. The usual Petrol chaos at the garages. It is like this every day and night. And Fuel is R4 a litre. Read and Weep!!

3. The Angolan equivalent of Maccy D’s

4. Mobile Clinics and Chinese quality control for construction!

Today I saw my first stab victim first hand! It was pretty horrific I must say. Some dude staggering down the road being supported/led by two guys, one on either side of him. He had his hands on his stomach, and both hands were just covered in thick red blood. Pretty crazy actually.

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5. Locksmith – Angolan Style

6. WTF??

We had our pantry door lock replaced the other day and had to get access to the room – Angolan Style (5).

I also arrived home 2 days ago to find that my light bulb in my room was LEAKING WATER (6)! I mean come on . . . WTF is that all about??? The water was actually running down the INSIDE of the electrical cabling to the light bulb! It’s a miracle it didn’t short the whole house when I flipped the switch!

I started gymming again this last week. At $100 a month I can tell you I will be going at least 6 days a week. It is nothing special, and is really small. Like really small, but has really good equipment, all the latest Technogym equipment, with a few pieces I haven’t even seen in SA too.

2 Xbox games have been already finished twice over by Warren,and I have a had a round or 2, but not much really. Been way to busy with work actually. Just got loads on at the mo, so it has been good.

Oh, and we finally got our power sorted issues sorted. Well, kind of.The guy came along one night and split the power loads that was on the breakers to balance it out a bit more. It has been stable since then,so we can only hope it is not sorted. They did it at night, and had to shut the power off, so he decided to wire a bulb directly to the city power coming in. As you can see in the picture below (7), it was another Angolan “job”. How he tested it was working? He licked his finger and briefly touched the contact to see if it “was alive”. I would have thought that he would have known by the massive spark that came off the contact when the connected it up.

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7. Connecting a light bulb directly to the City Power.

8. The “fancy” underpass with the usual traffic queues trying to get into the city.

Monday is another  public holiday, we had one last week too. This Monday I think is definitely gonna be spent on the beach, or at least in the sun! Definitely gonna bring my beach bats up when I come back next time!

More to follow soon. Plus I’ll be updating y’all on my 2 weeks back in ZA recently.

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Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉

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Field Support Vessel – Luanda!

Today we, Warren and I, got a chance to check out the super new FSV for the FPSO. It is a huge FSV and has recently been refitted in Norway, and is a stunning vessel. BP only have one room, the size of a pantry, with 4 desks, but that is all that matters I guess to get us onboard.

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FSV – Boubon Oceanteam 101

The FSV contains the ROV (Remotely-Operated-Vehicle) equipment that will monitor all the pipes and well heads, and providing assistance to the operation. We had our 15 minute Safety briefing, or however long it was once boarding the vessel, and then got the tour. We had been issued PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) from the base. We were given Steel Toe Boots, Helmets, and Clear Safety Glasses.

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1) PPE – Sweet! 🙂 2) Nice Shoe Covers Buddy!

The cabins were amazing,and I reckon I could easily do 28 days at sea in those conditions. Not these small pokey little things, but actual decent room sized cabins. Nice beds, each room en-suite with shower, a separate desk, TV and Hi-Fi system. Pretty sweet.

We got to see the Bridge with a view that commanded respect. We were higher than all other vessels in the area, except for the container vessels. We saw the Helipad, a massive area on the front, and the rear deck, where the ROVs and all the rest of the kit belonged.

The crew seemed to be a mix of Norwegian, British, French and a Saffa (South African) that we met in the Galley.

The Galley was sweet, and the food really good. Man I could easily eat like that 28 days a month! 🙂 I had a burger with fries and salads, and then even had jelly and custard for dessert. Sweet!

It was a really cool trip and well worth it, and definitely what was needed after the weeks shite I had had to put up with.

This was organised through Sonills Port, the Harbour area, and we got a lift back to the BP Warehouse building with Tango Delta. Warren and I were crammed into tiny little seats in the back of a Hyundai for the trip back, and it was seriously cramped. I said we would not sit int he back on the trip back to DeBeers, as that could take hours, even though it is only like 3.5 kms, if that.

We got a new vehicle, luckily, and headed off back to DeBeers. This was about 13h15. We arrived . . . 16h25!!

Traffic - Sonills

Rammed! Even the Cop on the bike is struggling to get through!

3 Hours, 20 Mins to travel less than 4kms!! Why??? Because the harbour on a Friday and Thursday is an absolute f*ck-up!!! All the trucks pull in on those days, adn there is only one entrance and exit, the same as the entrance, to the harbour container depot. All this is via one road that also services the entrance to the actual port and relevant support bases. Obviously being African Portuguese the drivers of the respective vehicles don’t give a toss about anyone else, so they all just go at the same time. Each vying to get their own little bit of space in front of the other. Traffic control??? What traffic control. It doesn’t;t exist. SO at one stage we we literally parked in the same spot for 2 hours. We didn’t move an inch for 2 hours. Me, I slept! 🙂

I was woken when I heard my phone ringing. I was so tired from the weeks happenings that at first I didn’t realise it was mine, and almost missed answering it. Quality.

Well, I won’t be going back there in a hurry that is for sure!

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Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Life

A very quick day – Luanda – Day 9

So today was just weird. Last night Bradley went outside around 03h00 for a quick smoke, and he said it was surreal. There was no traffic anywhere. The entire was quiet. No cars on any of the roads. That’s just plain weird!

Today I went with Barrie through to the airport to see him off. It was really quick. We live only a few kms from the airport, but usually it takes you about 30 mins to get there at least. Typically we leave the house at 10h45 to get there by 11h30, but today it took us less than 10. Barrie was relieved, but in a way sad to be going I think. This has been his baby. He has developed and grown the environment here for the guys for close on the last 6 months I think and that is one hell of an achievement, so Hats Off To Him really! So in retrospect I think he was glad to be leaving. Back to the normality of Cape Town, along with his family, but at the same point in time, sad to be leaving a piece of yourself here too. Though I don;t think he is going to be missing the costs!!

Well, the traffic respite was short lived! My trip from the airport took me approx 45 minutes. Yet again, a journey of a few kms. Just insane. Back to “Canteen” for lunch with Bradley and Maria, and then a very interesting Safety presentation at work. BP are definitely their safety seriously that is for sure!

It was quite an experience, my first group session, and things definitely work differently here! The entire presentation was done in English, and I was quite surprised by this, but then again, I suppose this was put together in the UK, so it would make sense. I was definitely enlightened by the level of fluency of English in our division. A lot of people tend to indicate they don’t speak it, but they were all quite vocal at the meeting. Some very vocal, and pretty soon it had turned into a free for all, which was entertaining to sit back and watch. I mentioned one point to Blythe that I wanted to make, and he told me under no circumstances was I to even think of talking. Not that he was worried about my question, or representation, he didn’t want me to fuel the already raging fire! haha So a 15 page slide or so turned into a 1 hour presentation. Nice!!

Right now, I am shattered, and that would probably be due to the 02h30 time I went to sleep last night! And that was due to me mucking about with my wordpress blog site the entire evening!

Anyway, I’m off to get some zzzz’s.

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Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉

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.

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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!