Monday, July 10, 2006

Greetings from Luanda

So, we finally made it here. After even more trouble at Copenhagen Airport when we went to pick up our substitution tickets and travel on Friday, we came to Lisbon, where we spent the night at a failry nice hotel and had absolutely excellent brekfast (although I wouldn't recommend what I thought was some sort of Portuguese cinnamon bun, but turned out to be more like soggy white bread smeared with toffee flavoured ice cream sauce and then rolled together). Saturday morning we left Lisbon and then the same evening, we landed at Luanda Airport.
Like I said before I left, I didn't really know what to expect, but maybe I'd expected it to be different, but then with some sort of realization that what they show on the news is rather is exagerrated and, hey, it's not that different after all. But it really, really is. At the airport, some people from my dad's work ushered us into the queue for people with diplomatic passports and then when we'd found our luggage, he carried it for us into the car along with my dad, his girlfriend and the driver. And right now, I'm sitting on the bed, while Laura, the maid (the f***ing maid! I used to be the maid! I had a uniform just like hers!), is out in the courtyard cleaning next to the cupboard where the guard keeps his AK-47.
I feel so white, so privileged, so very out of place here. When we're driving around and I make eye contact with someone, they either smile and wave enthutiastically or flip me off while scowling. And I can't get used to the fact that I can't just go out on my own. It's weird, all weird. Not bad-weird, just.... weird.
And there's this opressive heat and the sun sets at 18.30 and there's animals everywhere, loose dogs and goats, cats in the restaurants (because there are mice) and chickens and yesterday, when we were driving to a place where there are eagles, we saw this pig with her piglets lying in the roadside.
And everything is dusty and the dirt is red dirt and... just wow, it's all really strange and new.
I'll leave you with this, my first baobab (it's not dead, none of them have leaves right now - and if anyone knows what the writing says, let me know);