Monday, May 27, 2013

Posts from Maputo and Beira

Beira Marginal, its own version of the Promenade des Anglais, the mighty Marina.
The sketch below was made quite early during the evening, before the sun sets, which is why it is so empty. After dark, and until midnight, the beach road gets packed: ladies selling beer and refrescos from their cooler boxes, car parked with youngsters sipping booze and flirting, a 2 way traffic jam of cars, windows open, each one trying to cover the music from the other cars. For the people who are standing and enjoying their drinks on the side of the road, the car festival can only be compared to a  one year old discovering the radio, having found the sound button (up up up) and now pressing the channel button with great joy. Car with blue neon under the chassis plays full blast Passada, Deu me Amor pink honda spitting south african techno, '95 mazda pick up with 10 teenagers in the back blasting Shakira, Oh a quite corolla, then an Angolan-dance-boombox on wheels, a toyota hilux proving that Bon Jovi is also popular here, boum boum boum tchakalaka boum boum boum, Crash! (that is Bon Jovi kissing the arse of Shakira, failing to recognize her hidden break lights)- The traffic stops, Castel-Light-loaded drivers jumps out, eager to kill each other, then finding that they are, in fact, cousins and should continue their ride and let their dads sort the damages later...
People drinking, people watching, people driving, people getting deaf, and some working too, the cooler-box sellers, the cigarette and chewing gum vendors, the kids watching after cars, the portuguese Sporting-Fan selling his hot dogs, the chinese take-away guy busy cooking his  Mozambican dishes /Cantonese style, the tchopela (tuk-tuk) drivers offloading some sailors,... on a big night half Beira meet up on the 100 meters between the hot dog stand and the Mira Mar bar. It is busy. 

Small sketch done in Maputo. On Ave Lumumba there is a small old house, escondida between two blunt styled concrete towers (the type that inspired generations of architects building low-income-tower and making sure people living there feel as bad as possible). There are still such surprises in Maputo, where in the middle of eye-sores one will see some type of wonders that make it interesting, and gives its charm. This old house is one of those. Could pass 10.000 times in the street without noticing it, then one day, you are brought there. It is nice. As well they are doing food, prato do dia, no gourmet dishes but good food.
That is a great thing about Mozambique, and the west Africa I had the pleasure to know, is that there are hundreds of small hidden places to eat and drink out. A lot of chicken chopped, millions of potatoes slaughtered and fried, fish scaled, and salad dug. I do hope it can stay that way for a bit more time.
Oh and in that small old house, they also had WiFi. The house is falling down, but does it in style:  connected to the world. Now that is cool.

And last one from Maputo was done in Mundo's, a thatched place with international food and pizzas. It used to be full of south africans, now its a bit more mixed, still a lot of foreigners. When I draw I seem to be able to listen better. So during the hour at Mundos, I had the pleasure to hear two frenchmen talking NGO stuff and their relations with the ministery of health, an American lady pushing a Spanish guy in sharing his sex life stories with her (and detailing hers in the same time), a group of noisy Portuguese getting upset with the waiter, an English family laughing together, a women missionary reading her kindle, a mozambican  couple sharing their silence, a table full of businessman getting pinted after a sealed deal, and me in the middle

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