Pranz cu homar in Nacala

E duminica si este iarna in Nacala asa ca temperatura nu depaseste 35 de grade. Zi tocmai potrivita pentru o baie in mare la plaja de la Indian. Mosorel electricianul cam bate din talpi a duca si nu-si mai gaseste locul nici in cabina si nici pe comanda. Pana la urma isi face curaj si vine cu propunerea, sa bem si noi o bere rece la terasa, in sunet de valuri. Doar e duminica, ce mama ma-sii si o data-n viata ajunge omul in Nacala. Hai sa mergem. O luam usurel la picior catre piata unde lumea inca mai motaie cu marfa in fata poate ne lamurim unde este plaja. Si ne lamurim, nu-i departe, doar vreo 15 kilometri de aici. Un taxi? Vorba lui Corcea, asta-i o problema care nu se poate, nu exista taxiuri in Nacala ne spune o indianca ce tine un mic magazin cu de toate. Si atunci cum ajungem? Simplu, trebuie sa-l gasim pe portughezul care are o camioneta si transporta marfa la si de la piata. Ne intoarcem la piata dar portughezul nu-i acolo, nimeni nu stie pe unde bantuie. Dar unde sta? Aaaah, uite in blocul ala, cam jerpelit, cam ponosit dar locuit. Gasim intrarea in bloc si din om in om aflam si apartamentul. Cum soneria nu functioneaza batem la usa gingas dar nimeni nu raspunde asa ca incercam varianta “deschide, politia”. Se dovedeste eficient, ne deschide mama-soacra, se vede ca e cam surda si mai in doua-trei vorbe portugheze, mai ceva engleza ii lasam vorba omului ca daca vrea sa faca un ciubuc ne gaseste la terasa din oras, aia inconjurata cu gard de stuf. Continue reading

I Eat Brexits For Breakfast And Right Now I’m Very Hungary — toofulltowrite (I’ve started so I’ll finish)

Originally posted on The Nudge Wink Report: This week as we approach the final few days before Armageddon (alright, I’m kidding but it’s not far off), there is a lot of brouhaha going on over in Britain about the EU Referendum and whether we should all vote to either stay or leave the European Union.…

via I Eat Brexits For Breakfast And Right Now I’m Very Hungary — toofulltowrite (I’ve started so I’ll finish)

Africa, first date – part II

That was twenty years ago.

It’s 6 in the morning and trying to find a hot coffee bar proves useless so we have to be satisfied with soluble coffee rubbed into a cup and one cigarette whose smoke rouse the curiosity of chameleon who was on watch during our sleep. In the courtyard two vans appears and guards who first frightened us. Each of the three comes from a different weapon, have different uniforms, but most fierce is in black uniform, and besides the usual already machine gun he carries a pistol and a machete that could behead easily anything and everyone if only looking funny. We are told that we are not allowed to use cameras so put it in the pocket of the bag, handy though, just in case. We squeeze with “weapons and luggage” how can each and hit the road. In front next to the driver sits the fearsome utter a word, scanning the faces in other cars. As air conditioning is a luxury, most of the cars have windows lowered in hope of some fresh air. We get out of Lagos and enter the beautifully built highway that connects Lagos to Cotonou. In less than an hour we get stuck in a traffic jam where old and dusty cars mixes with newer cars, pedestrians and people pushing carts. Continue reading

Africa, first date – part I

That was twenty years ago.

After few good hours of flight from Sofia through Tripoli we land on Murtala Muhamed airport in Lagos. We look forward to all the equipment we brought and the boarding gate for the next flight to Cotonou. Bad luck, Bulgarian airline took our money but all flights from Lagos to Cotonou are canceled. Trying to get out of airport is an useless attempt, rules and guards with Kalashnikov on shoulder cut our enthusiasm. Dressed in shorts and sweaty shirts with all that equipment rather dubious in the eyes of airport staff we look like terrorists chased away their caves and going on pilgrimage to places more welcoming. Negotiation with the big guys proves unsuccessful. We are guided in the waiting room where can see the planes coming and going, coming and going while ridden here we sit. Success comes in many forms so after more than three hours we get phone number and call the embassy. Not long later consul comes and we can explain the situation to someone listening us. What he is saying is not filling our hearts of joy but only some hopes, it will be solved but … Continue reading

Mare, soare si tractoare

Astazi ca tot am ajuns aproape la jumatatea lui iunie m-am gandit ca e vremea sa ma duc si eu la mare. Ca asa este mereu, cel mai lung drum pana la mare nu e din Maramures la Mamaia, e din orice cartier constantean pana la Perla. Deci m-am pregatit temeinic, am facut plinul la masina ba chiar am trecut si pe la spalatorie unde mi-au intins zoaiele asa frumos pe masina ca am fost incantat, “uite dom’ne ce frumos isi schimba culoarea la soare”. Am deschis radioul si aerul conditionat, adica am deschis geamul portierei si am intins-o hotarat spre Mamaia. De cum am intrat pe Lapusneanu frumos, ce sa mai zic. E asa revigorant sa vezi cum tinerii astia au atata energie, nu conteaza ca limita e de 50 si ei merg cu 90, nu conteaza ca mai lasa cate o mamaie sacosa din mana pe trecerea de pietoni ca sa poata fugi din calea bolidului cumparat cu 2000 euro si care a avut o viata mai buna acum 20 de ani. Da’ si astia mai purisani nu se lasa, sunt unii care dau exemplu, exemplu cum se circula pe vreme cand benzina era pe cartela si nu forjai Dacia ca sa nu consume, din maxim 30 nu-i scoti. Si ce daca stau atatia in spatele lor, sa stea, ca de-aia e weekend, sa se bucure lumea de o plimbare pe bulevard.                        Continue reading

Africa, prima intalnire – partea a IIa

E 6 dimineata, incercarea de a gasi o cafea calda la bar se dovedeste un esec asa ca ne multumim cu ness-ul frecat in ceasca si o tigara al carei fum intriga cameleonul ce ne-a pazit somnul. In curtea interioara apar cele doua microbuze si garzile de care mai intai ne speriem noi. Fiecare din cei trei provine de la alta arma, au uniforme diferite, insa cel mai fioros e in uniforma neagra si, pe langa obisnuitul deja pistol-mitraliera, poarta un pistolet si o maceta cu care ar putea descapatina cu usurinta orice si pe oricine i s-ar parea ca se uita urat. Ni se spune ca nu avem voie sa folosim aparatele foto asa ca il pun in buzunarul gentii, la indemana totusi, pentru orice eventualitate. Ne inghesuim cu “arme si bagaje” fiecare cum poate si pornim la drum. In fata, langa sofer, se aseaza fiorosul care nu scoate nici o vorba, scrutand mutrele celor din alte masini. Cum aerul conditionat e un lux, majoritatea circula cu ferestrele coborate in speranta unei guri de aer proaspat. Iesim din Lagos si intram pe autostrada frumos construita ce uneste Lagos de Cotonou. Nu trece o ora si ne blocam intr-un ambuteiaj in care masinile vechi si prafuite se amesteca cu pedestrii si carucioarele impinse de unu-doi oameni.                     Continue reading

India twenty years ago

This is something I wrote almost twenty years ago when first saw India and was shocking. I am not hunting sensational but cannot stop me seeing people. India is changed and I am changed. Some things are same, some are changed, some vanished but I hope my Indian friends will still be my friends. My excuses to native speakers, my English might have some flaws.

Dedicated to Andrzej with whom shared good and bad two years in India, some ten years after that.

Is hot, is very hot, still summer in India. The agent, bit ragged, bit slimy if judging in European standards is waiting patient on the pier to see us finally disembarked. In our sweaty shirts we are pulling the bags, also not looking well after what they have seen in airports and planes cargo stores, trunks of cars better fitted for scrapyards and boats smelling everything but perfume. Happy to see us the agent is wiping hands on trousers, probably some lunch sauce, giving us right one. Education is the only one stopping me to refuse shaking it. Despite the aspect and the sauce he proves to be a nice guy and advise us to offer five dollars each for customs officer. Handing those fifteen dollars we can see him vanishing in the building different by the others only by the signboard saying “Office”.                                                                                                      Continue reading