Monday, November 10, 2008

City living

I've just got back from three days in a city which features buildings designed by Eiffel, live jazz bands at every other eatery, fancy boutiques and shining new 5* hotels, a thriving arts scene and possibly the best prawns in the world. That last one should have told you that I was not on a short break to Paris, but actually in Maputo, capital of my adopted country. What a revelation! My memories of Maputo - I have not visited in three years - were of a dirty, congested and polluted city. I found it cleaner, more cosmopolitan and friendlier than I was expecting. It may have helped that my nice pensao (Jacaranda) was located in a fancy neighbourhood, and that the seminar I was attending was in one of the smartest hotels in town (Avenida), but I also enjoyed the Latin vibe, the cafe culture and the relative sophistication. It occurs to me that I've perhaps been in Pemba for too long and need to update my expectations of African capital cities, but if you're coming to Mozambique, give Maputo a few days of your time. You won't regret it.

An aside: the first day of the seminar coincided with the US election results. We were lead in a round of applause for Obama's victory - directed at the one US participant, irrespective of her actual political views - by the Minister of Tourism in his opening address. Kind of cool. The whole world is watching; no pressure, Barack (Kenya's most popular boys' name this year).

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At 9:29 am, Blogger MoziEsm√© said...

Thanks for the reminder not to take this bustling metropolis for granted! I whine all too much :)

At 2:51 pm, Blogger Captain said...

yes, its certainly more bearable and yes there has been some improvement. next time ure in town holler...

At 11:48 pm, Blogger Greta-Stina said...

I Agree, Maputo has imporved a lot. But my favourite places are the book shops where you can find a lot of interesting books nowadays. Then breakfast at hotel Terminus now and then.


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