and things I had forgotten
06.19.2006 0 °F
This weekend I had a whole new set of new experiences. On Saturday, Arlete, a friend of hers, and I, headed south of Luanda to a town that has an artisan market. There were lots of statues and carvings and masks. Plenty of jewelry too. Unfortunately, a lot of it was ivory, which I don’t feel right purchasing. I ended up buying a pair of malachite earrings for a steal. (At least I think so.) I miss bargaining, but I try not to be too ruthless.
On the way back to Luanda, we went out to lunch at a restaurant where I had “fuje” for the first time. It’s the traditional staple across southern Africa, by different names. It’s made of maize meal and is a thick, sticky consistency. It has the grit and moistness of polenta and the sticky gelatinous character of mochi. Enjoyed it quite a lot with the “carne” meat stew, but it’s a bit too filling. I still prefer rice.
I’m also finding that I stick out a lot. But then I knew that was going to happen. Everywhere I go I’m “chinesa” or “Shanghai” (I’m not exactly sure why they all know that city…) It was like that at the market and also at the beach on Sunday.
Itºs winter now, so I guess itºs too cold to go to the beach for Angolans, but I found it perfect. Warm in the sun and cool in the water. The beach wasn’t crowded and hardly anyone was swimming. The beaches have more garbage than the beaches in the States, but I found it pleasant anyway.
And I found that I like fiction again. Nikki lent me Love in the Time of Cholera. And omg is it a good book. Finished it in two days. Will probably read it again… more than once.