Saturday in Luanda

February 18, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Today was another full working day. It’s normal for me to work on Saturdays, but I’m pretty sure my driver was pissed off that we worked a full 9-5.

Given the two hours it took us to get to the first stop, an enormous supermarket, I’m pretty pleased at the amount of work I got done today. This was on the way to the supermarket. I actually felt more comfortable than I have felt yet here inside the supermarket.  It was more like a target. They had everything from Tabasco to Samsung TVs. Even though they didn’t take American Express, from inside the market I could have been anywhere and that was a nice escape.

After this first market, we went to another shopping area and it turned out to be like a Cosco! I didn’t get anything but did take some time to walk around and check it out.

Yesterday I noted some things here that there are a lot of. I forgot to mention the people selling things on the street. People are all over in the middle of the road selling all sorts of things. Just today, I saw, for example, spark plugs, fruits, calling cards, shampoo, fancy perfume, car tires, steering wheels, neon vests, and lawn chairs. A lot of people hang these things from their bodies or put things on their heads. The balancing it all is pretty amazing.

In my arrival security briefing, I was told not to buy any of these things because they may be stolen and if a policeman sees, it may be a good opportunity to get you and get some $$. This picture is also on the way to the market.

I also went to check out a five star hotel today. It was totally empty and the lowest rooms start at 500+ dollars a night. Thought that was interesting. The staff wasn’t even nice.

Not many people speak english here, so I’m having a hard time with the language  barrier. The word that came up most today was “fechado,” which means “closed.” A lot of the places I needed to go today were fechado.

This last picture is from a nicer area downtown. I’m trying to figure out what to do tomorrow. The only thing planned is to sleep as late as possible.

At this time next week, I’ll be at the airport waiting for my flight to London!

Love, Annie

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