Saturday, October 6, 2007

New horizons

Luanda, Angola a city of contradictions. Fly in and all that one can see is one shanty after another, and yet an expensive one.

For the first time on this trip I feel insecure, not in control of my surroundings. A new city, a new country, another language contributing to this sense of unease.

I was expecting a long drawn out process at the airport - but strangely, when other more seasoned visitors were held back, I was waved through. Perhaps the bundle of passports I carry had something to do with it, could not have been my smile.

A sense of loneliness fills me, melancholy and even mildly depressed. While I enjoy my solitude, I am a man who enjoys company. The past month has been difficult, and with each passing day, I find myself yearning for human touch.

This evening, as I watched the sunset upon the city, I looked upon the block of flats below my hotel. No different to the scores around me, all with a sense of poverty about them. All the tenants on the forth floor had gathered this Saturday evening for a brai on the walk way. As they prepared their meal, some cooked, others danced to music, it was a sight of such profound simplicity.

It also occurred to me that the less fortunate know how to enjoy life. I look at my own, and it's never enough at the end of the day. I am too worried about tomorrow that I forget about today....

I mean not to sound stupid, life is not easy and I have no doubts that mine is far easier than a majority of the people that I share this earth planet with. Greener grass on the other side? Perhaps. There is a story I read starting with a tramp, residing by the side of a building, and as the tale unfolds, it goes from his perception upward, from the doorman of the building, to the security, the mail man, the administrator, so on, so forth, ending finally with the chairman of the company, looking upon the tramp and imagining his life to be far richer than his own.

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