Arriving in Luanda

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This street game Näo te irrites (Don’t be Angry) is an Angolan dice game akin to Ludo, but it utilises numbers, so it involves some strategic mathematics. These two guys set up on the ground floor corridor of the building where I’m staying. This corridor has multi pop-up functions, such as a nail salon, hair braiding salon, casino, etc. And the backyard also functions as a restaurant. I ate Mufete there on Friday (03-08-2018).
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Mufete is an Angolan national dish. This was my first one, but let me tell you, the one I ate on Monday (06-08-2018) was the best thus far. The meal is comprised of grilled fish, callaloo, beans, cassava, plantain, sweet potato and Funje, which is cornmeal: in Swahili it’s Muhogo; in Yoruba it’s Fufu. This dish is soooo familiar to me in its myriad of versions on the continent of Africa and throughout the transnational African diaspora. Food is a social unifier – hey peeps, we are what we eat.
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Flip Flopped: Yes peoples, I was gutted. My red Croc flip flops have been with me for nearly ten years. They have walked the streets of Cali Colombia, Nairobi Kenya, Dakar Senegal, New York, Detroit, LA, New Orleans, Berlin, London and more; but here in Luanda they flipped and snapped. They couldn’t handle the miles I’ve been walking on the Luandan sidewalks, dodging cars at crossroads resplendent with non-functioning traffic lights caked in dust like epistemological sculptural objects.
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I was struck by this sign above a door in a residential neighbourhood in downtown Luanda. After a little investigation, I found out that MAG is the Mine Advisory Group. In case you’re not hip, Angola endured a 27 year long civil war: the longest in Africa. There are more than seventy different types of land mines paralysing the rural areas halting village expansion and preventing fields from being cultivated. Muito Perigoso translated into English means Very Dangerous.

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