22 August 2008

Living in "Sim City"

One thing I forgot to mention in the last entry is that I left for the weekend living on a dirt road and returned Sunday night to a paved one. The upside is that I’m no longer greeted by huge street-level dust clouds when I leave the house to walk to school, and this is a very good thing. New paved roads are coming online so fast I feel like I’m living in a real-life version of Sim City…

Apparently this love affair with asphalt is related to the upcoming elections on September 5. Most expats I know are mysteriously planning trips to be out of the country that day, except for yours truly and my colleagues at CAE. Most of the Angolans I have spoken to don’t expect trouble, however. I’ve managed to see campaign posters for at least 3 different political parties, but the MPLA (the party in power) is clearly the most organized. Some people think the spending on infrastructure development will subside after the MPLA (most likely) wins the elections, hence the rush to pave everything in sight leading up to September 5. We’ll see.

The odd thing is that even though the roads are being paved in most areas the sidewalks are still uneven mounds of fine dirt. In residential areas most people walk on the streets now, myself included. And another thing - there is no drainage! The paving company paves right over the previous drains and apparently a separate company has to come in and re-open the drains. Good thing it doesn't rain much here. Imperfections in the system aside, for now I’ll enjoy the smooth and newly dust-free walk to school…



Road to school in process:

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