27 November 2008

Pepino Birthday Party & Tree o' Crustaceans

One weekend I was invited to a birthday party for something of a local legend. Pepino was turning 86 and is probably Angola’s most famous cyclist. He’s cycled from Benguela to Luanda and back more than once and his latest project is to get a group of world-wide "Pepino’s" to come to Angola and do the ride with him. He’s a communist (huge paintings of Marx and Lenin adorn his bike shop) and has his coffin already made and waiting for him in the attic (confirmed by trustworthy inside sources).

While most people came to celebrate another year in the life of this amazing man, I was personally more fascinated by the tree-o-shellfish. I’ve never seen anything like it – there’s an aluminum foil tree laden with lobster, shrimp, and crab and you just reach in an grab what you want off the tree. I took a lobster tail. For as rediculously expensive as food is in Angola, lobster is surprisingly affordable so I didn’t feel too guilty doing this (the fact that I didn’t even know Pepino didn't bother me somehow…)

I wish Pepino well. And if they’re going to have that shellfish tree again at next year’s party I hope I’m invited…

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