Monday, November 24, 2008

50 Reasons Why I Like Maputo

1. Great weather most of the year.
2. Delicious, cheap seafood.
3. Being able to procure anything you need from informal vendors on 24 de Julho (or any other street, for that matter).
4. All the art deco architecture (and the remaining colonial architecture). The Soviet-inspired buildings? Not so much.
5. Watching the tide fluctuations while driving along the Marginal.
6. Fruit and vegetable vendors on nearly every corner.
7. Everything is 20 minutes away - max.
8. Tilework on Vila Algarve (despite the horrid past of the place).
9. Flamboyants and Jacarandas lining almost all the streets.
10. Watching ladies carry insane loads on their heads: gas canisters, buckets of oranges, kettles, boxes, piles of lettuce, etc.
11. Reading the bumper stickers and window decals on the chapas (the one perpetually parked outside our flat reads "13 Missed Calls". Go figure!)
12. Speaking Portuguese.
13. Aspiring to learn a decent vocabulary in Changana.
14. Pita bread and shwarmas from Café Milano.
15. Pizza from Mundo's (our favorite is with prosciutto and rocket).
16. Malva pudding from The Meat Co.
17. Octopus carpaccio and apple crumble from Zambi.
18. Getting drunk at the fish market while you wait for your food.
19. Walking along Frederich Engels on a Sunday afternoon and watching all the Fast & Furious-inspired guys with their cars lined up, music blasting out an open door.
20. Going to the pool at Hotel Terminus.
21. Finding beautiful paintings at Núcleo de Arte.
22. Furniture shopping (or dreaming) at the Bali shop.
23. Finding antique chandeliers at Yola Mobilias, a local furniture warehouse.
24. Mangoes, litchis, pineapples and tangerines.
25. Matapa com carangueijo.
26. Capulanas, even if I just use them as swimsuit cover-ups and tablecloths.
27. Fabric shopping at Casa Paris.
28. Watching low-budget music videos being filmed on the Caracol hill.
29. Local pop music.
30. Coconuts. Occasionally. (the club, not the nut)
31. Looking in awe at the tree roots exposed from erosion along the Marginal.
32. Visiting CFM (the train station), both during the day and at night.
33. Mojitos at CFM bar.
34. Spotting donated clothes from your hometown's finest restaurants or 4-H club for sale or proudly in use.
35. Automatic vacation between December 15th and January 15th because the entire city is deserted and nothing happens in any of the offices.
36. Proximity to great beaches: Ponta do Ouro, Bilene, Ilha dos Portugueses.
37. Proximity to Kruger Park.
38. Proximity to South Africa, when a weekend away is in order.
39. Taking photographs at the Fortaleza.
40. Breakfast at Café Sol or the place near Talho Polana with the waiter that looks like a caricature of himself.
41. Large international population. Lots of diversity.
42. Film festivals.
43. Expositions at the Franco-Mozambican Cultural Center.
44. Films at the Gil Vicente theater.
45. Wood sculptures and other souvenirs at the Saturday wood market.
46. Rich local culture.
47. Being entertained by local TV, especially MiraShop.
48. Mozambican slang: "maningue nice!" "tá a bater!" "job", etc.
49. Relative safety (at least compared to Rio, Joburg, etc.)
50. It's increasingly feeling like home...


MoziEsmé said...

On # 3 - and everything you don't need, too!

Love this list...

NOLAGringa said...

It sounds awesome! I'll have to put Mozambique on my "must visit" list.

Ali la Loca said...

~MoziEsme - For sure! Although some days it does seem like I *need* an electrified mosquito-zapping racket!

~NolaGringa - It is well worth it, and Maputo is just the tip of what the country has to offer!

Erik Cleves Kristensen said...

Ali! Made me soooo nostalgic to go back to Maputo! See you guys!!!!!! Specially for a number 18 ;-)

JOSÉ said...

What an eye opener but now I am experiencing a bout of homesickness!

Ali la Loca said...

~Erik - You definitely should come back for a visit. We promise it will include at least 4 hours at the fish market. :) Saudades de você...

~José - I imagine it is very different from some of the images you remember of Maputo. Even from 3 years ago, when we arrived in the capital, it is very different.