Filed under: *Travel Diary
September 10 2009
jim is sitting in the consulate office in rotterdam seeing if he can charm his way into getting his visa in time to catch his flight on sunday from amsterdam, meet me in frankfurt, and then fly down together to luanda. I am going to go pick up my visa at 4pm here in Vienna. They just called to tell me it will be ready.
It has been a very strange process trying to prepare for the trip from Europe and the United States. Everything is happening over the telephone and via internet and everyone I have been in touch with tells me something else. The two people who i’ve talked to that have spent time traveling in the provinces – justin pearce and cristobal delgado – have told me that the candongeiros and cars are a viable way to get around. While others are adamant that without a jeep, we’ll be lost.
Jeremy Ball suggested we work with a guide/driver he worked with. Which would be perfect really. But I am really curious what it’s like to travel in these candongeiros.
Here’s something I found online from 2005:
“These blue vans are the notorious . They are the biggest hazard in Luanda. They are ill maintained, their drivers are maniacs, and the passengers are thieves. They dart in and out of traffic with no regard for any others, including other cars, pedestrians, women, children, and babies. They must have a point system, which awards them for impaling someone on their raggedy front ends. I often took great pleasure in outrunning the Candongueiros and beating them to the slight opening in traffic. There oughta be a law against them”.
Yeah…curious…this sort of makes it impossible for me not to take them. How could I pass up on it?
JIM GOT HIS VISA!!!!!!!
I can’t fucking believe it. I was certain it wouldn’t come through at this point. Unbelievable.
He went to the consulate in Rotterdam, chatted them up. Talked about places on the Map on the wall, about what food is good, music, etc. And a couple hours later – there he is with a fat beautiful visa, hologram and all, in his passport. So. A huge relief.
Now I am going to the embassy here in Vienna to pick up mine.
I really can’t believe it.
The trip will happen.
This is all really 11th hour stuff. I guess that’s the way it works…?
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