Day 182: We Are Nowhere And It’s Now
1 July 2009
One thing that Café Sophia is good for, is meeting people. Possibly because there is nowhere else in Praia where you can sit out under a parasol, drink a beer and watch the world go by. Today passed like a tag team of people coming and going. I sat and chatted with Maggie from Zimbabwe and Debbie from Connecticut, whom I had met a few weeks(!) ago, together with their mate Tomic from Poland, who is studying Cape Verde Anthropology. Might I suggest he start by looking under some rocks?
They were relieved by Colin, an English guy who was working for a GPS company setting up relay stations and the like. Then we were joined by Margarita, a lady born in Britain, raised in Africa, a citizen of Spain now living on the island of Maio. She’s in her 60s, but still works as a builder. True! I’d been talking to her the week before, when she was with her younger friend Anna, who was ridiculously good looking. She had gone back to Spain. Shame.
Then I met a lovely girl from Freetown in Sierra Leone called Nazia and her mate, before settling down to a good old fashioned game of chess against Yuri. The funny thing is that everyone I spoke to today seemed to be waiting for something. I’m waiting for the p—ing Micau to leave, Maggie is waiting for her passport to return from Copenhagen, Colin is waiting for his GPS equipment to arrive, Margarita is waiting for her niece to get here from the Canary Islands (the CV airline wouldn’t let her on the plane without some purely needless bureaucracy – SURPRISE, SURPRISE!) and Yuri is waiting on his girl from Switzerland to get here – she’s currently stuck in Portugal. All of us have in some way been slowed down, hindered, disrupted or inconvenienced by the powers that be, here in Cape Verde.
I need to get out. This isn’t funny anymore.
Day 183: The Lost Month
2 July 2009
So we settle into July and I have here, a blog of my time spent sitting around in Cape Verde waiting to get the hell out as soon as possible.
I’ve kind of given up a little. I don’t believe that the Micau is EVER going to leave so I’m looking for alternatives. Today, I went with Margarita to talk to all the shipping companies in Praia, but none of them go to Dakar, the closest is the Manx Lion (the captain of which, I spoke to the other week), which will be leaving at the end of the month for Banjul in Gambia.
THE END OF THE MONTH.
I met a top bloke from the Maersk Line, but the only way to Dakar would be a trip of a few thousand miles north to SPAIN, change there and head back down to Dakar. Not really an option.
Meanwhile, the crane guys turned up today to take the fishing boat to the port, only to find that there was another bit of paper (the Cape Verdeans LOVE their f***ing bits of paper) that they needed to take the Pirogue away. So Val, the rather disreputable character who had been ‘helping’ me out this week, summoned another hundred Euros out of me to pay for their time. Whether he actually gave it to the crane guys is another matter.
Day 184: Groundhog Day
3 July 2009
SO DID THE MICAU LEAVE TODAY?
DID IT HELL!!
Yesterday, I went to speak to the Captainere Du Port and he presented me with a checklist of TWENTY things that need to be repaired on the Micau before they will let it sail.
They say next Wednesday.
I had a bit of a freak out in the port, and one of the port workers came over and poured water over my head to try to bring me out of it. Well…if I can’t have a tantrum after all that’s happened to me here, I don’t know when I can bloody well have one!
I’VE GOT TO GET OUT OF THIS PLACE IF IT’S THE LAST THING I EVER DO.