|Lobito candongueiro station|
|Market at Benguela's candongueiro station|
Back in the centre I'm getting bored once more, so I think I'll get myself arrested again. But here nobody seems to give a damn when I start taking photos of a palatial government building.
|Benguela's Palacio das Bolas administrative building|
Sitting minding my own business and watching the sun go down at the Porta Avioes (aircraft carrier) restaurant on Benguela's waterfront; a little kid approaches wanting to polish my shoes. As I demur he passes his hand over his tummy and says 'I'm hungry,' a common come-on here. But before I can react the waiter tells him I'm about to eat, puts a pushing hand on his little shoulder and firmly directs him on his spindly legs to the curb.
After dinner he turns up again, smiles winningly with the whitest of white teeth and says 'You've eaten now.' I let him clean my shoes for his price of 50 kwanzas (about 50 cents). He works away, pulling the top off a bottle with his mouth and spraying out some soapy stuff, banging his little box for me to present the other shoe as professionally as a maestro calling his orchestra to order. After some more applications of polish and rubbings with rags, all accompanied with masterly conducting, the shoes still look dull but at least they're no longer caked in dust.
He says he's 13 - but looks much younger - and that he lives with his brothers. He's bare-footed. Most people here at least have flip-flops. I give him 100 kwanzas and off he trots in his ragged little camouflage T-shirt with GAP written on it. With all the oil and diamond wealth this country has, and it's eight years after the end of the wars already, you'd think that...
|Sunset from the 'deck' of the Porta Avioes|