Thursday, December 21, 2006

Boas Festas

There’s a holiday tradition in Benguela- perhaps everywhere in Angola, but I can only speak to Benguela- called boas festas. (Happy Holidays) I had been warned about this tradition by other ex-pats, but I didn’t think it could be true.

Basically, someone comes up to you and says, “Boas festas!” Then you are supposed to give them money. Really! When Mark told me about this, he said that anyone would do this, regardless of how well (or if) they knew you or economic condition.

Indeed, yesterday people started saying “Boas festas!” to me and holding out their hand. I just play dumb. Kids come running up to me in the street, saying, "Amgia! Amiga! Boas festas, amiga!" And these are NOT the poor kids who ask me for money usually. In every store there is the equivalent of a Boas Festas tip jar. Readers of the previous post will remember Deborah, the sullen receptionist at the cable TV office. Even though it took me almost a week to get service, every time I went in there she would hold out the box and say, “Boas festas! You didn’t put in the boas festas!”

Boas festas, indeed!

Our office is closing for two weeks so I’ll be away from the computer for a while. Keep sending me emails, though! Remember me in Angola!

Happy holidays to all. I miss you!

1 comment:

Scottish Missy said...

Happy Holidays from the Copenhagen Airport! Sitting here waiting for a delayed flight - no idea why, but it's probably a bad sign that no time has been posted. But I discovered that I can check my flight online so I don't even half to walk across the screen in the terminal. Ultimate laziness :o)