Friday, March 23, 2007

Awesome Structures in Angola Series: Part 2

I took this picture from the balcony of my new apartment. These types of houses- once grand, Portuguese structures, now decaying, ruined shells- are quite common along Restinga, the peninsula where I live. Most of these houses were abandoned during the independence days and the ensuing war. It's not clear to me who owns these houses. Local friends say that those who abandoned the houses still maintain property rights; others say that they belong to the government, who chooses not to do anythign with them right now. There are so many houses like this. I really would have liked to have seen them in their glory days, with a nice coat of paint and tended gardens. Perhaps they were never like that, but older friends tell me they were quite nice.

I especially like the tear-shaped garage on this one. Don't know if a car ever really fit there, though. You can also see that, in spite of a large trash container right in front of my apartment building, people (don't know who) choose to dump trash on the corner.

(Yes, Restinga has trash-pick up! A pleasant surprise. The garbage trucks used to come at 11 pm, which was a bit disruptive, but now they come around 7 am, which is tolerable. The municipal water company even distributed odd-shaped bright yellow trash bags for free. Of course, some enterprising people stole them from the doors of houses that hadn't picked them up yet and then sold them to local stores.)

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