Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Wild Wild Lobito, Pt. 3: The Most Dangerous Block in Restinga

Nice neighborhood establishment with fun for the whole family? Or TRIANGLE OF VIOLENCE!!
The rolote is the little hut to the right. This is the view from my apartment veranda.

Yesterday I ran into a friend who asked if I had heard about the confusão at the rolote (or “sin shack” as my friend Lisa L callsthem- a great description) in front of my house. This is the same rolote whose guard shot at the car that attempted a hit and run a few months ago. This is on the same street where I heard gunfire at 5 am a few weeks ago.

The latest incident to occur in this little nexus of violence involves some drunk expat oil company employees. You see, for some reason, the vast majority of the expat oil workers love the rolote in front of my house. Most of them are skilled laborers (electricians, metalurgists) from Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, and a handful of other European countries. They come here for 3 months at a time and then leave. Why do they love this rolote so much? The service there, like every other place, is atrocious. Unlike other rolotes this one is far from the beach and any nice ocean breeze. It’s next to a playground, so there are kids running around at all hours of the day and night. My theory is that they feel at home there because there is a constant stream of horrible eurotrash techno music- the same song over and over and over and over again. These ex-pats are constantly there drinking. I see them in the morning eating breakfast, at noon eating lunch, and of course at night drinking and eating.

So on Sunday, there was a big match in the Portuguese soccer league. Porto, one of the more popular teams, won, so Angolans were going crazy. This rolote has a projection screen TV that shows most European league games. (Now that I think about it, the games, as opposed to the techno music, are the draws.)

A group of Angolans were getting a bit rowdy in front of the table of ex-pats. One Angolan guy and one English guy exchanged words, and the Angolan “challenged” the English guy to hit him. Rather than hit him, he apparently got out his Leatherman and slashed the guy’s stomach open, injuring some internal organs.


Apparently the English guy is in jail and awaiting trial. Not the best way for an oil company to win over the locals. The Angolan guy was in surgery for 5 hours but in the end is apparently okay.

What is it about my block? It is calm and generally safe… really! I live in what is considered the best neighborhood in Lobito. It certainly is the most expensive, and one where the majority of expats live. To me, it's perplexing that these things have happened here. Perhaps I'm just naive.


Victoria said...

Ahhh, it almost sounds like club Med...

Scottish Missy said...

Not surprising.... knife crime is huge problem here in Scotland and down south.

Sir Chancelot said...

A Brit knifing someone? Typical.