Sunday, January 13, 2008

Maputo, Mozambique

Stuck in traffic at the ideological intersection of Avenidas Karl Marx and Ho Chi Minh, I'm trying to follow Mozambique's vague rightward turn into its uncertain future. Post-colonial success story, or just another African playground to the world.

With a cool breeze rustling the palm trees overhead, I finish the last of my calamari and my second Dos M beer. At the next table, a chubby Portuguese expat picks at his teeth and paws a schoolgirl companion, gripping her chin without affection, then rustling her hair like a dog's. I can almost hear her teeth gritting, but she betrays nothing and goes back to idly typing a text message on her cellphone.