Thursday, August 9, 2007

The city of Maputo

As I said before, Maputo is a fairly sleepy city. There are some modern looking places like a mall and Game, a South African K-Mart-type store. However, what you see the most of are what our friend Pamela called "commie condos." The city is really nice, but every once and a while it's like we've stepped into one of my old Russian history books.

However, the most psychologically trying part of Maputo is not the former second-worldness. It's the hawkers. Anywhere you'd want to go, the sidewalks are lined with young men selling every conceivable souvenir and tourist item. Tapestries, masks, statuettes, power adapters, sunglasses... and if you so much as glance at them they will follow you for blocks. Heaven forbid you should buy something from one of them. We stopped with one fellow for 30 seconds to buy a pair of sunglasses and wound up surrounded by a half dozen more, all talking at the same time. What's most troublesome is that they've actually got some cool things, but you can't stop to look a them without one of them talking your ear off the entire time.

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