Sunday, 25 March 2007

The Amazing Race 11 (All-Star Edition), Episode 6

Maputo (Mozambique) - Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) - Stone Town, Zanzibar (Tanzania) - Kikungwi, Zanzibar (Tanzania) - Stone Town, Zanzibar (Tanzania)

I said last week that I'd talk about the markets of Maputo, Mozambique, before the teams on The Amazing Race moved on.

I have fond memories of those markets from my visit in 2005. They range from the relatively upscale Central Market downtown in what William Finnegan says Mozambicans call the "cement city", where some of the racers went (a great place to find the Mozambican national snack, hot cashews roasted to order), to places like the street market at Xipamanine, where we went in search of African fabrics and clothing. The shirt I found there was made in Nigeria, not Mozambique, so the vendor told us in our limited mutual language of pigeon Portuguese. But when I got back, and someone tried the pickup line, "That's a great shirt! Where did you get it?", there was a certain cachet in being able to answer, "I got it in a street market in a slum in Maputo, Mozambique."

Despite Mozambique's poverty, lack of infrastructure, and relatively recent history on the receiving end of a war that received little attention abroad (despite the role played by the USA in backing the South African aparthied government and its proxies), Maputo seemed much less emotionally traumatized than South Africa, and made me want to return to explore more of the country.

But the racers left Mozambique without another chance to see anything of Maputo, much less to get out of the capital.

I was in Brussels at the European Union and wasn't able to watch this episode of the race until I got home. Since almost all of this episode of the race -- and the following one -- related to airline routes and flight availability, I'll talk about the issues in both episodes together next week .

Link | Posted by Edward on Sunday, 25 March 2007, 23:59 (11:59 PM) | TrackBack (0)
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