South Africa has long been in the news for its history and politics. Neighbour Mozambique has also had a difficult time – no sooner did they gain independence from Portugal then they were battling opposition forces supported by the countries around them. We were in the capital of Maputo for a short while and took a walking tour in the city centre. It was, of course, terrifically hot, which made it a little more difficult to love the place. But ….. Maputo is having a tough time. Mozambique is having a tough time. They are in a major debt crisis, there are no jobs. It’s probably not wise to make judgements based on a two hour walking tour (although people on bus tours who ranged further afield saw much the same) but – not a happy place.
There was money once upon a time – enough to build this beautiful train station:
At lunch after the tour there were people complaining about the rundown look of the city and the amount of trash laying about. It didn’t seem to occur to them that when people don’t have jobs they don’t pay taxes and when no one pays taxes then their government doesn’t have any money to spend on anything – including garbage removal.
In addition to the train station there was a market still standing from back in the day.
The market was full of stalls of foodstuffs, but around the back was something new to us…..
Yep. Hair. Lots of it. In fact I had seen advertisements for hair – specifying country of origin, along with ads for styles (22″ extensions for the Beyoncé look. A four part set to look like Tyra….) But here is where you could purchase – and have installed – a whole new ‘do. I would have loved to ask questions but general vibe was not particularly welcoming so we moved on. But there were several ‘streets’ within the market all selling hair…..