Saturday, August 10, 2013

Africa VI Namibia-Windhoek

Namibia was difficult for me. In Windhoek I got robbed of all my money and everything they could use. That is except my Native American medicine bag filled with herbs and small pebbles and a dollar. Even that one dollar bill they didn't take. The person who took my stuff did recognize it for what it was: strong medicine not to be tampered with, yet not strong enough to leave the rest of my stuff alone. But that certainly wasn't the main reason to feel strange in that country. It were the high walls around the houses with barbed wire on top. It was the potato salad, the arrogance of the English policemen: talking to an old man who spoke South African and I spoke Flemish (Dutch) with him, a policeman wanted to chase him away, assuming the man was bothering me. We just talked about life and how bad it sometimes is, how beautiful it sometimes is. The encounter with the old man grounded me, made me feel good in that strange country. I hope our conversation did the same for him. The mayor of Windhoek invited the whole group to a cultural event: He was blond, blue eyed, wore a thick golden chain and in a Las Vegas style 'jungle bar' we were treated to soft pop of the sixties... Diamonds rough and cut were everywhere. No I didn't buy any, nor smuggle anything. I did buy a dress two toned green and I still wear it once in a while on a hot summer's day. Also a balsa wood tiger I dragged along, bought from the local artisans. I learned that real human contact is what counts, even if the fences are high. I am also pleased to learn that the old colonial names are changed over to the tribal names for cities and regions, mainly in the Zambezi region. So maybe it is time to really visit Namibia now. 

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