Friday, 25 September 2009

The theft in Cape Verde

The capital Praia is nothing but a small town, and the Cape Verde islands are far out in the ocean; it’s a place where you would expect shy fishermen, timid kids, etc. Instead you’ll find the complex and tightly woven net of poverty-related misery, with drugs and crimes all over the place. Even locals at the neighbouring islands will think twice before taking a trip to Praia.

All the Cape Verde islands are beautiful, though, and we couldn’t resist checking out the capital. And besides, we were low in cat food.

We paid our own guardsman; he was recommended by the pilot book (for whatever reason I never fully understood) and the guardsman even recommended himself, but even so we got theft from Bika.

Let me tell you about the cat food first: there was none. Cruisers with cat should bring plenty of cat food before coming to Cape Verde. Nina explained what kind of food she meant, and the shop assistants went to great lengths to understand the whole concept of cats having their own food. They seemed really puzzled by this (I once read that most Africans would consider white Europeans as slightly insane, an opinion that’s probably well-founded).

While at the store, looking for cat food, we had teenagers swimming out to Bika. They unscrewed most of the steelwork around the washboard, (a painful work, I guess, using a knife from our bucket of unfinished dishes) before one of the brighter kids realized that the fore hatch was wide open.

They didn’t take much. Among the items was a futuristic solar and hand-driven radio, which could prove itself worthy in a post-apocalyptic place like Praia, although I doubt the kids managed to keep the radio dry, swimming back to shore.

Our cat was still sleeping on the berth. She couldn’t care less about items missing. We contemplated the corrupt police for a minute or so, and decided to let the cat set the standard for how to react.