Listening for the Alien Heartbeat

Sometimes understatement is so understated as to constitute criminal misrepresentation.  Such is the case with Tamatave.  The guide book I was lent described it as having “an air of shabby elegance”.

A port, a former slave trading centre, and the 2nd largest town in Madagascar, the elegance is not just shabby, but apocalyptically shabby.  What appears to have happened is that it was a nice boulevarded colonial port a century ago, but it has suffered a biblical rain for the last hundred years.

Tamatave - muddy street
One of the “shabbily elegant” buildings opposite my hotel and the Ministry of Finance, in one of the best parts of town.

Tamatave - house opposite finance ministry
On the first evening as I walked to the beach-front for the holiday festival the first two working girls I saw were missing their front teeth;  a small sample to be sure but a worrying omen nevertheless.

Even the overseas Chinese well-known for their business-like persistence, here just run their shops as best they can.

Tamatave - chinese building

 


One Response to “Biblical Rain, Apocalyptic Shabbiness”

Wild Agreement, Disputations, Outright Laughter...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: