Biblical Rain, Apocalyptic Shabbiness
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.
One of the “shabbily elegant” buildings opposite my hotel and the Ministry of Finance, in one of the best parts of town.
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.
One Response to “Biblical Rain, Apocalyptic Shabbiness”
[…] Biblical Rain, Apocalyptic Shabbiness […]