Tuesday, March 04, 2008

33 degrees at 21:00

Walking home through the poorly-lit, potholed streets of my neighborhood here in Kinshasa last night after picking up some Indian takeout for dinner, I looked up at the big clock across the Boulevard du 30 juin, which simultaneously displays both time and temperature.

Standing there, fairly pouring sweat after a brief but brisk stroll past dozing security men, cigarette vendors, shegue (as street children in the DRC capital are known) and women walking with baskets of produce on there heads (to where at that late hour I couldn’t say), I saw the temperature reading as 33 degrees Celsius, or 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit. This was at 9 pm at night. Yesterday did, indeed, as I strolled the streets of Kinshasa on various errands, feel like about the hottest day I have ever experienced and that reading on the display clock seemed to make it official. Today was no different. The torporous Congo River laps at the shore barely 100 yards from my door.

Last weekend was an interesting one, with an enjoyable Saturday night tour of the Matonge district and its attendant nightlife, and the coming weeks, which promise sojourns across the river to Brazzaville and south to Katanga province - promise to be equally so.

As your correspondent is feeling a bit under the weather today, this post will be an abbreviated one. More in a bit, hopefully.

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