“What’s that?” I asked my driver, pointing to lines of apartments I saw from the express way.
“It’s China Town.”
“What is it called?”
I was really surprised to see the blocks of apartments. I was even more amazed when I saw a big announcement saying that KERO (a brand of hypermart) just opened in Kilamba. There must be lots going on there, I thought to myself.
Few days later, I decided to pay this new city a visit. Though I did not know what to expect, I couldn’t help wishing that somehow I would find myself surrounded by small red shops, filled with smell of incense, selling some cheap things. Well at least, I could visit the new KERO (who knows, they might sell Dorado less than USD 36/kg there).
Following the sign of the new KERO, turning right from the express way, I passed the new KERO, passed the guard and entered (right again) to a long tarred road and found myself in….. NOT Angola. My speech was overwhelmed by my sight that for a while my jaw just hang open with no sounds produced (which was a really rare occasion).
My driver finally broke the silence, ”Muito bonito Madame…, muito grande. Todos pode viver aqui”.
There were no red small shops, there were no incense. There were buildings, big buildings and more buildings. I saw (what I thought) tens (if not hundreds) of apartment buildings. Each block had different color. Each block had its own primary school and middle school (with 2 basketball courts each). Every building had wheelchair access. Plenty of parking spots in between building. Green parks for kids to play in. There were even (what looked like) bus stops for the shuttle bus.
It was a sunny day that day, the sky was blue and with the contrast of the green (well kept) grass, I really felt like I was transported to another world.
The only thing missing was…. the people.
It was empty. Except for the workers watering the grass, cleaning the pavements.
After almost an hour roaming the “city”, we headed for the new KERO. As expected there were less than 20 customers inside the hypermart. The branch that was only opened 10 December 2011 was really nice, except that it’s lacking people. Still, if they’re confident enough to build a hypermart in the middle of nowhere, it meant that this place might be “jammed packed” one day. Though the fact that the cashier lady told me that a 3 bedroom apartment would cost more than USD 250,000 sort of telling me that it might not be anytime soon.