an american in luanda

Believe me, I wasn’t looking for advice. I just tapped in ‘luanda traffic’ and it came up, this hilarious page. It’s probably very important and I probably should take it more seriously but you really have to giggle at the matter-of-fact manner in which the US tries to protect its citizens from anything which might break the dull and safe routine of their lives. This paragraph is particularly amusing:

Motorists should stop at all police checkpoints if so directed. Police officers may solicit bribes or request immediate payment of “fines” for alleged minor infractions. Americans asked for bribes by the police should politely ask the traffic police to write them a ticket if the police are alleging a moving violation. If the police officer writes the ticket, then the motorist would pay the fine at the place indicated on the ticket. If no moving violation is alleged and the officer is asking for a bribe, the motorist should, without actually challenging the officer’s authority, politely ask the officer for his/her name and badge number. Officers thus engaged will frequently let motorists go with no bribe paid if motorists follow this advice.

And also this phrase, which comes up several times:

Police and military officials are sometimes undisciplined, but their authority should not be challenged. Their authority should not be challenged… yes, well, no surprises there then.

Many Westerners working in Angola, or trying to come to work in Angola, will readily moan about their visa problems. Either they can’t get one, or getting one takes too long, or replacing one feels impossible. I’ve had a moan myself, let it be known. However, I also want to balance out the visa argument. We all know that for Angolans to get into the UK is not easy – that’s no secret – but what about Europeans trying to get into the United States, not even to work, but for a holiday. Have a look at this blog for a small insight into the US visa process.