2 a.m.

Seductive sounds of Paolo Flores pour from a flat seven floors up. The small valley here in the centre of the city fills with his voice. People dancing, couples swinging softly, hip to hip, harmonious rivalries spied across the room. Soon these tiny, old, pink Portuguese buildings will have gone. The sounds will be blocked and bounced back by huge tower blocks shooting up from tiny plots of land sold for three and a half million dollars. Who wants to be left, the little bird peeking up at the huge sky-scrapers, the last pink plot to hold out against the multi-million empires? Who would want to be watched from 18 terraces above? Not me. This city will change and will become unrecognisable. But now, in its last moments of metamorphosis, it is still romantic, safe, affectionate, joyous, exciting and unique. Soon that will pass. It will be ‘an African Manhattan’ as one older resident told me. People will watch the houses in which their parents were born blow up and crumble down and be reborn as glass and metal blocks. So now dance, dance, dance.

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