Luanda, the capital of Angola, is a city of contrasts between rich and poor. Mick was stuck in the city for a week in October 2008, with plenty of time for people watching. Traffic congestion is a permanent condition even in the quieter neighbourhoods of downtown Luanda, where expensive four-by-fours are double or even triple parked.
Evidence of the protracted civil war remains visible in the older buildings which are pock-marked by bullet holes. Rental values for apartments are extortionate and large families cram into poorly constructed buildings.
Apartments with balconies are especially prized, providing a useful space for drying laundry, or even setting up a home bakery business.
Symbols of the ruling MPLA are to be seen everywhere. Street traders set up their stalls under whatever shade they can find or make. Having a large umbrella ensures many friends or relatives will hang out for a chat in the shade through the heat of the day.
At lunch time vendors set up in a downtown square selling sandwiches and drinks. There's nothing packaged here, these are fresh home-made sandwiches brought out in plastic bowls.
It's a social occasion too for the women selling food, who meet here every day, coo over each other's babies and catch up on the latest gossip while waiting for customers.