Café Teatro


Sara Estrela é uma menina-mulher que irradia simpatia e que durante alguns anos viajou da Praia para o Mindelo, sempre em Setembro, para poder inscrever-se e participar nas acções de formação promovidas durante o festival de teatro Mindelact. Hoje, está no Rio de Janeiro, a fazer um curso superior de Direcção Cénica, e conforme ela própria me confessou quando nos encontramos na cidade maravilhosa, está a formar-se para regressar à Praia e pôr as mãos na massa. Que venha depressa!

Nos próximos dias 08 e 09 de Dezembro apresentará um trabalho cénico, dirigido por ela a partir de um texto de Heiner Muller. Espero nos próximos tempos poder ver trabalhos dela aqui em Cabo Verde.

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Anónimo disse...

Embora fora do contexto achei por bem publicitar este blog de um Voluntariado da Peace CorpS em Cabo verde:

Opinao interessante sobre:


"“There is an old saying in the Peace Corps that volunteers that return from South America come home political idealists and activists. Volunteers that come home from the East Asia return very zen-like and spiritually enlightened. Volunteers that return from Africa come home drunk and laughing.”

So in the spirit of that sentiment, I thought I should probably write a little something about grog and paunche, the principle forms of booze that they have in Cape Verde. While Cape Verde does make a beer (Strela), it isn’t very good, even by bad beer standards (think Schlitz, with a worse after taste), and it is actually hard to find in many places. Portugal imports a couple of beers (SuperBock and Sagres) which are marginally better, and you can find Heineken sometimes, but beers are relatively expensive (100$00CVE) and for that reason, most Cape Verdians stick to the ubiquitous shots of grog and paunche (20$00CVE).

So what’s it like exactly? Well, it’s essentially moonshine. Grog is made from sugarcane and is a clear, combustible liquid that could probably be used to power the next generation of space vehicles if Cape Verdians weren’t so busy drinking it all. It tastes a lot like Everclear, if you remember that from your college black-out days, which is to say that it pretty much has no sabor (taste) at all, just a fierce gag-inducing, throat-scorching sensation that gives way to a fogo (fire) in your belly and a tingling of the extremities. One or two shots is plenty to get you good and buzzed, and anything more will fuschka-b (get you real drunk.) I don’t know what the alcohol content of grog is, but I can tell you that it makes Rum 151 taste like baby’s milk in comparison. People claim that some areas make mas sab (much better) grog than others (my village of Cha de Igreja is reputed by many to have the best grog in the country) but in my experience, there is only bad grog and worse grog. To put it simply, under almost no circumstances would I, or anyone from outside this country for that matter, drink grog as a matter of preference. It’s only out of necessity. Grog isn’t tasty. They don’t shake in a tin with lime a splash of soda. They don’t mix it with grapefruit juice or red bull. Because it is so fort (strong) you can’t really sit and pass a couple hours with your friends sipping on grog, the way you can with beers, and you certainly wouldn’t want to wash anything down with a swig of grog, as whatever it was would almost certainly come right back up. So to be clear…grog n’e nada d’sab (is not good).

With that in mind, consider that grog (and related paunche) is Cape Verde’s number one “industry,” for lack of a better word. I use the term lightly because CV isn’t exporting grog to the rest of the world…tourists aren’t buying it up by the caskfull and taking it back home with them. But, CV’s are making it, CV’s are selling it, CV’s are buying it, and CV’s are drinking it. Every single bar, restaurant, café, shack, fruit stand and old lady on the side of the road sells grog. You can get it ANYWHERE. And it’s cheap. As few as 5$CVE (less than a nickel) in some places, and never more than 50$CVE (less than 50 cents). If you see someone in a stupor at 7AM, stained and staggering (and you will) you can blame grog."

"The best advice I can give to anyone wishing to conduct any type of business here in Cape Verde is...bring a book. You’re going to need something to read. Now it’s true that Hours of Operation are posted outside nearly every business in Cape Verde. But, whereas in America, Hours of Operation refer to the schedule that an impresa (business) will be unlocked, staffed, prepared for...even EXPECTING people to come in….here in Cape Verde its another story. Here, Hours of Operation is more of a general suggestion as to when someone might show up and, depending on their mood, possibly even assist you.

Take the bank for instance. I turned up there the day after the funds arrived in the bank at 7:55. (Five minutes early.) Although I could see several people milling about inside, I waited, as the sign on the door still said Fechado. At 8:11 a well-dressed man came to the door saw, me turned the sign around and walked back behind the counter...having failed to unlock the door. I knocked, and he came back shortly thereafter and let me in. I approached the counter where three women sat, smiled my best smile and said good morning. The response was “ainda nao.” (Not yet.) So I waited some more. I observed. Behind the three women were two well-dressed men, including the one who let me in. For the life of me I can’t tell what their job is, but if I had to guess, I would say that it has something to do with shuffling around, rustling in their pockets, and ensuring that all papers, clips, staplers and stamps were at perfect right angles to the corners of their desks.

Later, more customers arrived and the lobby began to fill. It was well past 8:30 and they had yet to attend a sngle customer. An old man came in and squeezed between me and the roped stanchion that I was standing behind...usurping me from the first position in line. I didn’t say a word. I smiled. At some point (after the old man had conducted his business) one of the ladies(for only one seemed to be helping customers while the others spied their their screens as if they were written in Chinese) bade me forward with a flick of her delicate wrist and a look on her face that made her displeasure of having to be at work on this (or any) particular moring quite clear. I smiled and said I’d like to make a lavantamento (withdrawal). Well that didn’t go over to well because she looked at me like I’d just asked her to alphabetize my recipe box. There was a roll of the eyes, a deep sign and then she slapped a document on the desk. I smiled. I asked for a pen. The look I received in return was all I needed to understand that were no pens to be used on this particular day. So I dug in my bag and found one and filled out the form.

I wanted 60,000$00CVE (about $600)...enough to make a down payment on the T-shirts and basketball equipment that I intended to order in Sao Vicente. She slapped her hand on the counter, slid the paper back to her side took one look at it and announced, with a certain amount of incredulity, and to the now crowded bank: “You want 60,000?” I said I did. She asked when I wanted it. I smiled and I offered today as a suggestion. Again a roll of the eyes and a sigh. She got up from her desk, with what seemed like a great weight on her shoulders and disappeared behind a door in the back, with a contemptuous glance over her shoulders as she walked away. No “Ok, let me see about that.” No “I’ll need to get a signature and I’ll be right back.” Definitely no “certainly sir, I’ll be right back with your request.” She just got up and left. I was fully expecting to be waiting there for the better part of the day...which is exactly what happened. The woman never returned. I never even saw a glimpse of her. She never came back to tell me what was going on...not even to ask me to step aside so that she could help other customers while my request was being processed. I read entire chapters of a pretty big goddam book and in fact passed nearly two hours before she resurfaced. She did however, have the money (she didn’t count it out for me but did make a big production of slapping the fat stack of bills on the counter, but I smiled anyway and thanked her and went on my way...wary of anyone following me to murder me for my anti-AIDS activity money.

I won’t murder you with all the details of my expidiente (business) in Sao Vicente, but let me hit the high-lights.
There are four T-shirt printing companies in Sao Vicente. Three of them have no T-shirts. One has only pink. Size extra small. I received wildly varying estimates for the price of a T-shirt emblazoned with the red AIDS ribbon, and wildly different expectations as to when they could be done by. (The worst case scenario was “next year.”) I smiled though all of it.
The sporting equipment company has little to no sporting equipment. I did in fact (last month) sign a promissory note to pay for two basketball goals should they order them from Praia for me, which they did with little or no trouble. The problem turned out to be that they then sold those to the kamera in Mindelo. Ditto the basketballs. I was promised a donation of two trophies for the activity in exchange for my business and a little publicity during the event, but he told me, straight faced, that right now, as it turns out, they didn’t have enough to be giving any away. (This despite the fact that that behind him, behind me, behind the counters, on the walls, on the shelves, on the floors, and in boxes, lay trophies. A veritable cornucopia of trophies was literally littering the store. I smiled through all of it, but did put it frankly to the proprietor that I had money in my hand, and wanted desperately to spend it in his store, for the benefit of his countrymen, but that he was making it very close to impossible. He too smiled.

Ribbons, balloons, tape, scissors, other promotional materials, the food, the transportation, help making and posting the avisos (signs), help organizing the actual tournament and a couple of other things have come, not easily, but more easily than most of this, but sufficed to say that there is nothing anywhere approximating customer service in this country, and even having “cash to burn,” for lack of a better term, doesn’t help.

In the end what helped was connections, and improvisations. It turns out that Lili, Benvinda’s uncle, is a very popular, much respected ex-cop, who is also the third uncle of the guy in the sporting goods store. I told him about my trouble and we went over there together where he walked right behind the counter and spoke to the proprietor in some very hushed tones and forthwith, two basketballs, a soccer ball, two (complimentary) trophies, and two basketball rims were produced. Now I was really smiling.

I asked Lili if he happened to be related to the T-shirt guy and, as it turns out...he was. First cousins as it happens and in much the same manner, I was assured that 200 whote T-shirts could be arranged, if I could give them a week or so. It involves the T-shoirt guy going around to various suppliers and getting what he can where he can and it’ll cost a little more to make the shirts, but that’s exactly the type of business attitude that I’d expect in America. I would think that here, where cash and business is much harder to come by, people would be willing to “go the extra mile” to get that business, but apparently not. Anyway, my thanks to the very persuasive Lili for all his help, as it looks like we’ll be able to pull off this activity after all.
So that’s it for now, next up will be a brief diatribe about the worthlessness of the local kamera. Rather than help us out with our activity, they’ve found out that Peace Corps (and American money) was involved and they ended up soliciting funds from us. Not only are they not getting any of our funds, but it has been made very clear to people in Txangreja that the reason we aren’t painting any ribbons or AIDS slogans on the polivalent walls is because the kamera reneged on it’s word to come do that for us and instead sent word that we’d need to pay over 20,000$00CVE. It’s criminal really."


Teatrakacia disse...

Que boa notícia esta! Sim, esta da Sara Estrela. Não essa do 'olhar grog' desse estrangeiro que, pelo contrário, é uma bem má notícia...
Fico à espera de ver trabalhos da nossa recém-formada aqui na terra... e entretanto, 'muita merda!!!' para os dias 8 e 9... E que venham muitos mais 'formados' e sobretudo apaixonados pelas artes cénicas"!

Catarina disse...

Eu também! Parabéns, Sara!

Anónimo disse...