EKVATORIJALNA GVINEJA – EQUATORIAL GUINEA – GUINEA ECUATORIAL

Hotel Hilton Malabo

Hotel Hilton Malabo

Malabo je smesten na ivici potopljenog vulkana-Malabo is situated on the rim of a sunken volcano

Malabo je smesten na ivici potopljenog vulkana-Malabo is situated on the rim of a sunken volcano

Na aerodromu Malabo-At the airport Malabo

Na aerodromu Malabo-At the airport Malabo

Nove avenije glavnog grada-New avenues of the capital Malabo

Nove avenije glavnog grada-New avenues of the capital Malabo

Predizborna trka-Election campaign

Predizborna trka-Election campaign

Ulice starog grada-Streets in the old part of the town

Ulice starog grada-Streets in the old part of the town

Bivsa palata spanskog guvernera-The former palace of the Spanish governor, now Presidential Palace

Bivsa palata spanskog guvernera-The former palace of the Spanish governor, now Presidential Palace

Crkva u cetvrti Elangema u Malabou-A church in Malabo's Elangema quarter

Crkva u cetvrti Elangema u Malabou-A church in Malabo’s Elangema quarter

Katedrala Santa Isabel u gotskom stilu-Santa Isabel Cathedral in gothic style

Katedrala Santa Isabel u gotskom stilu-Santa Isabel Cathedral in gothic style

Pogled na Malabo-A view of Malabo

Pogled na Malabo-A view of Malabo

Spanski kulturni centar-Spanish Cultural Centre

Spanski kulturni centar-Spanish Cultural Centre

Ulice starog grada-Streets in the old part of the town

Ulice starog grada-Streets in the old part of the town

Tokom svojih putovanja stekao sam utisak da su skoro svi narodi koje sam upoznao manje ili više prijatni, ili sam ja bar tako želeo, pa mi se stoga nisu dešavale veće neprijatnosti dok sam putovao širom planete. Međutim, možda grešim, ali jedan od manje prijatnih naroda koje sam posećivao živi u ovoj minijaturnoj zemlji na zapadu Afrike. Ona se sastoji od malog kopnenog dela i isto tako malog ostrva, na kome se nalazi glavni grad Malabo. Jedna je od retkih, ako ne i jedina španska kolonija na crnom kontinentu, mada njihov španski dosta nerazumljivo zvuči u okruženju frankofonskih zemalja. I danas mi je zagonetno otkuda u meni toliko osećanje neprijatnosti, nesigurnosti, pa čak i opasnosti za nekoliko dana boravka u ovoj zemlji. Ni zemljakinja Jasna Romić –  visoka plavuša za koju sam iz Beograda imao preporuku da joj se obratim u dalekom svetu, i koju sam prepoznao oko ponoći u lokalnom baru, u kome je svojom pojavom delovala nestvarno – nije promenila moje mišljenje. Naprotiv. Iako je poznavala njihov mentalitet, pojačala mi je osećanje opasnosti, upozoravajući me da ništa ne fotografišem jer mogu da ih naljutim, kao da već nisu dovoljno ljuti. Nisan navikao da iz španskog govora izbija toliko negativnog naboja.
Možda su, kako bi se reklo u žargonu, brzo ušli u lak novac, jer je tu nedavno pronađena nafta, koja je brzo iskvarila malu naciju. Sa lokalnog aerodroma, koji me je tada podsetio na malo veći podrum sindikalnih zgrada, poleću avioni za Hjuston i Frankfurt. Verovatno odnose neko eksploatisano bogatstvo dok ga još ima. Danas imaju novi aerodrom, kao i moderne zgrade i avenije.
Po tropskom pljusku, Jasna mi pokazuje nešto što bi se moglo nazvati glavnim gradom i stalno me upozorava na to šta sve ne smem da fotografišem, kao da uopšte postoji nešto značajno za slikanje. Posebna zabrana svakako se odnosi na predsedničku palatu. Iako sigurno poznaje tog predsednika, jer je njen zet vlasnik grđevinske firme koja je obnovila pola zemlje, ipak ne želi nikakav mogućni sukob s predstavnicima vlasti, bar ne zbog slikanja.
Aeropuerto de Malabo je u mojoj pozadini, dok obazrivo vadim fotografski aparat, braneći se od gladnih komaraca, pred ulazak u avion sa srpskim oznakama i posadom, koji kruži po lokalnim aerodromima zapadne Afrike. U nadi da je sledeća destinacija prijatnija, sedam iza pilota ispunjen nekom sigunošću, koju pruža susret sa maternjim jezikom u dalekoj i nepoznatoj sredini. Adiòs Malabo! Ispod mene su već džungle Ekvatorijalne Gvineje na koju je i madre España odavno zaboravila. Ali zato su je se neki drugi setili kad su pronašli naftu.
Linija Malabo – Hjuston besprekorno funkcioniše kada su interesi u pitanju.

Jun 2003.
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During my travels my impression was that almost all the peoples I got to know were more or less pleasant, or at least I wanted to see them that way, so I never experienced any major difficulties while roaming this planet. However, even though I may be wrong, one of the least pleasant people I encountered lives in this miniature country in West Africa. This country consists of a small mainland part and an equally small island where the capital, Malabo, is situated. This is one of the few, if not the only, Spanish colony on the African continent, even though their Spanish sounds quite incomprehensible, surrounded by Francophone countries. Even today it is a mystery to me why I felt so uncomfortable, unsafe and even in danger during the few days I spent in this country. Even my fellow countrywoman, Jasna Romić, a tall blonde who was recommended to me by friends as a point of contact in a faraway world, did not change my mind. I recognised her in a local bar, around midnight, where she fitted in as much as an alien would. She actually increased my sense of danger, warning me not to photograph anything, lest someone got angry. As though they were not angry enough already! I am not used to hearing such negative undertones in Spanish.
Maybe they got ‘easy money’ very quickly, as they would say, because oil has been recently discovered. All this may have spoilt this small nation. The departures from the local airport, which reminded me of a large cellar in a council housing building, are to Frankfurt and Houston. Probably these flights carry some exploited resource, while still available. Today, the airport is new, and the city boasts avenues and modern buildings.
Amidst a tropical downpour, Jasna shows me around the place which is supposed to look like a capital city, and keeps warning me not to take photos, as if there is something worth photographing. A particularly strict ban on photography is for the Presidential palace. Even though she must know the president, because her son-in-law is the owner of the construction company that rebuilt half of the country, she would not risk any problem with authorities, especially about photography.
Aeropuerto de Malabo is in the background, while I cautiously take my camera out, fighting off the hungry mosquitos. I am about to step into a plane with Serbian insignia and Serbian crew – they regularly cruise the local West African airports. Hoping that my next destination will be more pleasant, I take my seat behind the pilot, feeling curiously safe, as I speak my mother tongue in a faraway and unknown country. Adiòs Malabo! Below me are the jungles of Equatorial Guinea, this country long forgotten even by madre España. But someone else did remember it, especially when oil was discovered. The connection between Malabo and Houston functions perfectly, when interests are involved.

June 2003.

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