MADAGASKAR – MADAGASCAR – MADAGASIKARA

Centar glavnog grada-The centre of the capital city

Centar glavnog grada-The centre of the capital city

Jezero Anosi u glavnom gradu-Lake Anosy in the capital

Jezero Anosi u glavnom gradu-Lake Anosy in the capital

Kraljevska palata Rova-The Royal Palace Complex- Rova

Kraljevska palata Rova-The Royal Palace Complex- Rova

Lemuri u vrtu-Lemurs in the garden

Lemuri u vrtu-Lemurs in the garden

Pogled na Antananarivo - A view of Antananarivo

Pogled na Antananarivo – A view of Antananarivo

Pogled na Antananarivo-A view of Antananarivo

Pogled na Antananarivo-A view of Antananarivo

Pogled na plodnu dolinu-A view of a fertile valley

Pogled na plodnu dolinu-A view of a fertile valley

Povratak iz skole-On the way back from school

Povratak iz skole-On the way back from school

Stari kraljevski kompleks - The old Royal complex

Stari kraljevski kompleks – The old Royal complex

Stari kraljevski kompleks-The old Royal complex

Stari kraljevski kompleks-The old Royal complex

Taksi spacek na ulicama-A 2CV taxi on the streets

Taksi spacek na ulicama-A 2CV taxi on the streets

Ulicna scena u gradu - A street scene

Ulicna scena u gradu – A street scene

Ulicna scena u gradu-A street scene

Ulicna scena u gradu-A street scene

Zeleznicka stanica-The railway station

Zeleznicka stanica-The railway station

Marsupilami je bio jedan od mojih omiljenih likova u detinjstvu, junak
jednog belgijskog stripa, veoma dugog repa sa poprečnim crno-belim prugama.
On je njime izvodio svakojake vragolije  pomažući svom prijatelju, dečaku
koji se zvao Leo, u borbi protiv raznih zlikovaca po svetu, a moja dečja
mašta, zajedno sa Marsupilamijem i još jednim novinarom detektivom, koji se
zvao Tintin, već tada je počela da luta svetom, kojim sam postepeno počinjao
da bivam opčinjen.
Marsupilami je lemur, majmunčić koji živi uglavnom na Madagaskaru, tom
ogromnom ostrvu, koje je četvrto po veličini na svetu. Nalazi se nadomak
istočne obale Afrike, ima brojne posebnosti, kao i biljne i životinjske
vrste koje samo na njemu postoje. Lemur je jedna od njih, tako da sam,
neposredno posle sletanju u glavni grad Antananarivo, otišao u jedan ogroman
vrt u kome lemuri žive. Poređani na dugoj grani, obešenih repova ili tako
što vise o grane egzotičnog drveća, veselo su uživali u svojim omiljenim
papajama i bananama. Dugo sam posmatrao svoje omiljene životinjice i vraćao
se u detinjstvo, kada sam se poistovećivao sa njima i uživao u njihovim
avanturama iz stripa.
Madagaskar je bio kraljevina od kraja XVIII do kraja XIX veka. Prvi kralj i
osnivač Merina dinastije imao je neverovatno dugo ime, Andrianampoinimerina,
što je karakteristično za mnoga malgaška imena. Mnogo veći značaj imale su
kraljice Ranavalona I, II i III, koje su, svaka na svoj način, bile jake
ličnosti, veoma značajne u vreme borbi za dominaciju nad ovom zemljom,
između Francuza i Engleza. Posetio sam kompleks drvenih kuća, koje su nekada
bile rezidencija malgaške dinastije. Ona je suvereno vladala svojom zemljom,
dok je u isto vreme celokupna Afrika bila kolonizovana.
Na Madagaskaru se smenjuju egzotične šume sa pustinjama, u kojima rastu
neobične endemske biljke, a duge peščane plaže prelaze u zemlju crvene boje.
Sve je tako neobično u prirodi ove zemlje, kao da se nalazite na posebnom
kontinentu, što svojom veličinom to ostrvo skoro da i jeste.
Antananarivo je smešten na brežuljcima, a na jednom od njih nalazi se veliki
kraljevski kompleks Rova, patinaste fasade i sa pogledom na dolinu. Uličica
popločana kamenom, kao da je namenjena prodavcima koji sede ispod ogromnih
suncobrana. Stare kućice, koje se u njoj obnavljaju, imaju francuske
kolonijalne primese i drugačijeg su stila, koji se razlikuje od tipično
afričkog.
Afrička vreva je svakako neizbežna. Moje oduševljenje izazvala su brojna
taksi vozila sitroen spaček: produženi i sa više sedišta, sa krovom ili bez
njega i u raznim kombinacijama boja. Ima ih čak i u poluraspadnutom stanju,
a ne može se prebrojati koliki broj putnika odjednom prevoze, dok krstare
gradom kao veseli duhovi prošlih, frankofonskih vremena.
U to vreme sam i ja imao jednog, koji sam brižljivo sređivao, svetloroze
boje sa nebo plavim platnenim krovom. Netragom je nestao jednog dana kao
Marsupilami, koga sam izgubio u detinjstvu, a koga još čekam.

Januar 2002.
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Marsupilami used to be one of my favourite childhood characters, from a
Belgian comic strip, with a very long tail with black and white stripes. He
performed all sorts of mischief with his tail, helping his friend, a boy
called Leo, fight against assorted worldwide villains. Together with
Marsupilami and another character, an investigative journalist called
Tintin, I started roaming the world, carried by my imagination, already
fascinated by new places.
Marsupilami is a lemur, a monkey like creature, to be found almost only on
Madagascar, this huge island, the fourth biggest in the world. It is not far
from the East coast of Africa, it has many peculiarities, including plant
and animal species that exist only there. Lemur is one of those species, and
soon after landing at the capital, Antananarivo, I went to a huge garden to
see lemurs. Arranged in a line on a long branch of an exotic tree, their
tails hanging, or them hanging upside down on their tails wrapped around the
branch a few times, they cheerfully enjoyed their favourites – papayas and
bananas. I watched my favourite animals for a long time, transported back to
the childhood when I identified with them and had so much fun sharing their
adventures from the comic strip. Madagascar was a kingdom from the end of
the 18th to the end of the 19thcentury. The first king and founder of the
Merina dynasty had an incredibly long name- Andrianampoinimerina, which is
typical of many Malagasy names. More important were the queens, Ranavalona
I, II and III who were each, in their own way strong personalities, having
played an important role during the fight for supremacy between the French
and the English. I visited a cluster of wooden houses that used to be the
residence of the Malagasy dynasty. While the entire continent of Africa was
colonised, they ruled their country as sovereigns.
In Madagascar, exotic forests alternate with deserts where unusual endemic
plants grow, and long sandy beaches turn into red coloured soil. Everything
is so unusual in the natural riches of this country, almost like you are on
a different continent; virtually by its sheer size alone.
Antananarivo is situated in a hilly landscape and on one of the hills there
is a big royal palace complex Rova with an age old facade, overlooking the
valley. Stone paved alleyway seems to be there just for the street vendors
who sit under huge parasols. Little old houses in this street have been
renovated one after another but they are built in a style different from the
African one, with French colonial influence. The typical African hustle and
bustle is unavoidable. I was delighted by numerous Citroën 2CV taxis,
extended and with many seats, with roof or without it, and in many different
colour combinations. Some of them were literally falling apart, and yet it
was impossible to count the exact number of passengers they take at any one
time; still they merrily cruised the town like ghosts of a bygone
Francophone era.
At the time, I had the same Citroën car, which I tenderly cared for; it was
pale pink with a sky blue canvas roof; it disappeared witout trace one day,
just like Marsupilami, lost in my childhood.
And I am still waiting for him to come back.

January 2002

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