There are two kinds of tourists in this world. Those that transform a holiday into a tightly run, neatly scheduled process- researching on the destination months in advance, downloading maps and obsessing over articles offering ‘top ten things to do in Shithole X’ and basically going at it with the maniacal energy most of us reserve for excel sheets and over bearing bosses.
Then there are those who wake up one day and are lucid only long enough to book a ticket and/or accommodation.
I fall squarely into the latter category.
And, after a few mishaps involving a soul destroying attempt at securing a UK visa to go on a school trip followed by a resounding F*ck you from the Great Britain’s outsourced visa services, I paused only long enough to book a train ticket to Brussels.
Why? So that I could soothe my wounded ego with copious amounts of high quality beer. That’s why.
But the thing about travelling off the seat of your pants is that though you never really know what you will get, it usually turns into an alcohol soaked week long party that you need another week to recover from, with a few museums thrown in just to feel cultured.
So this time my ‘intellectual enrichment’ took a detour from all the ancient and un-understandable paintings by people who’s names I can’t pronounce, right to the Museum of Central Africa in Brussels.
Some people know that the Democratic Republic of Congo was born out of King Leopold’s disastrous attempt to transform Belgium from a little respected backwater country to a super nation that could pull punches with the big boys- France, Germany and the United Kingdom, thus leading to the Scramble for Africa adventures and today’s ‘state of affairs’.
It made perfect sense, then, to go to the source as I waited for sunset and the fulfillment of my real agenda in Belgium.
My findings are documented below:
I went to visit, but only in an Ironic way…and most of the pictures I took can’t really use anywhere else. Stick with me and you will soon find out why.
If you have ever been to the Nairobi National ‘Museum’, no doubt you have been subjected to the horrors below. There is something fundamentally frightening about dead animals arranged in a ‘realistic’ setting for viewing pleasure, no?
And, in case you were wondering why our museums are so pathetically devoid of anything remotely attractive or original, wonder no more….and thank good old King L.
And then there was this stuff…
Some random fish that look suspiciously like omena..
I also could not help but notice the keen eye that sculptors have to detail:
And on to more sensitive matters…
Not forgetting, Stanley’s pet African
Oooooh, and not forgetting me and my giraffe moment. Ever been so close to one?
My tour having been complete, I leave you with a picture to remind you that, no, racism is a figment of your imagination.