Tsumeb - Norman Rockwell's Africa

Trip Start Jul 25, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Namibia  ,
Friday, September 7, 2007

If you've ever seen Norman Rockwell's paintings and illustrations, you know he painted an America in the 1940's and 1950's that was so idyllic, so "Golden Age"-ish that you have to wonder if it was ever like that.

Well, if Norman Rockwell had been African, he might have come up with Tsumeb. Despite an unfortunate name (sounds like some gelatine desert that has gone mouldy and hard in your refrigerator), Tsumeb almost feels unreal. It is pleasant and inoffensive. Flame trees line carefully laid out streets, the air is clean, and amazingly for Namibia, lawns are green. It almost has a deserted feeling to it. The main street has a cute little collection of local shops, and people happily walk to and fro going about their business. No one harasses you. No one is hawking on the streets loudly. The streets are clean.

It's weird.

I've been told as I head further south that Africa is more "developed", but this town is just too perfect. It would be the perfect setting for a Stephen King novel set in Africa. It kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies.

But, you know, in a nice way.
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