Howard's Blog

This is Howard C. Park's blog. Interests: live music, simulations and modeling, languages, iPod, social and business networking, systems thinking, history of science, management, BBQ, trivia, good coffee, organizational learning, traveling, personal histories.

Monday, October 30, 2006

at the Client

We board the shuttle and make our way through the streets this morning. The light reveals more detail of the buildings and streets from the 1st night. Not more life, just more details. We pass by a bank of what look like diplomats' houses. Large, with spacious receiving areas in the front yard, gates and fances... except these buildings/houses/mini-palaces are deserted. They have a view to the beach... except that the beach is filled with trash, tents and propped-up corrugated metal that serve as shelters. Lagos used to be the capital, and has seen better days.

The shuttle weaves through streets of pedestrians, schoolchildren, food vendor-stalls, and motorcycles. Commuter traffic. I observe that not one light signal is working. Who needs it, anyway?

The shuttle takes a turn into a street between two tall buildings. It's much darker, not only because we lack sunlight on the streets, but becuase many buildings here are dark. They didn't start dark... they've turned dark from neglect. Paint falls, there is mold and dirt, tiles are broken.

Without warning, the shuttle stops and people start to make their way out. There are vehicles in front of us and on the other side of the street, so I can't tell where the client building is. No matter, I'll follow someone. I just hope I don't get lost.

I figure it out. The client building is the one with half dozen security guards around. They are observant, eyeing all the folks off the shuttle and the person-caravan that quickly walks down the street to the gate. My colleague and I are stopped; we don't have badges. He holds us just inside the gate and asks to check our bags. He passes a metal detector across our bodies. Then we are told to wait in the reception area.

See pictures here.
|| hcpark, 3:30 PM


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