Friday night and Nampula starts to hot up. The road island in front of the BP garage fills up with toyotas and porsches and souped up mazdas. Groups of women, chaperones included gather on one side while clusters of men trying to look cool and hard and nonchalant face them down from the other. Every type of music is represented as different tunes blare from each car, creating a blend of bollywood R&B soul rock.

And then, the cruising begins. It is a competition to see who can drive the fastest down the road and up again, who has the loudest exhaust and whose wheels create the best spin on the patches of gravel at each turn. There is revving and slowing to get a look from some girls eye in her parents vehicle, there is overtaking and hooting and shouting and showing the town who has arrived – can’t miss them after the 20th circuit around the block.

Friday night ends, sometime in the small hours I wake to silence, peace at last. But that was just warming up for Saturday night and Sunday, the biggest event of them all. This is the finale where the motorcyclists deem it necessary to drown out all other noise as they rumble and rev and punch the air with their hooters. This is noise making at its best – a strange courtship ritual of the Indian residents of Nampula where some dinner and a drink is unlikely and way too boring.

Cruising the drag is where it’s all at, it’s romantic and edgy rolled into one. It shows your potential love interest you are dangerous but family oriented, you are a man (or woman) of the community with traditional values and a very good sound system.

Advertisements