Wednesday, 22 March 2017

A collection of vintage Mercedes cars in Congo Town

It's been a month and a half since I started my new stint at International Alert. It's even further away than the former Mercy Corps office I worked at in 2015 for six months. 

I travel from Randall Street to Congo Town every morning. The International Alert office is located within the Finn Church Aid compound. Thankfully, the trip is against the traffic. There is only one main road connecting the suburbs and other parts of Monrovia to central Monrovia. It's the famous 2-lane Tubman Boulevard which stretches from 1st Street Sinkor to the furthest reaches of Congo Town, all the way to ELWA junction from where you can branch out to Robertsfield Highway and Paynesville. 

So, there I am being driven by International Alert's driver to Congo Town on the empty side of the lane while incoming traffic is moving at a snail's speed, the great daily migration of Landcruisers, taxis, vans, and trucks. 

Kavita finally started school. She gets dropped at Kid's Nest (2 minutes away from my office) en route to my day job. She, then, often spends the afternoon at my office at Alert. A kid who's grown up at the office, she's very comfortable at my other office. She makes impressive murals on my Whiteboard, erasing all my carefully marked Things to Do. She's made friends with my colleagues and the security guards. She's planned a garden party in the compound. Often times, I've put on cartoons on YouTube for her, after we run out of things for her to do. 

This day, I went for a short walk with her to the Total gas station next door to buy a chocolate and on the way we stopped at Classic Rental to check out an astounding collection of vintage Mercedes Benz. I've noticed the collection before but never stopped to take a look. We entered the parking lot of Classic Rental. 

I looked around for someone in charge and noticed a man sitting on a chair in between one of the cars writing some notes in a notebook. I told him I wanted to see and photograph the beautiful cars. He didn't mind. He was a mechanic and, apparently had been hired to fix these cars for rental. The business idea was to rent out the cars. I asked how the owner acquired such a magnificent collection but he didn't seem to know. 

I don't know anything about cars or models but one could see that so many different decades were represented in the collection, starting at least from the 50s. And, there are some beautiful colours too: red, maroon, cream, metallic grey, blue and black. 

I really enjoyed looking at these cars and, wondering about the history of each one. I imagined state officials and glamorous types driving them. 

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