Freetown - The Poda Podas


Freetown, the capital city of the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a remarkable place to go. Stretched out on a narrow patch between the hills and the sea, it is the city of a thousand faces.

The city center, with its crumbling colonial buildings and crowded streets is almost suffocating in it's hectic pace. To the west, the Aberdeen Peninsula consists of laid-back allies, beautiful beaches and all the tropical charms West Africa is famous for. To the east, the gentle slopes of the green hills are packed with brightly colored houses, winding roads and lush vegetation.

But it doesn't matter where you go, the whole of the city is cloaked in a cloud of rhythmic beats, displaying a lust for live which is not everywhere found on this planet. While for many cities the main reason to go there are touristic sights, Freetown is something special: the city is it's own sight.

For me personally, one of the most enticing features of the city are the 'poda poda names', supportive messages or titles written on the front of Taxis and Busses. The range of these messages is wide, from religious topics ('god is great', '') to sports ('Arsenal' or 'ManU') or simple words like 'trust', 'hope' or 'patience'.

Go there and pick your own favorite. Mine, however, was: "I likee col beer, man."