© John Magnet Bell
São Tomé and Príncipe is a small, Portuguese-speaking island nation on the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Gabon.
Its capital is the city of São Tomé. People can seldom afford regular taxis, so bikers swarm the thoroughfares around the central market (the main trading hub in town) offering their services to market-goers and tourists. I spotted one parked on a quiet side street, and instantly found myself captivated by the tableau of this laidback gentleman taking a moment’s rest by an old, post-colonial building.
Taxis throng the wide street east of the central market, making it all but impassable. Here, a taxi driver attempts to make a u-turn and causes a huge ruckus, with other drivers jamming their horns impatiently. A young mother and her daughters weave their way out of the mess. Behind the taxis, the streets are lined with shops that cater to thrifty consumers.