The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #7


A reader writes:

Okay, now you guys are just being spiteful.

Another writes:

At this rate, next week we will see the view of an alley from a basement flat.


Okay - I'm gonna look foolish, since some specialist in the genus arecaceae will know just what palm trees those are and some ex-pat car enthusiast will ID the car based on the window shape (and then know in which country the preponderance of cars are white) and some devoted Dish reader will be reminded of the vacation they took the week after they finished their year in the Peace Corps and ...

I'm feeling a bit unqualified here. But I will hazard a guess based on: window tape indicating a recent storm and "UN" visible on car equaling the presence of a UN affiliated agency. So my guess is Belize, Belmopan, specifically 7 Constitution Drive (which is the offices of UNDP in Belize where hurricane Alex recently came ashore). It's worth a shot!


Given the only obvious clue - the UN vehicle - I assume this location must have a large UN mission. Along with the African-looking vegetation, I'm going to guess Monrovia, Liberia.


The UN currently has 14 active deployments around the world in as many countries (Central African Republic – Chad – Congo – Côte d'Ivoire – Cyprus – East Timor –
Golan Heights – Haiti – Kosovo – Lebanon – Liberia – Sudan – Syria – Western Sahara).

The presence of palm trees indicates a tropical, subtropical or warm temperate climate. The white flowers are either from a Bougainvillea vine tree or from a Wisteria vine tree, but most likely the former. These are found usually in great numbers in former British colonies and the Caribbean islands. That leaves us with Cyprus and Haiti. The wrought iron wall with its metal gate is typical of Port-au-Prince. This picture was taken most probably in the Pétionville commune where a large number of diplomats and foreign workers reside.


Please don't let these puzzles devolve to tests of the Botany PhD I don't have.


As I was googling UN cars, I realized that most of them are painted with a different UN logo. The closest logo to the one in the picture belonged to a Ivory Coast UN car, so that's my guess. To narrow it further within its capital, Abidjan, I'll guess the area of Cocody.


The UN vehicle is labeled in black, which usually means it belongs to a political or peacemaking office rather than to one of the humanitarian agencies, which use blue. Second, the garden fence looks pretty minimally secured. This doesn't look to be a place with a high crime rate or endemic violence, which rules out quite a few more possible locations, leaving - by my methods - Cyprus and East Timor (otherwise known as Timor-Leste). Let's say Cyprus and see what happens.


Hot climate. What looks like security fencing. And a white UN vehicle parked outside. That all suggests Gaza City.


The U.N. car and vegetation have me focused on two places: Congo or East Timor. I suppose a U.N. car could be anywhere it wanted to, and not just in a place with a current peacekeeping operation, but I have to cling to something. It's scandalous in 2010 that a Google search for "trees in kinshasa" only turns up two hits. (At the very least, there must be a band with that name currently playing a rec center somewhere.) But the trees "feel" more like Kinshasa, so I'll go with that.


The two clues I guess are the UN vehicle outside the gate, and the OPEN gate itself. So this mean strong UN presence but low security situation, which will rule out Haiti, PNG, most of African countries. Difficult to say but my gut feeling tells me Timor Leste or Sri Lanka ... I'll go for Colombo, Sri Lanka.


Hey, I have an idea. Why not make the next VFYW an inner patio? Seriously, I get the feeling this is harder each week. The only saving grace is that having a UN police car narrows the field considerably, along with the apparent tropical climate. I'm going to guess Dili, East Timor. How many continents was I off?

None!  About two dozen readers correctly guessed Dili.  But the first was David A. (Congrats, we will get you a book ASAP.)  Everyone else tune in Saturday for the next contest.

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