Bassila Benin Hotel Bassila Benin West Africa Friday, September 22, 2006
I have a room in the Auberge Adelewe in Bassila Benin for 5000 CFA or about 10 US Dollars, a fan, mosquito net, shower and the toilet is outside the room. I could have opted for the 4000 and been very good also. I wanted farther from the restaurant and bar area for quiet, it is Friday night, and it looks like a place for the locals to hangout.
The Hotel or Auberge is as close to ideal as a person could want for those that want to feel like a Mom and Pop hotel. This is a family operation, and all the more or less adult children, father, mother and everyone seem involves.
It is am amazing family.
A curious family, instantly wanting to know my accent, seem to recognize I am speak French with an American accent. Their French is marvelous, easy for me to understand and vast vocabulary compared to mine. I was worried I had out learned too many of the locals with my French. Hard to expand the French learning when you pass the teachers. I am back to being a student as Abdul the Son, and Aeshida the girl give me the tough time, in French and in English. They are so intelligent they can supplement the French with English when we have problems. However, French is the dominant language between us, so I am doing well, the language easiest for all is always the language spoke by polite people.
This is Aeshida, she threatened me with a - Couteau - or Knife if I took her photo, so I handed the camera to her brother Abdul, and he took this photo. It is alluring, and explains her in many ways, sort of secretive and powerful. She also with the help of Abdul taught me in an intense and hard to forget manner, what the word for knife was in French. - Couteau -
This is the best way to learn a word, hook it on a moment in time, hand it to yourself, own it and take it home.
She was not threatening me, however she is a powerful one, and I am giving her trouble as often as possible. She is a Musulmans, however, none of this and that seems important in the world of Bassila, Benin. Her brother said I could have her, I said my joke again, about, - Slavery is over; you cannot give her to me. -
I said this in English, he understood the joke, translated to the girls, she laughed, and we had a good time. I then said, - Yes it is over, but I will still accept. - He said, - Good. -
That look is not good, but like I said, she has a knife or couteau, and she scares me, this is good.
Sometime in life, you are dealt a pair, maybe two aces, and then if you are lucky, you get a straight. Being born in the USA, blond blue-eyed and looking 20 years younger than I am means in West Africa, I was dealt a Royal Flush.
To lay down my cards, say my hand, explain my Country, who, where, and what and the world folds. The pot is mine; impossible to believe how much the world has a dream of America, here in West Africa. Say, something to the effect, - Marry me, we go to America. -
That is playing a Royal Flush, no joking, amazingly dreamland to me and them, but real nonetheless.
Abdul and his sister Aeshida are two bright, ambitious, and happy people, a great Mom and Pop hotel on the other side of the planet, yet first world in conversations.
I will try to email with these two, as they are special on the planet, not everyday in the middle of nowhere, about 595 Miles south Timbuktu do you find such brainwaves.