Leaving Niger Abidjan Ivory Coast Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I was trying to buy a plane ticket from Niamey, to almost anywhere. The price for a ticket to Thailand was some 1800 US Dollars. Still hoping to feel something good about Niger and Africa, I decided on Lome, Togo, an easy city to travel, and the Galion Hotel is good.
Visa - Ticket - Visa - Ticket
I played conservative and lost, I thought I would get the Visa, go on the Thursday flight and not the Saturday. I guess Americans can get 7 days at the airport in Lome, Togo. However, this was sketchy and question marks.
I do not know, about Friday I start to get very weak, I end up lying in bed all the time. My body starts to fall apart, every iota of something in my intestines is dropped, I clean and clean, it is not pretty.
I stir enough to go to the French Embassy, they want me to go to the Bank of Africa and have this voucher signed. With that, I am able to call them…. I do not speak French good enough for the telephone. Like a dead end, and to boot the man at the gate says I will not get the visa quick. I have until Thursday, it is maybe Monday.
I go to the SatGuru office and push the India boys to print out the 7-day thing off their computer, that says I can have a visa on arrival.
They tell me, you are from the USA, you can fly anywhere in Africa, - NO PROBLEM -
The bullshit answer of the world. This is the deal, a travel agent does not see the pain at the end of the line, or deal with what he or she says, - No Problem -
Travel Agents, not to trusted.
I spend two days in bed, while my bowels drop, on the last day I did not make it to the shared toilet. Splat, all over the entrance to the room.
I am packing, I have to pack one thing, lie down, pack this, lie down, and I am delirious. I leave the not so friendly lady Collete and think, good thing you are lazy, and you will not see that room.
I am flying from Niamey, Niger to Lome, Togo; I am running late, but after a fight with taxi, normal crap. I arrive and the plane is gone. It has left maybe one hour early.
Hard to find a taxi at the Niamey, Airport, I sat around and was going to go to the Mourey Hotel, next to SatGuru Travel Agency. The man was 25,000 CFA or about 50 US; it has three stars on it and is a dump. I think stars are dreams, nothing to do with quality. The place is convenient. I offer 20 for one of the worst hotels I have seen, because I can roll out of bed and go to Travel Agency.
I finally go to the Auberge Relax, spelled in French; the taxi driver is pushing the place.
15,900 CFA, with Air, Shower inside, not bad. - THE AIR DOES NOT WORK -
I move up a flight, the room is ok, - No toilet paper. - - The light is huge fluorescent - - The bed compress below my rear, I sleep in hole - - Everyone is screaming, what about relax? -
There is no easy way to grab a taxi here; I need to walk about 400 yards or meters. This is killer, I am in delirium, and the temperature is about 105 F or maybe 37 C.
The girl comes in the room during the night and hunts for something. The other one only scream, the men were off their rockers. No sanity in this place.
My brain will not stop, it would start blogging away and computer was off. I had to tell myself, not real, ignore. I would focus on a light in the room to see reality. It would disappear and back to blogging, the brain wanted to think about these stupid overwhelming experiences and explain, it did not care what I thought.
I would say, - Ignore - - Ignore - - Not real -
I have not taken the Malaria medicine, I started taking anti-biotic I carry for this type of situation.
Fight with a taxi, pay 20 dollar for 4-dollar fare, I go to the airport
I have not eaten for 4 days.
That is the path I was supposed to take, I kept asking, can’t I get off in Abidjan. The SatGuru guy says not possible
The planes all are about an hour late, this is Air Burkina, they are ok, but with a one-hour transit between flights in Ouaga, Burkina Faso, we missed, not even close.
Arguing and fighting, me sitting trying to not listen in the transit office, they do not know what to do. Finally a ticket from Ouaga to Abidjan, then to Lome.
They put me up free in the Hotel Touba, the room never got cold and they called me four times for dinner. I kept saying no, not easy, here to shower, as there was no hanging shower, it was a long hand held thing. No luck on shower, clothes are way gone, they knock on door at 6:00. - Come down now - IN French Amazingly rude, screaming, why does everyone have to scream. (Fourth Graders)
I go and check in, go through customs. - I do not have an entry stamp, too stupid, now I have an exit stamp from Burkina Faso, I never entered, but I left.
Strange, but nice, they gave me a First Class upgrade, and some pleasant German girl sat next to me, a real intellectual jump, I only wished my brain would function. It was in granny gear. I do not need a Visa for Ivory Coast, therefore Abidjan is great, I checked through customs, no problem, easy in Ivory Coast.
I know, I came on Emirates to Abidjan, I HOPE, I can leave. I am in my old room in the Wharf Hotel, on the Grand Bassam at the beach.
I have taken the Malaria cure, it helps to know the word is Paludisme, but forget that word they say something short, like Palu, it a problem, they shorten words, and how am I to know.