Sunday, August 24, 2008

WAWA (West Africa Wins Again)

Bon jour my friends and relatives and people I don't know. Before I get started I'd like to address a question from my dear Aunt Sarah. Her question is how do Ghanaians feel about Barack Obama? The short answer is that they love him and they want him to win the presidency. When they ask if I support him and I say yes, they are always surprised because I am a "white man and Obama is black" they say this as if it is news to me and that now that I have heard this I will surely support McCain. I am not trying to turn this into a political blog so I am just gonna leave is at that. I am also really excited to cast my absentee ballot. I will also leave you with a link to a music video by Black Rasta a popular musician in Ghana who wrote a song about Obama that can be heard on the radio and on every other persons ring tone. The Ghanaians care more about US politics then their own. After a cabby asked me about the US presidential race I asked him what he thought about the Ghanaian elections and he said "I really dont care about Ghanaian politics" I find it strange that the people of Ghana care more about the US elections then their own. I guess we just sell it better. Anyway here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L85YF0pyPH0&feature=related it is pretty great.
Now to get you all back up to speed I left for Cote D'ivorre the first stop on my three country West African tour with two lovely ladies that we will call Michelle and Krista. Getting to the Cote D'ivorre border was filled with long uncomfortable tro tro rides and lots of confusion. At the border one of the guards started speaking to me in spanish and got me all mixed up to go to the french speaking Cote D'ivorre but I was impressed by much spanish I was able to spit back at him. Crossing the border was supposed to be difficult but we kinda just passed right through. Getting to Abidjan was a little more difficult. We got in these sketchy shared taxi things were the driver was going a million kilometers an hour and passing cars in the wrong lane. During a traffic jam he just jump ship and went in the other lane and it was just madness, with old ladies yelling at him in French. I was scared as hell and the journey took like 9 hours but we finally made it and when we got to Abidjan we met up with one of Michelle's old sorority sisters who was shit faced drunk. Apparently earlier that day she went into this fancy hotel across the street from our sketchy hostel and met some guys who work for this oil company based out of singapore but were in Cote D'ivorre helping out or something. Anyway they hadn't left the hotel in weeks because the oil rig had too many people on it and they were too scared to leave the hotel because of the people throwing things at white people and the civil war. So these guys were a little cabin crazy and decided to buy all of us dinner and booze in exchange for friendly company. Well maybe not just friendly because Emily 'F***in' Doerr told them that me and Krista were brother and sister so that I could come too. Of course once we got talking one of the oil barons grew up in Washington and went to school at ASU so Michelle immediately told them that Krista was from Spokane and I was from AZ separating us and I had to use my quick wit to come up with a shady broken home sort of back story. It didn't really matter though cause these guys were wasted and after having the buffet with the strangest assortment of foods and bomb desserts they would bring out trays of booze: beers, sex on the beach, champagne. We took a look at the menu the champagne was 100 dollars a bottle and just one beer was the same price we paid for our sketchy hostel room. We swam in the olympic size pool until the oil barons made the girls uncomfortable so we left. I was loving it though and wanted to kick with these crazy kids the next day. The ladies were not as enthiused.
So what else to say about Cote D'ivorre... We went to some beach town that I forget the name of and it reminded me of santorini with a bunch of bars/hotels on the beach but they were all empty. On the way down we got stopped at a security check poit were a policeman with a big gun came in to check our passports. After seeing we were Americans (except Krista she is Canadian) he said "I will come to America and everyone will die!!!" with this huge smile as if what he was saying was totally normal. Anyway after some alarming glances between each other he let the bus go and we were on our way to... I think it was called grand basam or something like that. When we arrived we were literally the only tourists around and the hawkers on the beach quickly found us. I bought a sword that also had a dagger in the handle, and the girls bought a bunch of stupid crap they had to lug around to two other countries like giant salad bowls and a treasure chest (there was no treasure inside). We also saw like 4 military helicopters pass over us that was kinda sketch, but at least they didn't shoot.
When we got back to Abidjan it was the Cote D'ivorre independence day so we were planning on having a killer time like during Ghana's republic day. The streets though were completely empty around our hostel and all we saw was a motorcade that sped by. We heard there were people marching to the presidents house but it all seemed like no one knew what was going on. So we were hella bored and decided to take a ferry around the river cause we had nothing else to do. We ended up getting off and found a bar called Mexico that was bumping some reggaeton music and was filled with people... drunk people. We walked in and felt the eyes all stareing at us and made our way to the bar. Everyone was coming up to us speaking in French and I had no idea what was going on. We adventually got led to the VIP room that was dark and filled with dudes sitting on leather sofas and it smelled really strange, like gross strange. So we got out of there back with the normal folks. And a guy in the back sitting at a huge booth like thing invited us to sit with him. He would from then on be called the Grand Petron. He wore this sweet hipster jacket and had some mean looking facial hair. He bought us boxes of wine and they were making Calle Mochos (Sp?) any way wine and coca cole mixed together (this was my drink of choice back in Madrid). One of the Grand Petrons friends was a mess. For those of you who know just think of any Ducks football game and he was that guy. He didn't speak much english and kept screaming at us "Happy days for yoooooooooooooooou!" and he bought us each our own box of wine. We had to go though and meet up with our friend who ran the hostel, Sumiley, we called him Smiley, to take us out on the town.
After some schwarma we went to this street that was full of bars with crazy lights and DJ's all celebrating the independence. We saw this live band, the cyclone something band, and they were super fresh and the guitar player was pulling off some slashesque licks. It was totally unnexpected, like most of West Africa. So we adventually moved on to another bar that was just stupid crazy and to make a long story short the DJ called Michelle into the DJ booth but she didn't speak any french so she ran away and she came back with a lollipop that she said belong to someone else after she made us all try it... gross. While we were leaving Krista got hungry like she does after drinking and she bought a sausage sandwhich that she said tasted like subway but it looked like rat meat. Then one of Sumileys friends told us to try this meat that was wrapped in banana leaves only to find out that it was heart. So i ate some heart, but I hear it is good for you.
The next couple days we lounged around the decaying city of Abidjan that you could tell was set up for tourists and is really very metroplitan reminded me of a euoropean city but there were no tourists because of the "boom boom" as the locals call it. We went to some super huge church with pretty stained glass that depicted the french colonials coming to Cote D'ivorre to save the people from their sinful ways. Kinda ridiculous. We also went to the Hotel Ivorre that was this huge complex where nothing was working except for the bowling lanes. So we decided to roll a round. I won with a score of 98 definetly not my best effort but the balls were all cracked and the lanes super warped so i think i did allright. It was definetly a strange feeling rolling in this war torn country but could also make a good essay, it was super emo.
That's all your getting from me tonight, although I'm sure I left out stuff and just plain made some things up but thats how i remember it. I have to get up early for work. What? did you think I was just laying on the beach all day? Well kinda. Don't stop till you get enough. I dont trust this spellcheck aodgsgeeif so once again sorry for the typos.

2 comments:

DudeBro said...

Haha, great stuff man. Lovin' the stories.

Anti-S said...

Neph-J:

You do tell a good tale. Hunt some wild game and run with the bulls. You will be my new Ernest H. Well, skip the bulls if you haven't been running much. Remember we used to race? And don't move to Idaho. Key West would be better...visit Grand J, make her happy. She's not on line.

Safety first and foremost!
Anti-S