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19 April 2010 @ 11:45 am
My African Adventure (not fic)  
So...I was in Benin last week for work...
 
(BTW, I travel A LOT for work), and ended up getting stuck there due to the volcano in Iceland. Luckily, I was able to get out, and some of our party apparently is stuck there until next Thursday, due to the shortage of flight availability out of Benin in general coupled with the European airport closures, but I thought I would share my "escape story" at amand_r 's urging...
 
We find out there is this flight leaving on friday on "Air Mali" that makes 3 stops on the way to Dakar, Senegal. then, could take a South African airways direct to Dulles. So, we go down to Air Mali office early on Friday morning. It is this giant office with one desk and then a small booth and a lot of empty space. The desk is manned by this Beninoise dude, the booth by this Lebanese dude. We ask to purchase tickets, and are told that they don't take credit cards, so we need to get cash. So, we go and get enough cash out, which is like a semi giant stack of bills, and pay the dude. Then, the dude in the booth gives us a WORD DOCUMENT that is our ticket which says "Air Mali. Depart: Cotonou, Benin 1935, Arrivee: Dakar, Senegal 2320". I am not filled with confidence, at this point, but the tickets do actually work. Well, we take off, land about an hour later in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, take off again, land in Bamako, Mali and are told to de-plane, that we are getting on another plane. Which makes us real nervous b/c we have an hour layover in Dakar,  in which time we have to grab our bags, go through customs, and re-check-in to an international flight. The holding area they keep us in is this waiting room. With a bar. Manned by this dude with a white suit jacket and little white hat. So bizarre, like something out of a David Lynch movie. So, we finally take off on a new plane, and land in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and then finally in Dakar.
 
There's this whole other part about me getting hassled for money while in Dakar, and yelling at this dude that he was on crack and he kept yelling back "Yes! Crack!" but I really can't post without sounding a bit like an ugly Amercian.  However...suffice it to say, it was Adventureland through and through. For the record, Benin is a lovely country and I highly recommend visiting!

 

 
 
Current Location: my desk
Current Mood: stressedstressed
Current Music: Faithfully -- Journey
 
 
 
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
That's Lay-day Snackpants to you, buster.amand_r on April 19th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
THIS NEVER GETS OLD.
Adjoviadjovi on April 19th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
OH...and you'd like this bit: there are billboards everywhere advertising the return of "desperate housewives". there is some kind of symmetry to be found there if the beninoise are watching barrowman...
That's Lay-day Snackpants to you, buster.amand_r on April 19th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
OMG I LOL FOREVER. FOR. EV. ER.
Ceeparagraphs on April 19th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
Adjovi I feel I know you because Mander and Blue adore you so. Dang what an adventure. How many hours did it take to get to Dulles? And now I have to look up Benin, as I don't know it at all.
Adjoviadjovi on April 19th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
aw... :) feelin the love! are those your pooches? they are gorgeous. here are my pics from benin, if you'd like to check out:

ganvie and ouida
Ceeparagraphs on April 19th, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC)
Yup, those are the two huskies, Shelby the red and white, Maddox the black and white. I also have a Springer spaniel, Claire, 13. Poor girl!

I will check them out! I love pictures, thank you!
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): ursula saintlyblue_fjords on April 19th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
Dude your "current music" is one of my favorite ballads to belt in the shower. It's just one of those songs that really sounds good w/ a bottle of shampoo!

And, yeah, Air Mali. Awesomesauce. :)

(I didn't think you sounded like an Ugly American. Nobody really *likes* getting pestered for more and more money.)
Adjoviadjovi on April 19th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC)
I LOVE JOURNEY. however, i think "open arms" is my belting shower song. ;)

i read this today and thought of you: blue velvet cake.
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): cupcakesblue_fjords on April 19th, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC)
That frosting looks INSANE! Blue cake, ho shit!
Adjoviadjovi on April 19th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
i know, dude! i bet that frosting is the bomb. i love how paula's all about the butter dipped in butter then pan fried with more butter.

OMG. i saw padma lakshmi the other day in person. just on the street! they are filming top chef in d.c.
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): cookingblue_fjords on April 19th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
I just emailed Toby to tell her. She's a huge Top Chef fan. :)
Adjoviadjovi on April 19th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
she should go to "good eats"--that's where we saw her, and that is owned by a former top chef contestant. however, there could be a small problem if she is a vegan since this is a burger joint...
i want to huggle you (and your little dog, too): cookingblue_fjords on April 19th, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
Heh. No worries there. I'll tell her!
Adjoviadjovi on April 19th, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
Dark Starscribesds on April 19th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
Hi Adjovi! That was quite an adventure you had there! Who organised all the flights? Did your work sort them all out or did you do it all yourself? How many of you were in your party?

Glad you're back safely...
Adjoviadjovi on April 19th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
hey lady...how are you? we were three in our party at that point, and the flights had been arranged by one of the women in our party. one coworker is stuck in tanzania, and another good friend is in another city in tanzania, and can't get out until next saturday night!
Dark Starscribesds on April 19th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
I'm good, thank you.

Your friend can't get out until next saturday night? Oh, poor thing! I hope they've got a proper room and not dossing down on the airport floor!
Adjoviadjovi on April 19th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
yeah--he's chilling at the hotel. a little stir crazy, but he's doing ok.
The Cleaveragekel_reiley on April 20th, 2010 04:48 am (UTC)
um... WOW
it makes me want to travel so so badly... no really, i want to go places where this wacky shit happens and i'm just like, ok, and i have to go with it and all i have is my backpack (b/c in my head, i don't NEED that much stuff, not like in RL where i can't GO places without bringing everything with me) just as long as i don't end up in a turkish prison

oh, glad you made it home safely!
Adjoviadjovi on April 20th, 2010 04:56 am (UTC)
aw...thanks, sweetie. honestly, i wish i was livin the backpack lifestyle, but sadly, i have a GIANT orange suitcase that houses...business suits. ;) but, i do readily admit...i am travelling to places where wacky shit just happens all the time. the last time i was in benin, i went to the birthplace of voodoo (ouida) and went to the "temple des pythons" and seriously it was like indiana jones shit with pythons hanging off of the walls...and me in my bare feet...
The Cleaveragekel_reiley on April 20th, 2010 06:35 am (UTC)
what is your job and where can i apply?
Adjoviadjovi on April 20th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
haha...i work for the feds, writing disaster assessment plans for mostly african countries, but some other places as well. actually, i have in the past, incorporated torchwood characters into my dooomsday scenarios. and, my rl friends as well. last time, blue was an expert from the world health organization, if memory serves...
The Cleaveragekel_reiley on April 20th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
this sounds like fun, but also like work
Adjoviadjovi on April 20th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
you are correct on both counts... ;)
ares132006: Togetherares132006 on April 20th, 2010 09:07 am (UTC)
That is insane!!! I would have been a quivering mess of fear.

I'm wondering why your work didn't organize your flights out. What's up with that?

I bet Kitty is pleased to see you home.
Adjoviadjovi on April 20th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
they kind of did--organize the flights, but we were largely left to our own devices. luckily, i work with a woman who can make magic happen with regards to travel, and she was with me in africa.
Pecos: Kermit goes YAYpecos on May 27th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
Greetings and felicitations from beautiful Colorado. Here's me hoping that you have an absolutely wonderful Birthday with many more to come!
Adjoviadjovi on May 28th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
thanks so much, sweetheart! that was so incredibly nice of you to wish me well!
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )