Day 213: Rockatansky!

01.08.09: Aja and I had a good chat over breakfast about the future of Cote D’Ivoire. She says that she’s as optimistic as she can be about the elections in November – it’s as if the whole country is holding its breath until then. As for the ‘What The Hell Is Wrong With Africa’ question, her take on the matter is that most people who want to leave (which is like pretty much everyone) have no realistic concept of what Europe is like and so it can – and does – take on an air of a fantasyland in which you can pluck money from the trees and the streets are paved with gold. The Big Rock Candy Mountain. Of course, the reality is very different. Aja was lucky enough to visit London a number of times when she was younger so she could see for…

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Day 212: Wined and Dined in Cote D’Ivoire

31.07.09: I. LOVE. COUCHSURFING!!!! Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. Now, where was I? Oh yes, Danané, Cote D’Ivoire. Got to the bus station for 6am. The minibus didn’t leave until 7.20am, but for West Africa that’s LIGHTING FAST. We headed out along some of the best roads I’ve seen since Morocco – DUAL CARRIAGEWAYS! Armco Barriers! Road signs that TELL YOU WHERE YOU ARE!! My word. They weren’t joking when they said that Cote D’Ivoire was once one of the richest countries in the whole of Africa. Not now it isn’t, though. Too busy fighting over who gets to squander their country’s future on flashy German cars, holiday homes in the Azores and sending their kids to Oxford. The life’s ambition of horrible men with diseased minds who don’t care how many children have to die as long as they get to…

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Day 211: Into Rebel Territory

30.07.09: The driver fixed the tyre around 3am and we got into Ganta ten minutes later. I tried to check into a hotel for a few hours, but the cheapest place wanted €25 for a grotty little room that I wouldn’t pay a fiver to stay in even if it came with a Vimto lollypop. I really don’t understand how they can justify charging these ridiculous prices, in a country where most people survive on less than a dollar a day, who the hell can afford to stay there? It’s not like there’s a ton of tourists passing through these parts. Gah! So I headed over to the shared taxi area, asked them to wake me when the taxi was full and slept in the passenger seat. In the end, it was taking so long to find anyone else who wanted to head on to the…

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