Africa | Benin | Cotonou – Cotonou
My alarm clock this morning was a bite. Something bit my finger and woke me up exactly in the good part of the dream (after I finished saving the beautiful girl from the bad guys and was carrying her on my arms toward the bedroom ..). Blood was coming out from a small hole in my finger. I wonder what it was. It wasnt an ant because they leave 2 holes. I know because I have such a mark on my leg, for already a week, from an ant that probably thought I was some kind of a big bug. My whole room is crawling with insects that made weird noises all night.
Today, with sorrow, I said goodbye to Dave, but not before we went to visit a Tata belonging to a friend of his. After touring the house and photographing the family I took a public taxi back to Natitingou. On the way, standing on the side of the road were a group of 5 young men, totally naked, with bow and arrows and wearing funny huts looking at us as if we, the people in the taxi, where the outstanding here. Simply unbelievable that Im lucky enough to witness such things.
A friend of Dave, a pilot in Air Afrique, was driving today all the way to Coutonou, the Capital, where Im heading tomorrow. Dave forgot about it and this is how I missed the ride of my life. Not only because it would have saved me 2 days of my life but it would have happened in a BMW!
On an air-conditioned bus going to Coutonou. Yes, I also didnt know they have air conditioned buses here. Looking through the big glass windows on Africa passing in front of my eyes and feeling like inside a National Geographic movie.
Straw houses, green fields, trees, lots of people looking like busy ants, women dressed in colorful fabrics, small kids with even smaller kids on their back, goats, steam coming out giant clay jars (wonder whats inside), everything is being carried on the head, water wells, churches & mosques, cultivated fields, naked woman preparing food, Chinese bicycles, women with babies on back working the fields. Suddenly nothing, big forested area, a village again and everything starts all over again. I feel like a Japanese in a tourist bus.
Every 15 minute a drop of water falls on my bald head. Chinese torture in slow motion.
The minus in air-conditioned buses is that the windows dont open and I cant window shop (buy delicious food and sweets through the bus windows).
This morning I went to the Ghanaian embassy to issue a visa again. I didnt tell you, but I decided to return to Ghana for my last week because I enjoyed Ghana the most so far, so why not go back? Whats important is the pleasure, no?
Its Friday today and to issue the visa it takes 3 working days, which means that in the best case it will be ready by Tuesday. Since I dont fell like waiting that long here, want to travel tomorrow to Togo, I decided to beg/bribe/curse the clerk, according to the order I wrote. At the end, all this strategies I built in my head were not necessary. When I handed him my passport I received again the same stunned face and the sentence You are the first Israeli I see. The moment I detected the sympathy in his voice I immediately begged him to hurry up the procedures because Ghana is so beautiful that every day that passes it is a shame Im not there bla bla
come back at 13:00 he said and this is how I sit now and write to you when in my pocket, or more correctly my money belt, lies a visa to Ghana issued in only 3 hours.
Happy, I went to eat lunch. Fufu (sticky dough made from corn flour), one peace of meat and sauce. The whole trick in eating Fufu is wetting your fingers in the sauce, cut a piece from the Fufu (with wet fingers it doesnt stick), role it into a ball, dip it in the sauce and quickly stick it in your mouth with almost all the fingers entering the mouth. Simple, no?
With my stomach full, it was the turn of my soul so I went to the market.
Of the Coutonou market it is said that it is the biggest in the country, and it is big. Lucky it is not possible to photograph there otherwise I would have gone broke with all the potential photos there were. Mamas selling soap, Women with smoked fish on the head, kid porters with wheelbarrows, a mobile disco on a bicycle (a car battery on the back supplied power), legless beggars, blacksmiths and on top of everything hovers a thick cloud of smock. Actually the whole city is covered with this pollution cloud from the millions of motorcycles that drive like crazy in the streets.
Ill stop writing now because for a few days now I have pus in my finger and its time to make a hole and take it out.
I have just finished torturing myself now. Before I made the hole I disinfected the needle, like my mom always told me to do. I heated it up with a lighter. I hope the needle was disinfected because it turned black from the heat and for some reason this blackness doesnt seem too clean to me. I wonder who invented this disinfecting method?
Now my finger hurts more than when it was with the pus. What was the problem with a little Bavaria cream in my finger?
This whole evening I sat and watched prostitutes. Young girls, 17-18 years of age, in action – ambushing passing clients at entrances to bars. 2 hours and a litre of beer I watched and still didnt get exactly how it works. They stand at the entrance to the bar, suddenly disappear and than return after about half hour. What isnt understood here you ask? I havent seen them, not even once, walking away with a customer. I didnt even see men talking to them. More so, me a white tourist, sitting alone and no one approaches me? What am I supposed to conclude from this?
On the way back home I got the munchies. A little girl, behind a sweets stand, didnt understand where the hell this white, half drunk tourist, came from, but she surely wasnt sorry. Bought stale wafers, chocolate cookies and my pockets are now full with WWF stars chewing gum.
Sitting on the roof of the hotel. Cool night wind is blowing. A cup of strong, black Turkish coffee in my hand (with me, coffee is kept in the first aid kit), empty packs of wafers and cookies on the floor around me and thinking what I had today. Visa to Ghana in 3 hours, a clerk who never saw an Israeli before, great lunch for less than a dollar, amazing market, cute whores and lots of sweets. Tonight also Ill fall a sleep with a smile on my face. Another good day in the life of Inbal Tubi. Good night.