Thursday, January 13, 2011

We partied like it's 1999 (e.g. we still aren't legal)

They say it’s better to get malaria when you are still in Africa than when you return home.  The doctors can easily diagnose it and the cure is readily available for less than $10.  After the three-day course of Coartem treatment (and some pampering in a nice-ish hotel), Juan is almost as good as new.

Next up: getting to Burkina Faso.  After waiting all day at a bus station in Sevaré, we eventually found a beat-up Italian bus rescued from the 1970s to take us to Koutiala.  We had some debate over whether to go via this border town to Burkina Faso, simply because there were reports of bad roads and bandits along all three land entries from Mali…  Not reassuring.  Still, we were free from African Trails!  Arriving well into nighttime we were grateful for the taxi man who knew our hotel and only charged us double the fair price ($2 instead of $1).  Bon année, taxi dude.

As an aside, I’m firmly in the habit of saying I’m from Mexico.  Not only does this seem to make people friendlier and elicit surprise and wonder but it usually makes them assume I’ve got less money to throw around.  It’s only once that an electrician who studied Spanish ages ago asked me to speak with him (he understood none of it) and another time a guy quizzed me about the 1986 Mexico World Cup (I just nodded enthusiastically and said Mexico was tres super).  So when we rolled into Hotel La Chaumiere and introduced our Mexican selves to the proprietor, he immediately responded with a wide grin that his name was Besame.   Whether that was a reference to the song, Besame Mucho, or a sly request for Tia to kiss him we’ll never know. 

After showering off the dirt caked into our skin from the day’s travel, trying to establish with the hotel owner if there would be any dancing or singing that evening (he replied no to both), we camped out under our mosquito net to watch the Russell Crowe remake of Robin Hood.  The only good thing about that movie is that, because of its length, we actually stayed awake past midnight to ring in 2011.  Rockstars.

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