Bonjour Abidjan!

August 18, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope you are well. This morning I had a long breakfast at the Accra hotel. It was pretty sad to say goodbye to Moses at the airport. The flight to Abidjan was awesome. It was on an Emirates flight that was coming from Dubai and had just stopped in Accra on the way to Abidjan. The plane had great facilities and I finished my book during the flight. I had a very easy time at Immigration, and then a difficult time getting the hotel shuttle.

At the airport, I ended up paying a guy more than I would have liked for his “services” helping me exchange money and showing me the hotel shuttle. He kind of forced his help on me and I ignored him, but then when I asked a security guard where to find the hotel shuttle, the guard led me back to that guy. Ugh. It wasn’t so bad but on principle (I didn’t give him that much money) but it gave me a bad taste of people in Abidjan. To be honest, though, the hotel shuttle isn’t clearly marked so I did needed help to find it.

My overall impression of Abidjan is not that great. The hotel is pretty gross. I went to work out – the gym is okay – and then requested my room to be changed because many things about it were unacceptable. The hotel reception people don’t speak English very well, so that was difficult. Im now in a slightly less shitty room.

The man who helped me change rooms has been giving me some looks and then he was a little snide when I asked him a question about the internet. I wonder if I was supposed to tip him for changing my room. It seems pretty silly and I didn’t think about it because the shower and internet are supposed to work and the rooms are supposed to not be so filthy. This is an international hotel chain, after all.

Dinner was Okay, really mediocre. I had a club sandwich and fries and salad at the bar. I checked out the main dining area but opted for the bar as it seemed like the best option. I’ll have to reconsider tomorrow, maybe when i’m feeling more adventurous. It’s pretty hard after a while not being able to easily leave the hotel for dinner. I can’t believe they charge 4500 CFA (basically 10 USD) for a few pieces of lettuce. They did advertise that it was “imported greens” though.  I’m not sure how working will be tomorrow, but I imagine difficult due to the language barrier. I’ll definitely go into it with a good attitude tomorrow morning.

I miss everyone at home. I miss gourmet dumpling house on Beach St. in Chinatown and the experience of eating there :D. If you are in Boston, I recommend you try this little restaurant. Some excellent dishes include the mapo dofu, yu hsiang eggplant (I think that’s the right spelling – it has chinese eggplant and pork strips and delicious sauce) and the sauteed snow pea pods as long as you like spicy foods. They have great dumplings there too. Soup dumplings and regular dumplings. I can’t wait to go for dinner, it will be less than two weeks! It makes me happy just thinking about it.

Love, Annie

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