I can’t quite recall which general, admiral or famous leader (or was it Shakespeare) said the words as his troops went into battle, “once more into the breach dear friends, once more”, but those words certainly ring true when asking for a kettle to boil some water in the Hotel des Conferences. Yes, I’m back in Burkina Faso. Let’s do away with the pleasantries.
I prepared my ‘pre-match’ speech in my room and gave the hotel the respect to look up ‘kettle’ in my mini French dictionary (bouilloire). I even took a final swig of water so my palate and French were in harmony. No point. On delivering the game plan, the receptionist maintained a look that rather suggested I wanted to pour a kettle of boiled water over her head, rather than just hand one over. After some confused chatter and on realising Plan B wasn’t working (hot, chaud + water, l’eau), she called over some colleagues to join in the fun. Finally, we got there and a kind hotel clerk offered to bring some hot water to my room so that I can enjoy a cup of the Dairy Milk hot chocolate I remembered to pack.
He’s just knocked on my door with a jug of water. It’s cold. And there’s no cup.
Bienvenue a Hotel des Conferences