Saturday, 20 November 2010

Strangely Familiar

As the last blog highlighted. Few things change. And during my first day back in Ouagadougou, it seems nothing changes in Burkina Faso, except for maybe my room. I now reside in A11 instead of my previous home, room A2, which has experienced a small but significant natural disaster. The toilet has flooded. No you cheeky wasn’t me!
There was something almost cocky about my entrance into the country yesterday. I breezed through passport control and then just sat at the back of the terminally ill-looking terminal, waiting, as the herd flocked toward the comically dumped bags on the floor. A few of the other Europeans on the flight looked a little lost. I took my bag and waltzed though customs (not literally – wonderful image though).
The same hotel. The same lack of towels. The same friendly faces at work. The same “Ca va, Chez toi?” and then blank look on my face as the art of conversation moves on from mere greetings. I even knew the little lad who served me my sugary yoghurt in the suburban mini-mart (wow, ‘mini-mart’, since when did I become American!).  I even seamlessly went for a plate of oil with a splattering of spaghetti on top at Madamme Claude’s round the corner. I guess, with a touch of exaggeration, it’s like going to the Moon and just going back to the same crater. What’s the point?! I’m in danger of making Burkina Faso ‘a familiarity’.  So, I’m not going back to Mdme C’s tomorrow, or any other day for that matter. Plus, I did once see a stray cat crawl over the kitchen tops precariously close to the spaghetti bowl.
I feel like I owe an apology. I promised last time to describe a country which, lets face it, not many of us had heard of previously. All you got was tales of lizards, crap French and avocado sandwiches. Well, what better way to start discussing the history and a bit more about this place than with the Burkina Faso Presidential elections this Sunday. Blaise Campaore, the incumbent President has over 20 years of office and is set to win again this weekend. Did someone say, “Strangely familiar”?
Now I know how the locals feel.

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