Before travelling to the Ivory Coast (and many other countries in Africa), you will probably frequent your local travel clinic to get a variety of vaccinations against diseases such as Yellow Fever, Meningitis, Typhoid and Cholera. You will also be prescribed malaria tablets to take regularly during your trip in order to avoid the country’s most pervasive illness.
Last night the world stopped to watch the US election results unfold. In addition to the mere possibility of President Trump, I was faced with additional cockroaches. Yes, yesterday I came home to a cockroach infestation in our tiny flat in Abidjan, and typically, it was the one time I was home alone.
Welcome back! In part 1 I described a few of my encounters with Abidjan’s single men. This is attention that I have (to some extent) become used to and learnt to dismiss to the best of my ability. What still surprises me though is when men “on duty” act in a way that, in the UK at least, would be deemed unprofessional. Mike the policeman for one, but I’ve also had hotel porters, receptionists and shop assistants try to chat me up whilst in uniform. Oh and mothers have asked for my number too.
There is no doubt that I stick out like a sore thumb in the Ivory Coast. A country pretty much devoid of tourism isn’t going to contain many Europeans, Americans, Asians, apart from the odd expat who has moved here for work. Considering I’m living with a local lady, I don’t live anywhere near the big hotels or the areas in which you’d be likely to find expats, thus increasing my (already high) chances of being noticed in the street.
Let me start off by explaining the thought behind my blog name.
On the one hand, “Maps for Breakfast” symbolises my daily planning of activities whilst travelling, and the organisation of days out nearer home. On the other hand, the name represents moments I find myself daydreaming, consulting the world map on my bedroom wall in London and imagining what it would be like to visit particular countries. To summarise, “Maps for Breakfast” is me Google mapping everything, it’s me flicking through all the travel guides in a bookshop, and it’s me planning the ultimate round-the-world trip just because I’m bored.
So here I am in Abidjan, and as is usual on arrival in a new city, I am itching to explore. This, however, is not quite as straightforward as it has been for me in other cities worldwide.