This morning I paid for my room, which had to be done in cash, no card payments here. It's a pain because it requires carrying rather large sums of cash around. I hide it in various places on my person and in my bags, so that if thieves get some they won’t get all. We loaded my luggage in the big Pajero and drove to the Brioche for our coffee and French pastries which might not be considered pastries by Americans or Brits. They are only very slightly sweet, nothing like a Danish or a bear claw. Even French desserts are usually not nearly as sweet as the Anglo varieties.
We drove on to the hotel where we held the conference and I paid for the remaining rooms, then we said goodbye to Séussié, until next time, and we started out on the long trek to Yamoussoukro, over the same bad roads we had taken to come.
-I told you to park here, he gestured.
-I don’t want to drive off the pavement down that step, car parts are expensive.
-And if you are hit be a bus that will be more expensive.
-By God’s grace that will not happen.-May God hear you (This is certainly taking God's name in vain....). They took Dosso off to check his papers. A while later, another policeman came to my window.
-Vous parlez francais?
-Yes, I said in French
-Why are you here?
-I visited friends in Man.
-Did you arrange to rent with the driver or his boss?
(I should have seen the trap here, but I wasn’t quick enough on the uptake)
Off he went with a smile, he had just pumped me for information he could use against Dosso, who didn’t have a particular document saying he could drive for a merchant, rather than dealing directly with the passenger (me). That meant they had a legal claim that he was not in compliance and they would require a bribe to fix it for him. I kicked myself for being too slow.
I made a mental note, next time rotten cops pump me for information, I’m going to say “I know what you’re doing, and it’s wrong. I will not help you by answering your questions.” Or maybe simply “no, just no.”
There is often little variety in the local diet. Except for Doss he ordered agouti again. To maintain my appetite I avoided looking at the bug chunks of rat in sauce, I just focused on my pizza.
We arrived in Abidjan about 5:00 and drove back to Treichville to change more money. Things always cost more than one thinks. Back at the Ibis, I paid Dosso and picked up my receipt and gave Paul some assistance too, then shook his hand and thanked him for his help and service.
Tomorrow will be a travel day, taking me on to my next stop: Lomé in Togo.