A few observations from my first few days in Abidjan:
- There are practically no roadblocks any longer. Some say it’s because of the upcoming elections, but either way it’s good news, and I hope it’ll last. Corruption and congestion creating tolls on intra-city travel just make no sense, unless – I guess – you are a president/dictator trying to make it difficult to make a coup d’etat or wanting to give your military forces an extra source of income.
- The are very few Europeans, or ahem, white people, around, except in – I presume – some enclaves (like zone 4) which I havent visited yet. I criss crossed the whole city today visiting Adjame, Yopougon and Cocody and didn’t see a single one. Guess the travel warnings for the Ivory Coast by western foreign departments plays a role. Well, the more opportunities for the few of us that are here!
The non-africans I did see included a nice gentleman from India working in the pharmaceutical industry, some Vietnamese people working at (you guessed it) a Vietnamese restaurant and a Lebanese man who had stayed here since the war in Lebanon.
- I missed a perfect photo opportunity when visiting a couple-dollars-a-day family in Yopougon where three children in their mid-teens were completely absorbed playing the real time strategy game Age of Empires on their ten year old computer. This seems to be something new, these people just didnt have computers when I last checked. Now I have seen plenty of shops selling second hand (or more likely third or fourth hand) stationary computers. And, well, I spent a big part of my mid-teens playing strategy games on my stationary computer, so hats’ off for those kids!
Here are some more photos from my friend’s place in Yopougon from the previous post: