A Day in the life of Hotel Djenné Djenno
(or how not to make it in the Hotel Business)
alarm: help Baba with breakfasts for early risers- big day today. Hotel full tonight.
Must try and get rid of the rest of the guests before midday, so rooms will be ready for BIG GROUP arriving. Have moved out of my room, which I have given to adorable Basque couple. No more room at the Inn so la patronne is sleeping in a tent tonight.
Belgian couples in Tamachek and Bozo want to stay another night and have dinner again because they are really enjoying their stay- I tell them that sadly it isn't possible.
calling Balafon orchestra to make sure there is no misunderstanding about timing for tonight's performance.
Menu discussed for tonight's gala dinner for 30 with Papa. Substantial wad of money handed over.
Trying tel. no of BIG GROUP to find hour of arrival but no answer. It is an office number in Bamako, and of course it is still Christmas.
Desperate call from another tour operator: any chance of three double rooms tonight? 'try in town, sorry!'
Last guests gently but emphatically herded out of their rooms to make place for BIG GROUP.(Under breath: Merde! Get a move on! They could be here any moment!)
Big Swish 4x4 arrives with 4 elegant Germans who want to take 2 rooms for 2 night. 'Sorry!No chance!'
'Beigna! Have you prepared everything for sunset cocktails on the roof? They will be parched when they arrive!
Sun sets over empty hotel.
All tables set in the garden, Full Christmas treatment.Red Ikea napkins. Cassava leaf decoration.
Balafon orchestra arrives and begins to play. La Patronne staggers around on red high heals, a Djenné Djenno cocktail in her hand, looking forlorn.
Keita arrives and surveys this bizarre stage set.
'Where is everyone???'
Keita knows the entire Malian nation, including the tour operator in question. He promptly dials his private mobile number.
'We have a reservation with you for the 26 and 27th of December,I believe. Oh good..But where are they? What?
Oh, I see. Hmm. The reservation is for December 26 and 27th 2008....