Friday, March 09, 2012

I am happy to announce that we were fully booked last night despite the troubles. There was a delegation from the Dutch Embassy which included the Ambassador and his wife, and there was the Governor of Mopti with respective entourages. 10 gendarmes with machineguns patrolled the perimeter and the hotel garden all night. Dinner was served as usual in the garden under the stars in the light of the full moon helped along by little paraffin lamps on the tables. The Djenne griots sang the praises of those present.
All went smoothly until the main course. I went into the kitchen to check what was going on, since I thought it was taking too long. And what do I find? Fatou and Papa are ladling out some disgusting looking slop next to the Poulet Namasa and the Concombres Braises. Our mashed Cassava, normally delicious and normally standing up in little peaks like a good mash should, had turned into some sort of soup-like baby food!
I had a nuclear fit, there is no other way to describe it.

“What the HELL is THAT??” I bellowed.
Noone responded.
Papa looked at the floor while Fatou developed a sudden interest in the ceiling fan.

Baba and Maman, waiting to take the plates out, were trying unsuccessfully to calm hysterical giggles.

It was too late to do anything about it. The plates left in the sorry state in which I found them. I nevertheless continued my ranting and added, for good measure, that they would all get the sack.

(It is not the first time that mishaps have occurred with the Dutch Embassy here. We are only continuing in our time honoured fashion: for precedent see entry February 19 2007 entitled How to ruin one's reputation with the entire Dutch diplomatic corps in West Africa in one fell swoop: .)

Fortunately there was nothing wrong with the taste, and fortunately Dutch diplomats are a forgiving and kind species. I noticed that the Ambassador was even mopping up his Cassava Slop with some bread, Alhamdilullah!

And finally,on a different note, Christine from Heidelberg sent me the following email regarding the building in the last entry:
Dear Sophie -
since I discovered your blog I'm an admirer of what you do with so much passion.
I feel kind of demanded to tell you that the beautiful building (from the trip advisor email) is NOT in Bucharest.
It is the Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest/Hungary.

Many thanks for that Christine!


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