Friday, August 18, 2006

I have run into new sorts of difficulties- this time concerning interior decoration...
The plastic chair above, so ubiquitous around the world, is the 'ne plus ultra' of Malian restaurant design. I am told by Keita and anyone who is anyone here that I simply have to have these chairs. I have dug my heels in, trying to explain tactfully that it won't do. The problem is that a lot of people here have become personally involved in my hotel, and since they are all Muslim men they believe they know better... I explain that I have found a perfectly good metal chair , made locally in some quantity and used for chair hire for events such as weddings etc. It is simple, sturdy and will be comfortable too, once I have given it a little cushion to sit on. When I have painted it and decorated it it will be very good, and have a local charm about it. My African friends are horrified: clearly I have NO IDEA.
To try and finish the matter I explain, rather haughtily, and quite ridiculously that I am a graduate of the Royal College of Art ACTUALLY, and that my interiors have been featured in a great number of interior design magazines around the world. This totally fails even to register. Last night Keita and I didn't speak. We have now come to something of a truce, and the last thing Keita said on the matter, to cheer me up, was that he would show me a hotel in Segou where the plastic chairs were really pretty... Posted by Picasa


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