Sunday, November 04, 2007

La Maison Rouge is exquisite, and very different to Hotel Djenne Djenno. Amade spent 4 years perfecting every lovingly crafted detail while Hotel Djenne Djenno was slapped together in a mad mud frenzy lasting 6 month- it shows. Djenne Djenno is rough and ready, but, I believe, still an hotel de charme, as the French call it. But la Maison Rouge attains levels of refinement about which I can only dream. I had breakfast in the morning with Amadé, to the accompaniment of Bach’s cello suites. Meanwhile I have grave difficulties at Hotel Djenne Djenno trying to prevent Beigna from playing rough hip-hop from the Ivory Coast at full blast. I went back to Djenne Djenno and cried for two days.
Especially since Keita, in my absence, decided to surprise me and had all the bathrooms painted white.
Now, my bathrooms were what the French call brut, but they were in good, honest cement, and the idea was to have Baji the potter doing tiles which we would slowly add, room by room. But no, Keita has had someone slap white paint on, thereby ruining that possibility, and necessitating constant upkeep from now on. I have kept my nerve, and I have not been angry. I have said, sweetly, Thank you darling, that is very kind. But please would you talk to me before you decide anything to do with the interior decoration? You wouldn’t really like it if I came and told you how to do blood transfusions, would you?
And then I smiled, went away and cried some more.
Above you see Amade at breakfast, with his mason presenting the hue of the day’s new mud, to be plastered somewhere.


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