First full day in Lomé
Trip Start Sep 15, 2011
26Trip End Oct 21, 2011
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Where I stayed
Hotel Cote Sud Lome
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Read my review - 5/5 stars
The rain continued off and all on morning. The depressions in the sandy street filled up with water making very large and fairly deep puddles; forcing cycles and even cars to go from edge to edge, one side of the car over and sometimes in the water and the other side out. It makes for slow going.
It was good to have a whole morning to get caught up on various ongoing projects: sermons for the Feast of Tabernacles, organizational questions about the French site, an American university student studying in France needed an excused absence form in French, translation review and so on.
I had a very light lunch since I haven't been getting any exercise to speak of, and continued virtual office work. A little after 14:00 I started walking over to a mini-market about half a mile from the hotel. The streets were full of motorcycles and vehicles of various descriptions all belching streams of exhaust. The streets were sandy and in places full of refuse. There was quite a variety of commerce going on: the ubiquitous African bar – always brightly painted, a laundry/dry cleaners (I’ll take some laundry there tomorrow), a motorcycle shop, a flour merchant with huge sacks in reserve, a makeshift gas station stand with liter bottles on display, street "restaurants" some with tables and chairs, some on the sidewalks consisting merely of a lady with baskets and pots of already-cooked food and a stool you can sit on while you eat. I don’t recommend the latter variety.
When I arrived at the mini-market a few minutes later 14:30 but it was still closed, either for lunch, or it has gone out of business since the last time I was here. A fellow who looked like a security guard was hanging around outside. I asked him when they would reopen. 15:00 or 15:30 or 16:00 he said. He might just as well of said he didn’t know….
I flagged down a taxi and negotiated a price for him to take me to the Champion supermarket a mile or so away. When we arrived, it was closed for lunch too. They obviously take French-scale lunch breaks. I didn’t want to stand there for half an hour paying the taxi driver for nothing, so I had him take me back. I’ll try again tomorrow.
Guy came by at 16:30 and I asked him to accompany me to change some money. We drove down to the bustling central market area, and found a place to park, then walked on foot down pedestrian streets and a side alleyway to the stall of a Nigerian fellow with whom he has done business, and with whom I changed money last time I was here. B.Y. as he is known recognized us and welcomed us. We negotiated a price and discretely exchanged bills so we could each count and be satisfied. He had a special light to look for the watermarks in US bills that indicate they are authentic. A calculator was made available to double check figures. All was concluded efficiently and quickly. We shook hands and headed back out into the market, back to the car and back to the hotel to pick up my computer for the Bible Study that evening.