Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

In Tana

As it's taking forever for Java to download and install (which Air France requires for its seat picker - they've swapped out an Airbus for the Boeing they used to use on CDG-TNR and I want to fix our seats for the flight home in twelve days - I should probably take a minute to say that we're in Antananarivo and off to Toliara in a few hours. We're in a hotel that's fairly swank for a country en via de desarollos; there is free Wi-Fi, A/C, and clean sheets, yet the windows don't close correctly, there are locals staring in the back window with curtains that cannot close all the way, the toilet is somehow installed in a hole in the tiled wall, and they have gone to the expense of lovely cheap motel-style branded toiletries. So, not luxurious, but certainly luxurious by local standards. It's fine; we slept well.

So far I haven't seen much here save for empty streets, dark houses, dead dogs still bleeding out on the roads, a couple of huge buildings that are either abandoned or under construction, a small lake I recognized from The Amazing Race, and a lot of French colonial stuff á la New Caledonia. It seems like a decent place. The locals smile a lot, which is soothing.

At customs, it took several minutes per person to get through the queue, complicated by impatient Europeans on their worst behavior trying to jump it whenever possible. Le sigh. It took ninety minutes to get through it all - and the baggage slightly longer, which was amusing as ours was the only plane on the ground and it was parked about 100m from the terminal. But that's fine, what more did you expect? Kind of sad, though, when countries blow that all important first impression - but then again, Madagascar is like Windows in that there's no other place on Earth like it, so if you absolutely want to visit it, you will put up with all of the frustrations. I've already seen a billboard for Lemurlandia or something along those lines (some local lemur in a cage attraction, I think). Hm.
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