Thursday, February 03, 2005

A Day Off

The landscape right before Bamako had started to get interesting, kind of like a cross between West Africa and the Wild West, complete with cliffs and rock outcroppings, but with really interesting trees thrown in. Bamako itself, like just about every other African city, was pretty much an overextended grubby mess.

Breakfast at the hotel consisted of a tall glass of ginger juice and a large cereal bowl full of coffee. I had slept well, my mind was clear, but there was absolutely no wind in my sails. I decided to take a day off.

I went back to my room and just lay there, not sleeping, not thinking, just breathing. Finally at around two thirty I got up to go two miles to the 'downtown' area.

I walked out into a temperature just short of blast furnace, with no shade and no cold drinks available. I finally made it to my destination, where on the left behind walls were large official buildings like the National Assembly and the National Mosque, and all around me on the sidewalk was a cacophony of vendors selling every cheap good imaginable. I turned around and stumbled all the way back to my hotel and my air conditioning.


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