Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Week Off in Ouaga

Kathy & I took some time off this past week. It sure felt good to sleep in, linger over our cups of coffee as long as possible, and leisurely read magazines or books without having to keep an eye on the clock. However, we also did something I’ve been wanting to do for a while: check out some of the different restaurants and guesthouses in the city. Not only does this give me a chance to indulge my desire for urban exploration and for being the first in my circle of friends and acquaintances to find something new & interesting, but it might also give me some ideas for our upcoming anniversary! How’s that for efficiency? :)

First, I looked up places on the Internet and plotted their locations on Google Maps. Then, armed with these visual directions, we headed out on the streets of Ouaga to find them. Some were easier than others. Ouaga has very few street names and even the local people rarely know them, so there’s not much use asking them for directions. The best I could often do was count the number of streets or blocks from a major intersection. Even then, we often ended up driving around and around until we found what we thought was the location and knocked on the courtyard gate. Quite a few had no signage whatsoever, making even the clients who found them on the Internet engage in a game of hide and seek to actually find their physical location! Heaven forbid you arrived in Ouaga at night and had to find the place in the dark!

Some places were just cheap dives. Some had once been nice, but were now past their prime. Most, however, were interesting in one way or another. And a few were outstanding. I’ll feature a couple of them in my next postings.

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