Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Romantic Candlelight Dinner

Kathy & I finally found time for a romantic, candlelight dinner this past Friday evening. But we didn’t plan it that way. We were supposed to go out to dinner with another couple. But somehow we miscommunicated. When I called to confirm on Friday afternoon, they apologized and said that they’d misunderstood and already made plans to go out with some other people. *sigh*

Well, no use wasting a good Friday night, right? So Kathy & I just planned to go out somewhere on our own. I’d had my eye on a place called La Cave du Petit Paris in the west end of the city since I’d found it on the Internet last summer. I also have a Burkinab√® friend that works there as a waiter and promised him that we’d drop by soon.

The romantic atmosphere began building (of course I’m being facetious!) as we left home, turned onto the main road into town, and noticed that the power was out in the area we were driving through. Normally, it’s our section of the city, outside the ring road, that gets the cuts. But this time we had power and the main part of the city was out. There was no electricity all the way down Charles de Gaulle Blvd into town. Driving around the old Presidence, the lights were out all along the Avenue de l’Independence to the Rondpoint des Nations Unies and past. We kept going, certain that the power couldn’t be out all the way to the west end of the city. We were wrong. The only place that had power was the FESPACO headquarters. You can bet they weren’t going to let a little thing like a power cut spoil their opening night!

Since there were no streetlights, we had a heck of a time finding the correct turn-off. Fortunately, the main road was open again even though construction wasn’t yet finished, and we didn’t have to wind our way through a maze of backstreet detours first. As we drove up the street the restaurant was on, we kept hoping that it was one of those establishments that had a backup generator. Wrong again. No lights out front or anywhere in sight. Should we even bother? Would it even be open? Kathy insisted that since we were here, we might as well check the place out. So we parked and tried the front door. It opened.

I couldn’t help being struck by the irony of this situation. One night last week, I came home to find the power out. I suggested that we go out for supper somewhere in a part of town that still had power. But Kathy said no. She was determined to finish preparing the meal she’d been working on. Never mind that the generator backfired twice as I was trying to start it. The first time it yanked my hand back into the machine and banged it up pretty good. The second time I managed to let go and watched the pull-cord handle get shattered into little pieces. So on this night, when the power is on at home, we decide to go out and have supper at a place that had no power!

But this is where the romantic, candlelight dinner part comes in. At least until the food arrived. Then I had to use the flashlight on my cell phone so that we could see what we were eating!