Back to Abidjan
Trip Start Sep 15, 2011
26Trip End Oct 21, 2011
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We checked out at 6:45. There was a mix-up about how much we were supposed to pay. Séussié had negotiated a lower price for my room, about $17 per night (we overpaid), but the reception desks hadn’t gotten the news, so we needed to call the manager. The girl behind the desk told me "I don’t have any units, do you have any units?" meaning credit on my phone. This is a common question in Africa and a very common concern. It seems everyone has a cell phone now, and they all use a pay-as-you-go plan. Users can buy a phone card with a scratch off code on it and have more units added to their phone account good for minutes of airtime or SMS messages. People here are constantly concerned with phone units. In the general poverty, people can’t afford much but they can’t afford to be without a phone either. The units really aren’t expensive by western standards, they can recharge their phones for a dollar or two; we pay much more for our airtime. In any event, there is much bargaining over who has units, and whose phone should be used for what purpose.
She very possibly did have units on her phone, but didn’t want to use them for us. The manager probably wouldn’t repay her for any credits used. Paul finally came to the desk up and used his phone and we got the issue sorted out, $17 instead of $21.
I paid, and we drove to the Brioche for our coffee and pain au raisin. Felix and his wife arrived in time for breakfast too. They said they had had a very nice visit with their family in the region, that was why they had come with us to Man. After we finished, we said goodbye to Mrs. Tia, she would be staying longer with her family, and the five of us headed for Abidjan.
The road was clear, traffic lighter than when we came north, and we made better time on the return, only 6 ½ hours instead of 7 ½.
At the outskirts of Abidjan, Felix ask to disembark, and ask me for some money to help him get back to La Mé. We said goodbye until Wednesday when I should be back out to his village again.
We arrived at the hotel a little before 15:30. I was interested to see a squad of UN soldiers guarding the hotel with a heavy machine gun equipped vehicle. I could see from the flag on their uniforms that they were Jordanian. I went up to them politely and motioned with my camera to ask if I could take their photo.
I paid for the taxi, and said goodbye to Paul and Séussié until tomorrow in the afternoon. And I checked back in to the Ibis Plateau. It will be great to have a hot shower, and sleep in clean sheets tonight.