Friday, April 1, 2011

Remembering Abidjan

This post is dedicated to the Ivory Coast, to the good old Ivory Coast of my childhood.
I will not talk about politics and violence. I'm so angry at the situation, that I might go on about for hours and hours! I'm just remembering Abidjan as it used to be: pleasant and peaceful, dynamic and successful,  the "Paris of Africa".

I remember Cocody, the "Residence des Capucines", our little doll Titi, and my school "College International Jean Mermoz". 

I remember the swimming lessons and my sexy teacher, Mathias the guard, and Amina. 

I remember the people, happy, smiling, dancing and yelling "eh petit blanc" (hey you small white).

I remember bananas roasting on the side of the road. The taste of delicious coconut juice.

I remember the market in Cocody, the colors, the smells, the noises and the endless bargaining. 

I remember the trips to Assini, and us confronting its infamous waves. I remember waking up in the morning to the sound of those waves.

I remember the Hotel Ivoire and the time we spent there, every Sunday ice-skating and bowling.

I remember the little red dots in our garden, the "salades folles" we used to invent with flowers and leaves.
I remember us trying to fly with leaves, the sticky blue flowers we used to make necklaces with. Oh God we were creatives. 

There is so much to remember....

As someone very close to me said, very simply : "Ils ont tout gaches ces imbeciles!" (they ruined everything those idiots)

I remember Abidjan, and I smile.

photo courtesy of Maria Chalhoub

photo courtesy of Maria Chalhoub

"Ma Cote d'Ivoire" photo courtesy of Maria Chalhoub

photo courtesy of Maria Chalhoub

photo courtesy of Maria Chalhoub


Class picture at College International Jean Mermoz 1987

Mardi Gras at College Jean Mermoz

Kids playing on the beach, Grand Bassam

The happy trio