13th January 2012
24.12.2011 - 14.01.2012 24 °C
I’ve been avoiding writing an entry for Antananarivo. I’m not sure if it has to do with the fact that it coincided with my first experience of severe heartburn, the imposing mood of a fellow traveller who’d passed his best-before date days before and had reached tipping point, or the stroll around a lake filled with gunk and which was generally quite ugly. Whatever it may have been, I just wasn’t convinced when we arrived and left unconvinced.
In all honesty I am somewhat allergic to cities. This allergy has gotten more severe in my older age and I suspect it will intensify as I get genuinely old. Like many other cities around the world, it comes with crowds, disparity, dirt, noise, traffic and inflated prices. The best thing it did for me was provide me with a pharmacy so I could treat my rum-induced heartburn and provide me with a remarkably cheap top-notch French meal at Kudeta.
Otherwise, the most excitement I got was from doing the tourist thing and visiting the curio market to blow over Ar100 000 in an hour. That bought me things like wooden bowls, earrings, a crocodile skin wallet (not for me), a hat, a basket and other such useless pleasures. I think the pleasure had more to do with spending my money on something other than accommodation, beer and zebu brochettes.
It’s not a bad city…but it’s not an allergy-defying one either.
On our way to Tana from Antsirabe, we stopped at Lake Tritriva. Admittedly, our double walk down to the lake and a fantastic swim redeemed the last leg of the trip.
The last day saying goodbye to Zina:
Veloma, Madagascar! You are beautiful (even with excessive cyclone-induced rain, persistent stomach bugs and mosquitoes in the millions.)