Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The trip takes a bit over thirteen hours. I got on the plane in Warsaw at 6:30 am and I got off in Libreville at 6:30 pm Libreville time, which is 7:30 pm Warsaw time. It only takes thirteen hours for your world to go upside-down-inside-out-and-all-African again.

As you get off the plane the humidity envelops you instantly. You become all sticky, just as every single person around you. And then the noise, and the music, and the taximen fighting for your attention. Your car is higher than in Europe and the other drivers are aggressive. The president looks down on you from almost every street lamp. And you feel excruciatingly white all over again.

And then you get to your flat and are greeted by the security men. The flat has a smell, all together a very pleasant smell, the smell of Africa and adventure, the smell you only feel the very first day. You shower in cold water because it's warm anyway. Your hair and skin and nose and eyes are finally less dry.

The internet is slow. You skype your family and you get cut off in the middle of The flight was all right. There's no TV but that's ok. The socket next to your bed doesn't work for a reason only known to itself.

It gets dark at 6:15 pm. You can hear the ocean at night, when there's less traffic. And you hunt mosquitoes before you go to bed - you really don't want to get bitten (which you do, in the end).

You have papaya for breakfast. And the expensive yoghurt.

And then you realise that, on entering the building, you'd heard your last Bonne arivée, madame! And you contemplate the very last time you arrived in Gabon.

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