Arriving in Antananarivo, Madagascar
(Thursday 13th February, 2014)


Kilimanjaro seen from the airplane to Antananarivo, Madagascar.

My father took us (meaning my mother, father and I) to Billund airport – we only took a wrong turn once! Yeah, we do not drive that way often.. The trip then went from Billund -> Amsterdam -> Nairobi -> Antananarivo. At least I can tell that I’m not afraid of take-offs and landings but all the flights today had a decent amount of turbulence (the stay-seated kind) and that still terrifies me. In Nairobi, I was greeted by colourful, exotic birds at the airport. And when the next plane departed Nairobi, I got a fleeting glimpse of Kilimanjaro from above.

As we began our descent down into Antananarivo I felt a bit revived because it was such a beautiful sight; it looked idyllic, breathtaking. The green, soft hills broken up by red roads, little lakes, rice fields, little brown houses – so pretty, like a perfect doll landscape. I had my doubts that it’d be as idyllic on the ground, though.
After a lot of showing my passport and VISA in the airport (and my suitcase had actually arrived, too; I had halfway expected it to be lost), I was greeted by a sign with my name on it. It was my pick up from Karthala.

I am a little embarrassed to admit that I got tricked already.. by that friendly man who took my suitcase out to the car and then wanted money for it. And I had absolutely no cash on me at this point in time so the lady picking me up ended up paying for me. Yes, embarrassing.
The drive toward Karthala was just as wonderful as seen from above, however. Large areas with rice fields, cows and birds – green, green, green! Spiced up by flowers in shades of yellow and purple. Would love to go for a walk here, with the hills with houses built on them in the background. Looked as idyllic as it did from above!

As we approached the city some “bazaars” of sorts started appearing. Locals selling stuff like mobile phones, nuts, fruits. It’s quite evident that the locals here do not quite have the same characteristics as the people from mainland Africa; they have small body frames and you can clearly see the more Asian influences in their appearance.
The dusty walking paths, barefoot (or wearing flip flops) people, smiling – and still so green. Also less garbage then expected. Grandiose buildings next to very modest ones. And a huge American embassy, of course (although why does it have to be quite that large?). It also occurred to me how troublesome it can become that I do not speak more than ‘my-name-is’ French.

Le Karthala is the same as it appears on pictures; looking a bit shabby but very cosy. I have a room on the ground floor with my own bath and toilet. They have the cutest little dogs here which reminds me quite a lot of my own back home.
I have a mosquito net around the bed and my room mate is a cute little gecko. Shortly after I arrived the power and consequently the internet went out. But oh well, I am in Madagascar, after all.

I slept a few hours because I hadn’t slept for more than 4 hours over the last 2 days/nights, thanks to the turbulence which made my heart skip a beat a few times. Then I met Madame Ariane who owns the bed and breakfast. She seems very kind and offered me some dinner, which I obviously hadn’t been able to buy for myself today. I had some cup noodles, and she told me that that’s what students around here would eat, too. So there I was, eating my dinner with three French speaking (only French speaking!) young men right next to me. It was a little awkward but from both sides, I think, and then we didn’t even really have an ice breaker because neither spoke a language the other could understand. It was strange. Surely I must have been a bit crazy to come here.


An Introduction to The Office
(Friday 14th February, 2014)


View from the roof terrace of Le Karthala, Antananarivo.

Today I saw two other white people! But I will start from the beginning. I was picked up by my boss at 8:45 and we drove to the office. The office is located on the outskirts of Tana, quite a distance from Le Karthala. The traffic seems quite frustrating here and I’m happy I’m not the one having to drive. The roads are clearly too narrow for the amount of vehicles, plus most business activity takes place right in the centre. As my boss suggested, this could probably be fixed to a degree by having a business district a bit away from the centre of the city – it is, after all, a bit difficult to make the roads broader when there are buildings on each side.

I have also noticed that there are no traffic lights which makes intersections a bit chaotic. Instead of traffic lights they use traffic police to direct vehicles, and so there will be up to 4 officers in an intersection. Like there was 5 different employees at the airport yesterday who all checked my passport. The theory is that the government/municipality just needs to put people to work and hence jobs are created to, to our standards, surplus like this.

Well, the office of TaMáNa Tours is located a beautiful place near the French highschool and has a view over the green hills. A ways down some red, dusty, bumpy and small roads, away from prying eyes. And who was there to greet me when I arrived? Two little, long haired white dogs which looked a bit like my own back home (Coton de Tulears). I have replacement dogs everywhere!

After my first (short) day at my placement at ‘the office’, I got driven back into the city again as I do not yet know which buses go there. When I got back the internet wasn’t working again. Therefore, I went up to the roof terrace, enjoyed the view and did a bit of reading. Despite it being 27 degrees I had been walking around in a sweater and it hadn’t felt too hot. I don’t know what’s gotten into me.

But as I walked down to the Avenue (the centre) later I was wearing a t-shirt without being cold. I didn’t see any other white faces until the supermarket, but even so no one paid me any special mind. However, once I got to the market I was stopped by some persistent sales ladies who were saying a lot in French. Despite my “non merci” and “I don’t speak French” they just kept on and on. This is really the worst part about obviously being a tourist some place.


Another view from the rooftop of Le Karthala, Antananarivo.

After asking for directions I made it to the supermarket in the end. Everything is relatively cheap for me, of course. Unfortunately, it turns out that I have just missed the “good” fruit season (which starts in November and ends in January, where you may find lychees and mangos) and now the fruits on offer are apples, pears and pineapples. Oh well, at least I have heard that they have good avocados.

After having finished my shopping I dragged myself back up the hill, heavily loaded with goods (maybe exaggerating a bit) and arrived all sweaty before the threatening, dark clouds made good of their warning. The stairs leading up to the guest house are quite steep, by the way, and the same homeless man sat there still – as he has been all day.

The Wi-Fi is still down.

What I have observed today is that the locals are quite small framed, not very tall and quite skinny. At least no one can reasonably call me small around here. Another thing is the mothers who just whip out their breast to feed their baby when it needs it – I assume they have more pressing issues to bring up in society here than whether breastfeeding in public is acceptable or not (cough, luxury issues at home, cough).


Walking Around Antananarivo
(Saturday 15th February, 2014)


From my walk alone up the hills of Antananarivo.

Today, after calling it early yesterday, I woke up at 9:00. Again I was a little mesmerised by waking up in my “princess” bed so far away from home.

I had some breakfast, drank a bit of coffee, took a shower and then went out into the city. I tried to follow the route which was marked on the map I had, but with my lacking skills in reading maps I managed to pick the wrong way. On top of this I had forgot to put my SD card back in my camera from emptying it so there are no pictures from this walk of mine! A bit of a shame, because I enjoyed some nice views.

I walked on the smaller, quite steep and less travelled roads and probably felt more comfortable there than I had on the market. They had cobble stone on some of the roads. In some places it smelled like ‘green’ (plants and flowers) and other places it reeked like garbage. More people were paying attention to me today and sometimes I seemed to make them happy by greeting them. On the way I also saw this pretty tree house which was filled with plants, trees and green things; almost like a jungle.

In the end I made it down to a park that had a tourist information office in it. The guy who manned it actually spoke English, hooray. As it turns out, I actually had a view over Avenue l’Independence from where I was, so I decided to go down there and try to find some things I had forgot to buy yesterday. At first, however, I decided to walk on down to the train station because my boss had told me it was a good place to go for a drink. On the way there I got approached by a man selling some sort of local musical instrument (they call it a ‘valiha’) and the more I ignored him the lower the price got. Everywhere it was “buy my spices”, “buy my vanilla”, “buy my flash disk!”. I was surrounded by salesmen- and women and I didn’t manage to get rid of them until I made it into the actual train station.

The train station is a restaurant/bar, and a quite cosy place to be. I bought a coke and just sat there and enjoyed the aircon, because it had been quite hot to walk around through the mass of people outside. On my way back to my new home I found what I had been searching for and bought it. I also got followed by a woman with an infant on her back, begging me for money. When I made it home I decided to stay there for a few hours in the worst heat of the day to avoid dehydrating somewhere strange.

On my second walk of the day I wanted to go to the other tourist information office, and after some hesitation, sweating and crawling around on steep roads I made it to the park where it was located. Some local people were playing football and enjoying their day in the green grass. I ran into a guide who offered to show me the attractions in the area. One of his eyes had a lazy eyelid and the white in his eyes seemed muddy. Well, even though I knew it wouldn’t be for free I decided to follow him. He took me further up the cobbled road, up the hill, with a fantastic view of Antananarivo city spreading itself like a blanket across the landscape. A football match was on in the stadium in the valley but even up here people were sitting on the hill and watching it. The cries of triumph rang clearly through the air; apparently it was an important match and it seemed as if the stands down there were pretty full.


The view over the stadium and the city from one of the hills, Antananarivo.

By the way, it just occurred to me that there are no international fast food chains here. No burger king, Subway or McDonald’s signs to taint the streets. It seems a little crazy. It must be a sign that you are a bit far away from everything.

My guide brought me to the old palace, the newer palace and around to some small paths and stairs which had excellent panorama views. He told me the story behind things here, and I learned that before Madagascar was a French colony it had in fact also belonged to the English. This is why there are both protestant and catholic churches and communities around.
He also showed me the lake where the locals get their drinking water. Most of the houses do not have access to plumbing and thus water, and therefore they fetch water in buckets from public wells. I was also told that boys are circumcised and that they are not considered ‘real’ boys until that deed is done.

The little pathways were very nice, green and there were lots of hens, chickens and cocks running about. Even some goats in places. When the tour was done he did want some money from me, of course, but it had been a nice enough tour around the area, so I wasn’t too unhappy about paying.


The cathedral near Rova of Antananarivo on the hill.

As I left I met another Malagasy man who said he had seen me this morning as I had been approached by the man trying to sell me the ‘valiha’. He offered to show me around without me having to pay him, stating that he just enjoyed meeting new people, hearing their stories and to make strangers to the city feel welcome. He introduced himself to me as Mani.

We went for another walk around the hill and talked about this and that. He has a lot of jobs and yet not a lot of money, whereas white people have one job and a lot of money, as he put it. He also told me that only about 18% of Antananarivo has access to internet because it is incredibly expensive to get. He did have it at home, however, and that is how he had taught himself English. He dreamt of becoming a doctor or an engineer but going to university would be too expensive for him. So now he was working and taking care of his elderly mother whom he lived with. He also told me that most houses in Antananarivo do have electricity (about 75% was the figure he mentioned) but that outside the city the story was very different. He brought up Blue Hill which is a UNESCO heritage attraction located about 45 minutes away by car. There is also a nature reserve nearby, which seems like a good place to go.


Drying clothes on the hand rail in Antananarivo.

He offered to sit down to have a drink of water, and we sat in a small “café” (not like we know them from home) and drank it with a view over the stadium. It had begun dripping a bit from the sky above. Afterwards we went by the scenic route down towards Karthala and it was quite nice. Mani offered to show me around again tomorrow and I decided to take him up on the offer – so the plan is to go to the botanical gardens/the zoo.

Currently I am sitting at home, having a beer. The power went out for some minutes a while ago. In the background I can hear an obnoxious bass. I don’t really feel like going to bed early again, but it is not advised that I walk outside at night alone here.


A Visit to the Zoo
(Sunday 16th February, 2014)


Monument aux Morts in Lake Anosy, Antananarivo.

Woke up, had some breakfast and then met up with Mani. At first we walked down to the larger lake in the city, the one with the monument in the middle. We walked through a tunnel on the way there and some locals were wolf whistling and yelling something I didn’t understand at me. I think maybe because I was walking around with a local.. Happened some more throughout the day.

We walked around the lake and down to the part of the city that houses the governmental buildings. He wanted to show me where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building was, which I would need to visit to have my VISA for the country prolonged. On the way there we walked past a building with shattered windows and huge satellite dishes in front. This building used to be a radiostation, which Mani said was a sort of symbol of culture, music and art; political changes got this radiostation closed down and protests ensued, leaving the building in shambles.

The governmental buildings are rather small and are not located in the nicest neighbourhood. The green areas right next to them was used as a recreational area and was littered with beggars. Right behind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building is the “ghetto”. We went there through a small side way. There was garbage everywhere, roads filled with potholes, chickens running crazy, tin houses and tiny shops offering different small items, filthy little children on the side of the road. Not a very cosy place. Mani claimed that the business taking place here was largely illegal and run by a mafia-like organisation and he suggested I never buy anything here. I would not feel safe around here by myself, admittedly, or even if I was walking around with a group of other foreigners. Little children ran after me with their hands outstretched and I didn’t feel like the gazes my presence apparently invited were decidedly friendly.

Close to the “ghetto” we found the flower market. Shops filled with orchids, medicinal plants and endemic flowers and plants. It smelled wonderful here and people seemed significantly more friendly and smiley. Right next to the flower market is the food market. Here you could find various Malagasy snacks, rice, fruits and vegetables, and it smelled delicious here, too. We tried some fig and brown sugar compressed with something white rolled around it and then wrapped in leaves. It was tasty.

From here we walked on smaller and windy roads towards the botanical gardens and the zoo. Very quaint roads, up and down hill. It was quite a long walk but we finally arrived at the park. There were quite a lot of people there on this Sunday. It costed 10.000 Ariary for me to get in but for locals the fee would be only 500 Ariary. You can get a guide with you as you enter, for more money I guess, but Mani said he’d just function as guide. It turns out that I knew more about the animals than he did, though.

At first I was terrified on behalf of the animals. There were eagles in cages so small that they would never be able to fly anywhere. That hurt my heart. Two fozzas were also in tiny, unnatural cages. Sucks. It got a bit better the further into the park we got. The camels, the warthogs, the lemurs, one fozza and the parrots had decent living arrangements. Also the giant turtles.

The park was very green and the trees had white birds perched all over the tops. There were also a lot of spiders on large webs between the trees; a bit gross but some very pretty colours on them. I was allowed to go ‘behind the scenes’ into the lemurs, for a tip to the zookeeper, of course. The zookeeper applied some honey on my hands and cheeks and the lemurs were coming to me and crawling all over me. Some different kinds of lemurs. They are small and cute and the noises that they make most of all remind me of the noise of a pig.

After my experience with the lemurs we went to the botanical garden part of the park – there were a lot of interesting plants. I was also lucky enough to spot a (pregnant?) chameleon in the ‘wild’. There were a lot of beautiful butterflies and I also saw a kingfisher. Despite a tough beginning in the park, it was an okay experience in the end.

Following the visit in the park we went down to the river/the lake where the drinking water for Antananarivo comes from. On the way there we talked about French doctors working in Madagascar. According to Mani, a French doctor earns a lot more (think 10x more) than a Malagasy doctor (even one who went to France to study), plus they get benefits such as a car and a house. He said that in a way it feels like Madagascar is still a colony.

The walk was long but nice with smiling and friendly people. We also passed a bridge with a fruit/vegetable market taking place on it. On the way we ate a baguette with some paté on it for lunch and sat down by the river bed. This was on the outskirts of Tana and it was relaxed and quiet compared to the busyness of the centre. Mani taught me some Malagasy words and we observed a family washing their laundry in the somewhat clean river water.

After a bit we took a bus back home. The driver drove a little crazily and I did get a little bit nervous at times – though I made it back to Karthala safe and sound. Today I’ve noticed that there are a few pizza places, and I’ve also noted that their street food also consists of pig heads, intestines from pig and chicken feet; yummy! It’s also quite amusing to me to see how some people just walk around with a chicken or a duck under one arm as if there is nothing weird about it. Which there isn’t, unless you’re a westerner like myself.


Company Excursion
(Monday 17th February, 2014)


From the road towards the spa retreat we visited outside Antananarivo.

Yuck, this morning there was a large, gross bug lying on the floor. It was as large as my little finger and was thankfully dead.

Just a small note: Antananarivo is not really frequented by tourists, although they may spend one day here. A lot of tourists arrive to Madagascar in the city with Air France and then spend the night here before flying on towards their final destinations.

Today I slept in a bit before I got picked up by my boss at 9:45. We were due to go on a company excursion and I got to meet my colleagues as they had already been picked up and were in the minibus. We drove through the city and out of it, the destination being a bit outside Antananarivo. Again I’m struck by how impossible it seems that there should only be 2 million people living in the city, looking at the streets. Every street seems to be overflowing with people! Maybe it is really true that access to internet and electronic entertainment eats away at people’s “outside” time in more developed countries.

In any case, the rural area we drove through was as gorgeous as it had appeared from flying in on the plane. It’s a lovely green. You can see that a lot of the local people live tough lives and are poor, but they are still mostly smiling.
We drove by some people who were moving bricks from a canoe and up to the shore above. They did this by throwing one brick at a time to the next person in the line who then throws the brick to the next person and so on and so forth. Must be tiresome and time consuming.

To get to our destination, which was a spa retreat, we had to drive on this horrible red, dusty road. We were basically rolling around in the minibus as if we were on a ride at a fair – but we made it there intact. We swam a bit in the pool and then had a nice massage which felt especially good for my lower leg muscles from all the walking the previous days. This was followed by a stint in a jacuzzi and then followed by lunch.

We had a lovely entrée – saladish – with finely cut pork, cheese, salad and some white sauce of some kind. The SECOND entrée was a seafood cretin – white sauce with seafood and then melted cheese on top. Also so delicious. Then we had the main course which was fried fish, still with the head and eyes attached; although not looking like fish I’m used to eating, it was tasty. The SECOND main course we asked them to put in doggy bags for us because we were all very full by then.

After eating we were apparently due to sing karaoke. We sang and danced and had a good time, and let me just say that my colleagues know their dance moves quite well!

As we drove home from the spa retreat the farmers were beginning to lead their cattle home from grazing. I wonder how the cows just walk so nicely in a file, rather than as a group or just all over the place? On the way I also noticed a woman with her finger deeply buried in her nose while waiting to take an order from her customer. I guess that picking your nose is not so frowned upon here 🙂


Taking the Bus to Work
(Tuesday 18th February, 2014)


View over Antananarivo from close to the market. Green and yellow cars in the foreground are the public buses.

This is my first real day of work at TaMáNa. Had to get up quite early because I would need to take a bus by 6:45. It takes quite a while to get from here to the office with the little, public buses. One of my colleagues, F, picked me up from Karthala and we went by bus together. At first we left from the park/the statue outside, with bus no. 161 until it arrived at a small round-about surrounded by little stands (which takes about 45 mins-1 hour depending on traffic). From there we would take bus 183 to its final destination, which wasn’t such a long ride. Seems simple enough.

During the drive I noticed people’s t-shirts and sweatshirts. I wonder how many walk around wearing clothes that represents something that they do not know of. My guess is quite a lot. The first bus also took us through China Town so yeah, today I learned that this city also has one of those.


Getting Accustomed
(Thursday 20th February, 2014)


View of the green hills of Antananarivo.

I don’t have so much more to add right now. Just wanted to put down how I’m not very nervous about taking the public buses. The ones I use drive nicely, keep their eyes on the roads, uses their mirrors and do not drive speedily on smaller roads. So, the driving experience is quite alright, although the seats in the buses are a totally different story.

Secondly, when you are walking around on the busy market it doesn’t really matter whether you are a stranger or a local when it comes to getting pick pocketed. The locals, too, are keeping their bags close and/or wear the backpack on the front instead of the back.

Something that occurred to me as I was taking the bus home. The city is so beautiful but wow, how quickly you get accustomed to beauty. It does not take very long before you seize stopping up to breathe it in, before you stop being amazed and full of appreciation. You fall into a habit of forgetting or not seeing.


A Night Out
(Friday 21st February, 2014)


The motif used on the 200 Malagasy Ariary note, Antananarivo.

I woke up at around 3-4:00 because it was raining so hard. It is clearly audible in my bathroom because of the tin roof. I did, however, manage to fall asleep again after a little while.

When I got up in the morning every employee here at Karthala were still asleep on their beds/on their mattresses (some sleep in the common room). At least the rain had almost stopped as I began making my way to work.

This morning I had also found a fat butterfly or moth larvae on my floor. I put it outside on a leafy, potted plant and hopefully it finds its way away from there.

In the evening I went out with one of my co-workers, M, and her boyfriend. They are very nice people. Before going into town in this country you also pre-drink.. but here this takes place at parking lots in or by your car. It is interesting. At night time there are a lot of prostitutes around the city and I can now say that I have seen ‘Antananarivo by night’. I still stand by it not being recommendable to go into town alone in the dark.

We had gone to a couple of cool clubs and I had a taste of Malagasy rum with a subtle vanilla taste. It was quite good. During this night I also found that some Malagasy women seem to have a sort of hissing sound that they make when they are upset or angry.


A Lunch With Locals
(Saturday 22nd February, 2014)


A view of Antananarivo.

F, my colleague, texted me asking if I wanted to join her for lunch; and why not? I had thought it would just be her fiancé, her and I but it turned out to be a whole event with their friends, their fiancées and fiancés and siblings. We had the lunch in one of their homes (in a quaint house with an excellent view over the city).

As a change (to rice) they served noodles with tuna fish, eggs and something pork-like. It tasted great. Dessert was a sort of avocado mousse which was very tasty as well. After eating we played some poker and then just relaxed and watched some TV. I think we were maybe all a bit hungover on this day, so some casual chilling suited us all well.

At about 17:00 we went for a walk, followed one girl home and then enjoyed a pretty sunset from a nice view point. The only problem with walking at this time of day (dusk/night) is that the street lighting is awful. Even when there is a lamp somewhere, the weakness of the light doesn’t actually illuminate anything. On this walk I also experienced some more of the shadow sides of Antananarivo, such as homeless people sleeping on the street under a simple blanket, and if they are extra lucky, a piece of plastic. Some are only children.

I was then invited home for dinner at F’s house, where we had chicken with mushroom and shared the dinner with her fiancé and his family. Before eating commenced, a prayer was said around the table.

The day has been very good and I feel very privileged and included by being invited into their routines and homes and lives like this.


Fun With Colleagues
(Friday 28th February, 2014)

As I walked back from the bus with my two colleagues there were two dead rats lying by a water pipe outlet on the side of the side walk. It was quite disgusting.

Aside from that I want to reiterate how open and welcoming my colleagues are. Once a month when they get paid they all do something special together and this time I was invited, too. We went to a 5D cinema. It was pretty fun although it doesn’t beat a real, proper rollercoaster. After that we went to a fastfood place called Happy King, which is the Chinese answer to Burger King. I guess if the large American chains do not have a market in Madagascar, there is space for alternatives from elsewhere.

Then one of my colleagues followed me home in the pouring rain, walking through Analakey as it was getting dark. It was really very dark and basically the only thing lighting up the street were the lights from cars! I’m pretty happy I wouldn’t have to walk around alone down there.

Aside from that it is Friday and the internet is out of order again. I am also out of food and it’s stormy outside so I think it all points towards an early night.


A Condolence Ceremony
(Tuesday 4th March, 2014)


Purple flowers in a field in Antananarivo.

Today I attended a condolence ceremony. Someone who used to work as a guide for TaMáNa had died on Monday and my colleagues wanted to pay their respects. We drove there in a large 4 wheel drive on tiny roads. Then we walked through a labyrinth of small pathways between (very cosy in a sort of dilapidated way) houses. There were children, people and chickens everywhere.

We made it to a house with a large terrace which was quite full of people in conversation. In one corner of the terrace there was a coffin. We had to wait in line outside before we would be let in to pay our respects.

Inside there was a mattress on the floor where women in traditional southern Malagasy dress sat. On the opposite wall there was a row of women sitting on chairs. Furthest away, beside bouquets of flowers and plaques for the deceased was the dead body, dressed nicely and protected by mosquito nets. To begin with we all stayed quiet for a minutes time with folded hands and faces towards the deceased. Then we faced three men sitting on chairs beside the arrangement. M expressed our condolences in a low and respectful voice, then one of the men spoke for a while. After this we all shook hands with everyone in the room (with our left hand on top of their right) and then we went outside again.

I was later told that in their tribe you would always address the men first, and that the women in situations like these would have to sit in a lower position than the men. I was also told that the deceased would be buried in southern Madagascar the next day, and I couldn’t help but wonder if the body had/would just be lying in their private home since Monday (2.5 days in total)? The smell in the room was strongly perfumed, to mask the smell of decay, I guess.

Another sort of interesting thing that occurred today.. On our way to the ceremony we stopped to put gas on the car. Here you drive up to the station and then an employee is ready to fuel up for you; you only have to stay seated in the car and nothing else. I made a comment that you really had some level of service here, to which my colleagues asked how this took place in Denmark? I explained the procedure, and their answer?
“Oh, like in the movies?”
Wow. It really dawned on me just how different our regular, day-to-day lives are. My life in ways is like in the movies that they see, a different reality, something to aspire to. By the way, they also made a comment that they didn’t think that people could be trusted enough in Madagascar to have a gas station system like we do in Denmark.


It’s a Small World
(Thursday 6th March, 2014)


The river on the outskirts of Antananarivo.

Today, for a change, there was a large group of tourists at Karthala eating breakfast together. They sounded Australian but who knows.

On the way to work I observed a man standing around and having a conversation while having a scooter upon his head.. It’s crazy what some of these people can carry on their head, but this has to be the heaviest object yet!

After work today I went with M and another colleague to the British consulate. Incoming tour operators working with the British market had been invited there for a talk about some issues in northern Madagascar. Before the meeting officially started, I talked a bit with the British consul who asked where in Denmark I was from. It turns out that she has actually been going on summer vacation to my little home place for the last 10 years. The world is so small – I can’t believe I would run into someone in Antananarivo, Madagascar, who would have in-depth knowledge and connection to my tiny home place in this world. Insane.


Last updated 13th January, 2018.

The top picture is the view over the hill from the food market in Antananarivo.