Wrapping Up

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So this was it. My trip was much shorter this time but Madagascar still continues to amaze me! It has changed for sure but certainly for the better. Most of these changes make it easier for tourists to explore the country and it shows: There are more of them now and different kinds. Some things, unfortunately, are still not much better: It still takes a lot of discussions to get to an agreement, especially if money is involved. I still hear a lot of stories of people f*cking over friends and family for a few euros worth of money. Electricity and water company Jirama is still a mess. The club we went to in Tana a few days ago had two complete outages and we were left with no running water quite a few times. And yes, I find that the French bread used to be a lot better.

But what is all this compared to all the wonders Madagascar has to offer? In seven years, it has not lost a single bit of its charm, its innocence, or its beauty. Maybe it’s even better in this respect because it’s cheaper, cleaner, and more accessible. Still, I would urge anyone considering a visit to go NOW before it’s too late! Tourism is definitely on the rise. If you want to catch those beautiful empty beaches, bump into people who have never seen a Vazaha before, or explore areas never seen by tourists before, hurry up! I cannot say this often enough.

I’m now at Ivato International Airport waiting for my boarding call. The last few days were mainly family reunions in Tana. I was reminded again what it means to have a large family that sticks together. Most Germans wouldn’t know. Also, thanks to my friend Fara, I was able to catch a glimpse into what people my age are up to in the capital. We went to a club (“Le Bus”) together, strolled the markets, ate at restaurants, and generally talked a lot about life in Madagascar.

Yes, I can still see myself live there and interestingly, a few people would like to see that happening. But that time hasn’t come yet for me. For now, vacations will have to do. This was number seven (although you may not count number six which was a business-related two-day visit in 2001) and I hope I will soon hit the two-digit range of number of trips.

Madagascar kicks ass!

Check out the pictures