Pronounced “wah-guh-doo-goo”, I got my visa on arrival at the airport pretty quickly, since I was the only one in line, then headed out to catch a taxi.
I’d booked this flight last minute, since I never got a reply about a visa for Niger and couldn’t go there. I booked a cheap hostel I found online, and the address basically doesn’t exist. When I went out to get a taxi, the driver was really confused about the place/name I’d shown him, so he called. No one answered. He talked to some other drivers, and no one had heard of this place. We went to where the map marker shows its location, and there’s no type of lodging there. I went to the closest hotel and checked in there to avoid driving around forever in the taxi.
The hotel was … interesting. No idea why this sign was in my room, and they had GIANT, super heavy room number signs made of metal attached to old brass keys.
I found an all-vegan place across town, which surprised me, so I got a taxi and went there.
The address directed us to a small side street in a not-busy neighborhood, and the driver thought this seemed odd, so he stopped at a shop nearby to confer. They called the restaurant to verify the address, and off we went.
The restaurant was fantastic, and they were really excited to see a foreigner show up, love the food, and enjoy their local culture.
It was super surprising when the owner came to my table to tell me I had a phone call. Wait…I have a phone call…on the phone…of the restaurant I’m at?
It was the taxi driver.
It made sense that he was calling to say I’d have a hard time finding a taxi in that area to get back to my hotel, so he asked if I wanted to hire him to pick me up. Good plan.
It also turned out that this totally saved me later.
When I got back to the hotel and paid the taxi, I went to my room. I couldn’t find my key, and the hotel said they didn’t have a spare. Oh boy. I walked all around the area outside that I’d explored before flagging down a taxi.
I searched for the restaurant’s phone number and called them to see if I’d left it there. 5 minutes later, they called back saying it wasn’t there. However, they’d called the taxi, and he had it. He would bring it back to me.
It turned out to be really lucky that the taxi driver had called the restaurant, or they’d have no way to reach him. I’d be screwed without the key.
The driver was SO MAD when he came back, and I had to pay him almost the full amount of the ride again before he gave me the key.
The next morning, I was up early and walking around.
This is the United Nations square.
Let me tell you: they have a lot of motos in Ouagadougou.
This surprised me.
This building looks really cool.
I walked through the city and enjoyed how the main streets are SUPER CHAOTIC and just the next street over is really calm.
After checking out this church and the national stadium, I tried to go to a Friday morning ritual. Years ago, the local chief prepared for war before his advisors talked him out of it. Now, every Friday morning, the current chief symbolically rides his horse into the courtyard ready for battle then is talked down, understanding that peace is a better option.
Unfortunately, they weren’t allowing visitors into the courtyard for the ceremony due to COVID-19.
I caught a taxi back to the hotel, found a printing shop to print some documents I needed, and was off to the airport.
It was a short trip, but it was good.This entry was posted in burkina faso, ouagadougou