Sunday, January 18, 2009

Paging Mr. Bond

If, back when Sean Connery was playing Bond, the producers had decided to set some dastardly plan to hold the world hostage for $1,000,000 in exotic West Africa, they would have chose Abidjan. And Bond would have stayed at the Hotel Ivoire.

The 60's was Abidjan's heyday. And the architecture reflects that. But no place really gets the 60's sensibility of "modern" Africa better than the Hotel Ivoire. Bond would have walked by the ice-skating rink(!), worked out in the gym, dined in the rooftop restaurant and probably met CIA agent Felix Lieter at the bar in the bowling alley for a Vodka Martini.

The pictures do not do justice to the level of neglect the Hotel Ivoire has suffered. The pictures make the place look terrific. But if you could see it in real life - well it is in serious need of a major remodel. In fact, it has been bought and it's said the investors plan to bring Hotel Ivoire back to it's former glory. I hope, really hope, they keep the 60's motif. It would be a crime to just rip it all out.

The people over here on the right bowling are all embassy folks. We made up half of the patrons, and I assure you the place can easily handle 200. You can get really good burgers here - but they ran out so I got a club sandwich instead.

The bowling balls turned our hands black. So, we all went to wash our hands. Some people made the mistake of going to the restrooms in the rear and down the stairs. The lights don't work, the rooms are "sweaty," and because they originally served the ice rink, they have rubber matting. It really makes you feel you stand a good chance of being axed by a psycho killer while using them.

Here's the scoring board from a league game from a few years back. One of the staff told us that they haven't had a league in 4 years. I think this board pre-dates that.

1 comment:

quinnpc said...

Hey Laura,

I finally went on your blog - looks like it's non-stop excitement in Abidjan. Loved the guy in the leiderhose.