Sunday, February 16, 2014

Abidjan Observations: Life at the Office

Like all offices, my office has (eventually) become a comfortable and familiar place over the past few months.  Upon arriving at the office, everyone goes into each other’s offices for handshakes or bisous.  My coworkers are nice people and friendly with me, and I’ve begun to get to know them on a more personal level.  For their part, they’ve gotten used to having me there.  They’re no longer that intrigued by me, although they still enjoy telling me about how things work here and they get a kick out of me eating local food. 

The office is not always a well-oiled machine however.  Some recent logistical problems: 
  • The door handle to my office is broken and has been for three months now.  It’s not totally broken; you can jam it back onto the protruding piece of metal, and it will open and close, but you’re always one forgetful moment away from yanking it off the door and having to re-jig it onto the door. 
  • A few days ago there were three baby mice or rats running around my office for most of the afternoon.  Not pleasant. 
  • Our internet doesn’t work.  A neighboring office in our building does have internet and their internet usually works, so we often use theirs.  But this puts us in the position of relying entirely on them for internet, so if they show up late or leave early, we are out of luck.  Our internet was working the first few weeks when I arrived, but it soon went out and it hasn’t been back.   
On the positive side, I’ve been eating lunch with a colleague or two most days now.  We usually eat braised bananas and roast peanuts, which we buy for dirt cheap from a lady near our office.  It comes out to about 30 cents per person, and I quite like it as a light lunchtime meal.