I may not always be able to decide what I want to eat for dinner, but I have always prided myself on being able to make a logical plan, no matter how many little things there are to consider.
But I’m really not sure what happened to my brain upon entering Ghana. Because now that I’m back in Burkina, I’m faced with the consequences of my lack of foresight.
First of all, I purposely bought a 90-day multi-entry visa so that I could re-enter and explore some more after Ghana. But then I just forgot that completely and stayed in Ghana the whole time (I even extended my Ghana visa to stay longer!) I know that I was lucky to get my Ghana visa in the first place, so it’s for good reason that I stayed – I had suuuuch a great time reconnecting with my friends, and making new ones, so it was definitely time well spent.
But now I’m here, I only have 5 days left, and I need to get myself back into gear. From what I read on the internet (oh, Wiki, how you fail me sometimes), it should be easy, and maybe even free, to extend the visa I have. In Ghana, it was easy. You may have to tolerate an inquisition by the most rude individuals in the country in order to get it (you’d think they don’t actually want tourists, based on the kinds of displeased questions I received), but after that it’s just one application, one week, and 50 cedis (less than $25) per month of extension.
But here, I’m now told it’s 62,000CFA (almost $140!), for a brand new 90 day multi-entry visa, which is my only option if I want to visit Mali again (which I do). No extensions, just new visas. But when I bought my original one in Mali, it was half the price! Why Burkina, why?!
So now I’m thinking I might as well just head to Bamako now, hang out for a few weeks, save myself $70, and come back later.
It’s not exactly what I had in mind; I’m a bit tired actually from just getting here (not to mention the fact that I really, really like it!) But, I’m not about the pay double the price for something that I know I can get for less in a place I plan on going to anyways! It’s the principle of it.
One thing you may be actually be wondering is why I’m so determined to come back here? I mean, so far it’s pretty great. Ghana will always have a special place in my heart, so I won’t pick a favourite (out loud), but the people here are just so friendly. Yes, I get Toubabu-ed, but not as much. And most of the time I am greeted in such a pleasant way (without the skin colour reference) that I can’t help but have a better demeanour. Maybe it’s the French language masking their true intentions, but I just feel more comfortable talking to guys here (because, as is the case with everywhere else, there are very few girls asking for my number 😉 ).
But the real reason I’m so set on coming back to Burkina is that I just booked a flight outta here! It was cheaper than Bamako, and allowed me to have a 10-day layover in Morocco!!! Couscous, the hammam, and lying on the beach. All an added bonus to flying out of Ouagadougou. Thank you, Expedia.
So I need to be back in this country on the 18th of August, no matter what.
But now, back to my failing brain. Another thing I totally neglected to consider in the last couple months was the fact that it is now Ramadan. And I just left a predominantly Christian (and therefore unaffected) region for a predominately (at least moderately) Muslim region, where food is actually surprisingly still available, but much more scarce than usual. And somewhat awkward to eat in public (just from reading the advice of other travellers). And if I go forward with this go-straight-to-Mali plan, then I’ll be heading into an almost entirely Muslim country, where I suspect that I shall be fasting right along with them.
As well, if I had thought this through, I would have not left Ghana on it’s Republic Day, nor would I have left Ghana during the World Cup finals. Don’t get me wrong here, folks, I’m still as completely disinterested as ever, but it was somehow fun to watch them with Poppo every day. And just to be around the general hype of it, which is much easier when you have people to watch with. And even though Ghana didn’t make it into the top 16, they’re still much more invested than the people in Burkina seem to be.
Man, all this thinking is really making my brain hurt.