madakanto

Everything you want to know about Madagascar and never dared to ask

Sartre or Not Sartre August 16, 2012

Filed under: Restips,Tourism — madakanto @ 4:55 pm
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Si vous avez les mains sales…prenez une douche Sartre ! Translate: If you have dirty hands…take a Sartre shower.

It is amazing how much humor Malagasy people have. Here is another exemple. Walking on Ile aux Nattes and finding this place…need a pee ? The solution is right there…The whole village was named after writers or philosophers. Coming back with more pics.

 

What Kind of Drink is That? July 21, 2012

That is the kind of signs you see in Madagascar  walking in a little village like on Ile aux Nattes, because people over there have quite a special sense for French grammar.

Here, the drinks are not made of alcohol, but they are ALCOHOLIC ! I just love it!

I promise…there´s more  funny pics coming.

 

A New Hat…Again July 16, 2012

I just came back from two weeks´ vacation in Provence  and Paris. For once, it is nice to play the tourist in my homeland although I feel, with years going by, less and less French.

Coming back to the Riviera was really cool, considering that I had not been there since I was ten years old. Cannes, Nice and all the cities by the Mediterranean Sea did become a showcase for France. Everything is so neat, so clean, so luxurious. Wherever you go it smells money. My husband told me how different it looks now from the 1960´s. Cannes was just a fishermen´s haven then. It lost a lot of its former charm.

  Nice

There is one thing I did not remember from my younger years. The incredibly hot weather. And humidity. I hated it. As soon as we came out of Nice airport, I could feel the air and started sweating without moving one finger. I got so much accustomed to the Swedish summer, – sunny but dry and always with a little breeze tickling your cheeks –, that the Mediterranean climate was insufferable. I could hardly fall asleep.

Having said that I will not bother you with my temperature issues. I just wanted to show you the proof that Malagasy products are being more and more successful.

Here is the hat I had to buy in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, because the sun was too damn hot. I felt so stupid buying a hat again. I´ve got thousands of them at home. But hey, I had to cover my head.

 

The second picture was taken in Nice. Arent´they nice? It is amazing how Malagasy craftsmen have improved in making those bags. They look much nicer and last longer that the ones I used to buy. And most of all, everybody loves them!

Of course they are three or four times more expensive than in Madagascar, but at least you won´t need to go there.

And I consoled myself with the thought that I supported the Malagasy ecconomy!

 

Antsirabe The Red Island´s Coldest Place February 27, 2012

Visiting Antsirabe was on of our planned activities, firstly because it is one of the few touristic places in Madagascar, secondly because I´ve got family there. And more importantly, we were invited to a wedding. The daughter of a cousin got married and we were part of it. I was so looking forward to being there and I was glad my husband would experience a genuine Malagasy wedding. More about the wedding in the next post.

The last time I was there was in 1998 visiting my family. This time I was accompanied by my husband and a very good friend of his, Tony, coming from Australia. We only had an afternoon to see the town, so we passed on the typically touristic places and the market and decided to make a tour on a pousse-pousse. The worst thing was to escape from the pousse-pousse owners who were waiting for us to come out of our hotel and rushing at us the minute we were out. They did their best to force us to choose their vehicle. Madness! We were saved by our helpful chauffeur who scolded them from being so rude.

 

Our room at the hotel Les Camélias  was neat and clean. Unfortunately, the Malagasy had never heard of isolation. Antsirabe is situated in the centre of the island in the high mountains. In July, it´s winter. We were freezing all the time. It was the only place during my whole vacation where I did not sleep although I had three layers of clothes and lied under two wool blankets. It did not help.

However, it did not keep me from taking pictures, so I photographed everything around. More flowers from the hotel´s garden, the people on the streets, the pousse-pousse  owners pulling us heavy westerners and the craftsmen doing an extraordinary job.

 

When nobody saw me I would take out my camera and shoot. Otherwise, I would keep a low profile, but it was not so easy when you are flanked by two white men. Two vazahas *. Everybody looks at you all the time. And most of the time it is unbearable.

 

People were even more interested in me than in my husband. I could read a lot of questions on their faces. Where does this Malagasy looking girl come from? Is she rich? Of course she is since she managed to come here by plane . Where did she find those two vazahas ? What did she do to “get” them? And so on.

Despite a feeling of general discomfort, it was really enjoyable to discover the town by walking or by sitting in a pousse-pousse. This would have been impossible in Antananarivo.

Interesting links

Information on Antsirabe´s pousse-pousse (French)

* Don´t know what vazaha means ? Check this blog: http://vazahagasy.wordpress.com/about/vazaha-gasy-explained/

If you live in Stockholm and want to buy those little cars, you can buy them at this great little shop specialized in products from Africa: http://www.justafrica.se/

 

Last Chance to See on BBC February 17, 2012

Filed under: Nyheter,Restips — madakanto @ 6:52 pm
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Last Sunday I was so excited about the programme on Madagascar on SVT. It was really great to discover places and especially animals I did not have the possibility to see when I was there. There are two more episodes coming soon and I will tell you more about it when I will have seen the whole series.

Until then I recommand another great TV show on BBC 2 which was broacasted last year, Last Chance to See with photographer Mark Carwardine and actor Stephen Fry whom I Love. They traveled all  around the world to see, maybe for the last time endangered species. Among those animals, the very strange aye-aye lemur. I think they stayed at least two weeks in Madagascar and finally found  a few aye-ayes in their natural environment.

BBC 2, Last Chance to See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00mzxkr#clips

You can also have a look at Mark Carwardine´s blogg. Here is one of his posts:

Madagascar Past and Present: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/lastchancetosee/2008/11/madagarscar-past-and-present.html


Baobab Night: my pictures from The Baobab Avenue in Morondava

Another landscape typical from Madagascar, the Tsingy on the Western side.

Now, I´ll be waiting for the next programme.

Veloma !

 

More Malagasy Flowers February 12, 2012

Filed under: Nyheter,Restips — madakanto @ 11:56 pm
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As I promised, I sorted out some of my pictures and I can present  even larger selection of the astonishing endemic flowers from Madagascar. When we were there I just went mad, because of all the flowers, the plants and trees I had never seen anywhere else. I could not believe my eyes! For the inhabitants, it is just natural to be surrounded by so much beauty.

Well, here it is. More and more flowers.

This flower could make a bride bouquet just as it is. Amazing!

I love those ones, like little ringing bells hanging from a tree on Ile aux Nattes

L´Arbre du Voyageur – the Traveller´s Tree. Symbol for Madagascar and for Air Madagascar

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Madagascar on SVT February 7, 2012

Filed under: Nyheter,Restips — madakanto @ 12:00 am
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Just a big announcement. If you live in Sweden, watch this !

The very first time I think that the Swedish National TV, SVT is showing this program just on

MADAGASCAR !

I cannot wait to see  it ! Maybe it will only be about the nature, flora and fauna, but  hey…better than nothing !

July 2011

Click on this following länk to watch the trailer:

http://svt.se/embededflash/2678467/play.swf

 

 
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