Wednesday, August 4, 2010


The magic adapter
We've moved into our new house! We quit our drafty  apartment (I looked up the proper spelling of this word -'draft' or 'draught'- and noticed that it has at least 8 totally different meanings) to install ourselves in a charming old bungalow surrounded by a lovely yard with ancient trees and all kinds of strange flowers. We're still kind of camping, because latest news is that our container is somewhere in Oman.
There are various workmen all day long, painting and fixing a multitude of small problems: from leaking taps and scary electricity outlets to shitty shutters. Every day we find something new that needs repairing.  In general,
I find that each day is full of surprises here ,
and they aren't unexpected surprises, we should know better by now.

An example. A few days ago we bought a TV. There was already a cable connection in the house so we thought to simply plug the TV, connect it to the decoder et voila. Wrong. On day 1, after unpacking the TV, it appeared to have an American plug. Arrrgghh, and I though I got rid of these indefinitely when leaving Belize. The decoder also did not fit, the 'prise peritel' could not be plugged into the modern flat screen TV - yes, we have those in Tana. I call the shop, Courts, for advise, and they send their technician the next day. On day 2 we're told to buy a special adapter somewhere in a backstreet shop down town Tana. Risking a life time jail sentence I drive to the shop, through a street where a lot, a lot a lot of people are walking, praying I don't run over one. Back home we reconnect the plug... nothing. It turns out there is no power at all in the outlet. Now my husband risk his life, electrocution and all, and manages to fix the plug. On day 3 we have image but no sound. The magic adapter, no doubt made in China, appears faulty and has to be returned to the shop. I have to wait til day 4 for our driver to take me there. On day 5 we're finally watching TV.

This is just the TV. I know we are in for many more surprises. I am not complaining, I am merely describing. The whole month of August I dedicate to getting the house ready. For one moment or two I envy Embassy people who arrive in their fully equipped, furnished and 'upholstered' houses, but a quick look at their flowery couches with matching drapes, and I am happy to have choice. I have nothing better to do anyway. August is cold and boring, everyone is on holiday. Waiting for our things to arrive and my life to begin takes long.

To be honest: I feel like hibernating. The current weather suits a good winter sleep: gray skies, cold drizzles and a foggy, humid mornings. Just for one month, until the house is ready and our belongings have arrived. Can someone wake me up in September please?


  1. Is there a way for a young American Man to come live in Madagascar with-out de-patriating and leaving behind his american citezenship.? I cant tell on-line what is a scam site and what isn't, but most are indicating you need to de-patriate to spend more than 30days there?? Can you help? Great Blog by the way.

    email : odisbrawnerjr @

  2. Hi!

    Sorry I don't have an answer to your question. All I know is that when one stays less than 30 days, you don't need a visa. After 30 days, the visa can be extended and after that it gets complicated.

    Good luck finding more information