There is also a cute second hand book market, where you can buy French Marie Claire magazines from the nineties, and all kinds of second (third, fourth who knows?)-hand books. Some time ago I came across an old history book published in the fifties, for usage in primary schools. I paid, after stern negotiation, 5,000 Ar for it - two Euro.
Super-contented with my purchase, I started reading it immediately, a chapter about the demography of the then four million Malasy. The school book described the division of the people among at least ten tribes, with adventurous names that translate like: the Invincibles, the Inseparables, the Warriors, and They who are tempted by commandments.
After a few pages however, I began to lose my reading appetite. A chapter about the royal history read as follows: "And when Andianampoinimerina had become the king of Ambohimanagan, he appeased his parents Andrianamabotsimarofy and Ravorombatodambohidratimo, who was also called 'the wild boar'. He ordered a department of more than a thousand soldiers from Tsimanahotsy andTsimiamboholahy to protect Antananarivo. He then prepared himself to defeat Andrianamanalinorivo and Ravoekamabahoaka at which he succeeded at Kiririokafisakana’.
I kid you not. These poor, poor Malgasy primary school kids who have to memorize this! They must be very smart!
Of course the people here have found a way to handle these names, only one out of every so many syllables is pronounced. Hence Tana. I bet you the above two names are Raz and Andj. Or something.
Nevertheless, to me Madagascar is the Island of the Unpronounceable Names.