Money and provision in Liberia: first day.

French version here

My room with almost a view on the coast of Liberia.

I am about a dozen meters from the ocean (Liberia is on the African coast) and the view, excepting handmade houses facing my window and yells of the child beaten by sandals shots, can be qualified by inspiring. Following my night, that I can say, was useless, I was offered another less noisy room because a 300$us room without furniture and with a generator that explaining you that “TEUTEUTEUTEUTEUTEUTEUTEUTEUTEUT”, I take the opportunity for a second choice! My new room is bigger but little light (and in half of a basement) but at least, I have furniture, real furniture, with shelf, one shelf. For the need of light, I’ll go in the living room or outside. Someone make me visiting the house, this one have writed on it walls a lot of inspiring citations.

Le toit du bâtiment. Cool non?
Terrasse sur le toit du bâtiment. Cool non?

The living room / desk is rather conducible for work. I didn’t ate since the wonderful food provided by Royal Air Maroc and here, opposite to Thailand where we had an assigned cooker, here its more each of us do is own food. I have nothing and I need to fill up the fridge and to change money.  I am asking my direction and make repeating the answer three times. In fact, someone accompany me (Let’s call him JG). JG so, is with me to go changing money and to buy stuff at the supermarket. We go by walk under a hot sun that can make the 7th hell circle as a cure walk because the car has the brakes broken. First contact with the “streetlib”, the Liberian of the street. We walk around a completely destroyed house with a lot of kids playing climbing some trees. As I was prepared, some roads are destroyed and buildings are still marked by civil war traumatisms that hit the country by the past. We are along Liberia coast; half of buildings are surrounded with barbed wire.  The beach is beautiful but nobody take a bath. Reason is that the ocean is dirty. Shantytowns and probably some company here and there please themselves to throw filth in the ocean. I can transform my to big swim short onto an shower carpet.

Une vue pas trop degeu sur les côtes du liberia.
nice view isn’t it
En face, une partie du centre ville de Monrovia
Straight, Monvoria bay


Money in Liberia

We arrive downtown and banks are closed. JG bring me in a very small thing with wooden counter and it look like a hut lost in this concrete jungle. Fact is that is a change desk, ghetto flavored. People shout above, look like that the guy counting my money is blinded which is detrimental (or vice versa) when you count money. This is scenery changing and I like it! I am changing 20€ for 20$US. I have also CFA money and the guy gives impression that he never seen something before. He gives a call, get upset and give me a disadvantageous change. I accept. Money operation here is kind of original because we mix US dollars ($US) and Liberian dollars ($Lib). People from Liberia do not have the chance to fill their pockets with a lot of coins when they break a banknote. They are replaced with Liberian dollars. Basically: 1$US equals 84$Lib.Easy and simple right?

A gauche, monnaie américaine ($US), à droite, monnaie Liberienne ($Lib), l'équivalent des centimes.
Left, america, money ($US), on the right,, liberian dollars ($Lib), cents equivalent.

No it’s not, you right but isn’t it making the charm? We are continuing our journey direction the supermarket. You have to wash your hands before going inside (Ebola post-syndrome). I am doing for a double amount of what I expected. Everything is imported inside. To make economy, you have to eat local… 3 oranges: 7.8$US(!). I will content myself with mangos (3 for 30$LIB). We go back by tuktuk, a 10 minutes road for 16$Lib. I am eating, it is 4pm and I am going to sleep.

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