The other day I visited Code d'Ivoire. The experience? What experience?
But then they say that any experience is an experience. Based on this, then I learned.
Disclaimer: no offense is meant by this post to my West African brothers, the Ivorians.
Lunch is strictly served between 12.00 pm and 1.00 pm. You come later than that, and sorry buddy, they won't even look at you twice! I asked myself whether these folks have heard something called customer service. I saw a business opportunity for my business-minded Kenyan brothers there but then I was told that taxes are prohibitive in this part of the world. But still, I believe there's something there.
Second surprise or is two in a package?
I went shopping in a relatively good looking supermarket. Did the shopping and at the point of sale, was told to have the exact cost of whatever I'd picked! Really? Yah! Take it or leave it. They had to remove some items from my shopping basket so that they don't give me any change! Was too shocked to complain or ask how or why. Next was 'give us a bag to pack these items'. Did not have any. Things were piled into a corner of the supermarket as I went back to the shelves to look for a paper bag or any carrying case. My expectation was that if this is what was expected from customers, they would have kept some cases like the chute bags near the tills or clearly indicated at the entrance or shelves that 'make sure you have a carrying case with you, before you go picking things from our shelves :)'.
The above incidents left me wondering whether this country cared that there are visitors among them who needed guidance or a little courtesy.
Bottom line, I experienced little customer care service, I think in my honest opinion, there was none. And since I did not want any more embarrassment or disappointment, I did the least shopping of any City I'd ever visited.
On a positive note, the City was pretty warmer than the cold Nairobi I'd left behind in my country. In addition to this, since the official language is French, I learned some few French words for the few days I was in this football-craze nation.
On the beauty side, the City seemed like it is set within lagoons, and hence it is pretty beautiful, if only they can beautify the seas shores? It will be a sight to behold.
Won't mind going there again, at least better prepared psychologically and linguistically!