Antananarivo - One day stop over

Monday, May 10

Ahhh Tana. The city I love to hate. We were there for just one night and had planned on doing some mega shopping.

But first, I couldn't stop staring at this lovely creature. She was wearing a see-thru shirt and had four to seven different colors in her hair.
I don't know why I was so fixated with her. I think because we just don't get people like this passing through Madagascar.
Okay, back to business. Once we collected our bags, our driver Thierry (aka Pipsqueak), picked us up and took us to Jumbo Score on the way to the hotel. I'm always in love with Jumbo Score because it's almost a Walmart. Almost.

But since it's Tana, there's always crazy traffic jams. Like this one where a cart had fallen over. Traffic was backed up for about 5 or 6 kilometres.
Tana is so much different than Toamasina. But interesting none the less.
We were staying at Hotel Colbert. I'm pretty sure it's the fanciest (read: EXPENSIVE) hotel, but after spending four nights in the bush I wanted a nice room.
My mom was so impressed she even took a picture of the bathroom. Which came in handy since I was sick for the entire afternoon/evening.
A jewelry store just outside the hotel had been recommended to us, and my mom wanted to go. I told her not to buy anything without coming and getting me first. Well that worked out great. I ended up buying myself an aquamarine ring. I figure it's subtle enough that I could get away with wearing it all the time.
 My mom found a gorgeous ring also.
The problem of course, was that we had to take out all the money in cash. Which means both of us, walking to the bank, and taking out 1.2 million MGA ($600 USD), and we can only withdraw 400 000 MGA at a time. Each withdrawal takes roughly four minutes. So that's twelve minutes plus a five minute walk carrying around a crapload of cash in my purse. And it's not exactly like we blend in...

Anyway, we've haven't spent any money really yet, so a nice ring to bring back as a good souvenir was nice AND we didn't get mugged carrying our big pile o' money
My mom spent the night by herself having a nice dinner in the hotel restaurant, and I managed to eat some crackers and Sprite. No partying for us since we had a flight to catch the next morning.

For a bit of quick background information, last month Air Madagascar was banned from landing in the European Union because of failed safety checks.

The next morning we were taking Air Madagascar to our next destination, Diego.
We weren't exactly comforted by the airport code...

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