A Little Russia in Ngor

Privet to you too, moi Afrikanzki druzei

Yep, Moscow
Even looks Soviet
same sheets too
On the inside too
At first I was a little confused. The lady behind the counter would not take my money. I wanted that fancy little Danish, or since it was a French bakery, the pastry, and she had it in her hand, but she refused the usual cash for product exchange. Slowly, I realized I should pay her friend at the cashier. So I did and a receipt I received. That’s when the lady snapped the receipt out of my hand and gave me my dessert, and I realized I was dealing with the Soviet three-line system.

Devised by some customer-hating apparatchik, the three-line system strives to laborize and extended what should be an efficient and quick purchasing system. In Soviet times, and in this French-style bakery in Dakar, you first pick out your goods. Then the assistant gives you a slip with the names, prices, and amounts of your desired. You give this and the right money to the cashier who gives you a receipt, which you return to the assistant who finally gives you your goods.

At first I thought this was some isolated activity and didn’t really make the connection. Then, when checking into Hotel Ngor/Diorama, I noticed that I was given a room key on a long wooden bob. A hotel key that I was expected to return whenever I left the hotel. Getting to my room, quite luxurious room, I might add, I found that my key and door were direct imports from Russia.

Now I haven’t found a ‘Made in Russia’ stamp yet, but if you threw a drunk Yuri or Boris on a plane, gave him a key and he had to open my hotel door with a hangover, he would swear he was entering his own apartment. And if there wasn’t a breathtaking ocean view, it really could be his apartment on the inside, with even a separate room for the toilet, just like Moscow

I only wonder what is the next Sovietism to show up…


  1. Yep found two already.

    1) Seems that when I want to make a phone call, Hotel Ngor requires me to tell them the number, then they call and patch me in when there is an answer.

    2) Trash fires are everywhere, just like Russia

  2. One way its NOT like Russia: there is no need to make a tape of the cool reggee on the radio, the kids in this internet cafe are actually streaming the music off their computer! A simple USB drive download (that’s a geek term) and I now have it.

  3. Good to see such good pictures of good buildings down there.We normally see villages and the natives.Those guys look relaxed.Wayan,how much ‘fuel’do you use to convince these people to take their photos?You are war!Salute!
    Cheers.
    fortunate.