I have started to take my meals from a local supermarket in the form of crackers, laughing cow cheese, canned pate, dates, yoghurt, and soup in an envelope. I haven’t quite gotten to the ramen noodles but if I’d stayed a few more days I would have made that part of my routine as well.

It is not that there is no good food in Benin, there is plenty. But the hotel does not appear to serve it and serve it in a reasonable time and my ability to move around town is limited.

Every day the ‘plat-de-jour’ is the same; announced handwritten on a white board at the entrance of the restaurant: a salad of sweet corn and tuna (both from cans), poulet yassa (an onion/olives/chicken arrangement the Senegalese prepare masterfully) and ‘pommes fruit.’ I am not clear what that is and won’t probably ever find out. board

I did try the plat de jour on Monday, skipped the canned appetizer and by the time the main meal was served our generous lunch break had already been surpassed by half an hour. I never tried the dessert.

The Poulet Yassa would have made the Senegale cry. It contained bits and pieces of at least one tiny sinewy quail that required sharper teeth than I possess.

Although a good part of the coastal area is planted with pineapples, and they are for sale everywhere, including right in front of the hotel, I have been unable to get them served in the restaurant. I am hesitant to buy one and serve myself in my room because of the steady stream of ants and the absence of sharp knives in this establishment. And so, after having lived practically on fruit and fish last week in Cotonou, I feel a bit deprived this week in the food department, which will be a short one as I leave tomorrow night.

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