Sunday in Djibouti

Our endeavors in Djibouti have yielded success and also exposed us to some small changes in the city. The prevalence of metal detectors everywhere, a swipe with a wand to get into the grocery store or even the coffee shop.

Right now it’s Sunday afternoon and I am updating my social media and eating my Fauchon candies from the plane. 

So we returned from the Nougaprix last night and headed to Le Santal, a restaurant here that features Chinese and Indian cuisine and has a pizzeria. 

We discovered it during our last stay. I had lamb vindaloo and two varieties of naan. I paid for dinner since I stopped at the ATM and accidentally withdrew twice what I meant to. M and I took the long way to the restaurant and the long way home to increase our steps and people watch. Because we’re white and stand out, every woman on the street changing money asks us if we have dollars to exchange.

We had our traditional difficult night last night— when the jet lag catches up with us and we end up chit-chatting for a couple hours in the middle of the night. I finally passed out at 5 a.m. local time (9 p.m. at home) and didn’t wake until 9 a.m. I woke a tad distraught because I wanted to wake at 7 a.m. 

Breakfast goes until 10 a.m., but there was no coffee. Might be because we overslept, might be that the espresso machine is broken. Hard to tell. I did notice a sticker on the window — K’naan, Dusty Foot Philosopher. K’naan hails from Somalia. I have three of his recordings. 

After breakfast, we did some errands to flush out our travel plans (Lac Abbé? Whale sharks?) It’s Sunday morning, so the streets are crazy and alive with everyone starting their work week.

We went to Bunna House for coffee. Crowded this morning and staffed by women making coffee and men in black Bunna House polo shirts doing the cleaning and serving. Logo knocks off Starbucks, serves Ethiopian coffee.

Then I started my quest for an African-style dress. We went to the bus station/market and found one dress with scarf/shawl. M didn’t like the price so we walked. We hope to go back and haggle later. We found other dresses and I bought one for myself and something for my daughter.

After dress shopping complete, we went for juice. The juice bar was our favorite part of the city. It has changed. No more outdoor patio with begging children and street cats. Plus the menu has either been reduced or they are out of fruit. I used to get ginger or cantaloupe. Today the options were lemon, orange, pineapple or mango. I enjoyed the mango but it wasn’t the same.


We returned to the hotel to find that the housekeeper had laid our freshly laundered towels on our bed with the ceiling fan on high to dry them.

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