The safety of the head of state

Departure delayed.

Not the words you want to see when transiting Nairobi airport in the early hours of the morning. But apparently it was National Day in Cameroon and when we finally left Nairobi, seven hours later, a fellow traveller explained that the airspace (and indeed the country's roads) is always closed during the parades that mark Cameroon's National Day - to protect against a coup d'etat whilst the president is occupied with the celebrations.

Driving through Yaounde I could see all the flags around the place, and scores of women in matching dresses adorned with the president's image (provided free-of-charge by his party, apparently) making their way home. I finally got to the hotel at around 15:00, and pinned around the walls and in my room was a notice, roughly translated as:

"The holiday of 20 May remains a prvileged moment in the life of the country and corresponds to the national holiday. On this occasion parades are organised and the head of state, the President of the Republic, comes out. In order to preserve the safety of the head of state, you are asked to please observe the following:

1) do not open the window of your room
2) do not go to the window to look out
3) do not open the curtains

These measures take effect at six o'clock in the morning, and the lifting of these restrictions will be around 14:30."

Paul Biya has been president for some 28 years now, I believe. What it is to be so loved by your people.


Louise said...

so why does this new blogger format publish my post without any of the paragraph breaks that I drafted?

and why do companies keep changing their web format anyway? I was perfectly happy with the old format

Phil said...

I believe they call it progress...

or is it just change for the sake of change.

Either way, I agree it's a pain

c'est la vie

Felipe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.