It was a Friday - I had decided to end my life as an Abidjan couch potato, and go out to enjoy the nightlife. I ended up in a really swanky looking club called Club 40. There were lots of Hammers and Bentleys in the parking lot. That should have been the first sign that this place was not going to be cheap. I had had a few drinks before leaving the house so as to keep my partying budget low. I got to the bar and ordered a red bull - which cost me $11. I almost fainted. I looked around and on every table people had bottles of Moet. Where does all this money in Abidjan come from? Club 40 had great music, but given their crazy prices I decided I was going to try out a few more clubs for the night. After finishing my $11 red bull I hopped into a taxi to another part of town - Treshville. All Treshville clubs were so dead. I then cabbed to another part of town - Zone 4 - the clubs here were also dead. I ended up going back to Club 40 - content to drink one or 2 more red bulls......really.....really....really...slowly then call it a night.
When I got back to the club I was welcomed happily by the bouncer. "Tu est revenu!" "You have come back!" Yes I have. I was getting some sort of VIP treatment - no idea why. I was taken to a private(ish) area of the club and was sitted next to African Beyonce and African Rihanna. I kid you not, these 2 women were clones of the two - even up to their weaves, nails etc. They even had the same complexion - which is obviously shades lighter than the average Ivorian complexion. From behind my red bull glass I kept on stealing glances at them to see how they were made. The complexion was the most baffling - usually when people have bleached it is easy to know by the pasty complexion, dark knuckles etc. I think these girls were on the Vera Sidika regimen - this color looked like the color they were born in - except for the fact that it likely was not the color they were born in. This was my first encounter with Ivorian socialites. One even had a boob job....in Africa:-) I was a bit amused.
I'm not sure exactly how we started talking to each other. Before I knew it, we were friends and they had invited me to share with them their endless supply of Moet bottles. I was the full villager enjoying my Hollywood lifestyle for that night. Bit by bit I learnt that they were sisters. One of them was dating some famous Ivorian footballer while my understanding was that African Rihanna mostly served the political class. They were all sorts of mystical, but I was fascinated. I met a few more of their friends. We ended up partying the night away and many hours later they invited me back to their hotel for an afterparty. I followed African Rihanna to her massive car (I sometimes wish I was those people who really knew cars, for then I would have told you all what type it was...) We went their massive suite at Sofitel Luxury hotel, and had Moet and eggs for breakfast.
That was a hilarious night - my first and last of hanging out with wealthy Ivorian socialites. After that I chose to hang out only with people whose occupations were clear. This was especially after I learnt how there is quite a few drug trafficking and cyber crime moguls in Abidjan...I really did not want to get mixed up in any funny business - even if it came with unlimited Moet:-)
First night of partying alone in Abidjan - a true success:-)