We left Ouidah by night to head to Cotonou to turn up. One of the strangest things I noticed during our Benin trip was how we gassed up the car. Most times we would pull over to the roadside to a shack sometimes manned by kids with tens of 5 liter bottles and lots of refilled alcohol 1 or 1.5 liter bottles, negotiate for petrol and the fuel would be funneled into the car. . After checking into our Airbnb, we went to a cute little place to eat and watch a Congolese live band. Next stop....the dunda. I had carried full dunda regalia...a cute little blue dress and heels....The little blue dress was one of the victims of the Ghana/African black soap disaster in my suitcase... How did I not start lathering in the club when African black soap met sweat? Let's just say I was not winning at life that night..but I was so fresh and so clean:-)
Anyway, when we got to the club, there were very many people outside....and many of them looked like they were born in the late 90s or early 2000s. Most of the girls were wearing sneakers....Aich...I turned to Cediced Soundiata Keita and asked, "Please don't tell me we're coming to the beach and you let me wear heels and a soapy freakum dress..."But I serve a living God. It was actually a club club...the only little hiccup was that they were throwing a huge Halloween party... Hence all the youth around. Feeling a bit silly having come to a Halloween party as ourselves, while most people were walking around looking like Satan's disciples, we went straight to the bar for drinks. Moving past the dangling skeletons, the snakes made of fabric, the infant corpses that decorated the roof, we finally got to the bar. After a drink, I realized that while this might not have been the party I expected, it was the one I was meant to be at. The music was really really really good! Everyone was happy. Danceoffs were happening at every corner of the place. It turned out to actually be a very very very fun night of dancing and drinking till 4am. As I stood there lathering in my sweat soaked, African black soap infused dress, smiling at the foam snakes as I recalled the lovely afternoon with the pythons of Ouidah, moving past dangling skeletons and spider webs, passing youth with grim reaper costumes as I shook my nyash to Davido beats, I thought to myself....""Cotonou turn up has really not disappointed even if it has taken a different form from what I envisioned."