Having spent my first night at the “Merry Christmas” Hotel, I was not ready for the poor service and all that goes with it at this controversial hotel to dampen my mood.
I have been in the company of many so called “Congolese” and these chaps have always been quite outgoing. I suppose, this place might only be a “rotten apple” in a
basket of many more good “apples”, eh?
DR Congo having gone through the “hell” it went through, I did not expect much more than I was receiving, maybe somehow better but not so good.
From what I had heard (more than a decade ago) of Congo, it was a place where people played music and guzzled lots of beers, short of that, there was nothing else so important in their lives. They loved “ambiance”. That said and done, let the party begin!
A new found friend (Mwana Mbeto) recommended that we relocate to a small but cozy hotel called CH2, just a stone’s throw away from the Kinshasa Grand Hotel.
Having had a nightmare night at the Merry Christmas, I don’t think there was going to be any hotel worse than it.
We liked it not that it was close to the Grand Hotel but because it was sharing a fence with the Rwandan Embassy in Kinshasa.
Sincerely speaking, this was like living next door to your own home! Now that we had got a more reliable roof under our heads, the sky was gona be our limit.
Mwana Mbeto was really a very handy guy; I don’t know how we would have found our way round this twentieth century place!
First of all, if you think of boarding the “matatus”, better think twice, the guys here use the Mercedes Benz, formerly 25 sitters, not any more, they no longer have the original seats, they have been fitted (can we say improvised)with wooden benches just like those one finds in a local village “pub”.
I happened to step inside one, out of curiosity (don’t tell me that curiosity killed a monkey). Talk of a monkey and one Congolese delicacy comes to mind, the stuff is known as “nyama ya makaku” (monkey meat); don’t worry, that is not readily available in Kinshasa, maybe in Mbandaka and Kasai, one may easily find it.
As indicated earlier, the majority of the vehicles were imported into the country during the reign of Field Marshall Mobutu Sese Seko Ngebendu Wa Zabamba R.I.P (formerly Joseph Désiré Mobutu).
I don’t know what magic the names “Joseph and Désiré” have in the Congolese aka Zaire politics, but what is for sure is that, so far, there has been two Désiré
presidents (Désiré Joseph Mobutu and Laurent Désiré Kabila-R.I.P) and three Josephs (Joseph Kasa-vubu –R.I.P, Désiré Joseph Mobutu and Joseph Kabila).
Let us get out of that damn history that is not the reason I came to Kinshasa, I came so that I can be the eyes and ears of my readers.
As you can all see, I’m here suffering for you all. In terms of food, we are really living on the sidelines of life! The common foods here are “Kinkwanga” (a sort of bulobe), “mizuzu” or plantains, “kamundeli” and “makayabo” (a sort of fried meat) and chicken, there are other dishes
To compensate for the disappointment we suffered
yesterday, we have decided to go out and have real fun.
Our new found friend, Mwana Mbeto has promised to take us to a place where they roast the best chicken on this planet earth; we are hoping it does not turn out to be another “Merry Christmas” of a sort.
We are not going to eat anything (reserving our tummies for the chicken) till evening.
I’m told that, we shall be going to a place known as “Mama Colonel” , located somewhere called Bandari and that, that joint is frequented by “big soldiers, diplomats and Zungus.
Looks like it will be a perfect place to visit! Despite living in the twentieth century, there is a very nice “biyeri” (beer) known as SKOL.