March 19th, 2011.
This is what Purgatory must be like, Vincent. It isn't quite Hell (yet), but everyone still wants to get the fuck out. And who can blame them? The death count of the rocket attack the other day, as you've probably heard, has reached 30. The UN has been magnanimous this time and called it a crime against humanity, but otherwise continues to do absolutely nothing of impact on the conflict. Thousands are fleeing Abidjan – at this point, it’s like watching a mass migration. People like cattle in the streets, carrying only the barest necessities with them, little children in hand. All heading in the same direction. Out. The Hell out.
I’m staying with dad and Tannella, their neighbourhood still largely untouched, although all their neighbours seem to be more sensible people than my old man and are planning to go away until the storm has worn off. The Ivory Coast may have changed since the 80s, but my old room hasn’t, hasn’t changed one bit since that time when I left Dakar for Paris, so it’s somewhat of a trip down memory lane. I’d probably have enjoyed it, feeling mid-20s once more, had the circumstances been different. Shame that I’m here to cover a civil war. You’d tell me life sucks that way, wouldn’t you? Then, we’d fuck up some vertical surface and everything would be well in the world anyway.
Next time, I’m bringing you with me. You need to get your hands dirty again.
P.s. As per usual, I’ve included the contact info of my supervisor at Le Monde and listed you as my next of kin with the French Embassy. They’ll contact you, if anything happens to me.