Living Vicariously As A Peripatetic Shutterbug

{ More musings from the Cantankerous Old Mule }

Stop Elabola!

Spotted at the national departures area at Ivato airport here in Antananarivo, Madagascar, a few weeks back.

Ebola? Elabola? Sorry, what?

Ebola? Elabola? Sorry, what?

Can you see what we saw? What an unfortunate name for a restaurant, especially with its similarity to the virus that ravaged western Africa last year.

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Even funnier than its name, which we have laughed about for years, is the poster explaining how to stop Ebola – within eyesight of the restaurant sign. In three languages, even, just to make sure no one could complain they weren’t informed! Of course, Madagascar had no confirmed cases of Ebola but has seen an outbreak of both pneumonic and bubonic plagues recently. I saw no posters warning of those dangers.

“But that’s because this is warning travellers of an epidemic they might encounter on their travels,” you might say, “so it’s obvious they wouldn’t highlight diseases in their country. Duh!”

“Well what then of Japanese Encephalitis, African Trypanosomiasis, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and Rift Valley fever – all maladies one could contract abroad and which have been brought back to this beautiful island before. Why aren’t ‘gasy travellers being warned of those?” I would counter.

And then you would have some witty comeback and I’d rebound with a snappy riposte and before we knew it we’d have forgotten what we were speaking about originally, which is exactly what has already happened.

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So, to get back on topic and to be serious for a minute, I think the same designers of this poster should come up with a “Stop Elabola” sign. I have reliable information from unreliable sources that the restaurant has been in the running for most shocking airport restaurant worldwide for at least half a decade. The results have never been published officially, sadly, except on the dark web where no-one has been willing to confirm their existence (for obvious reasons).

“One steak and fries, please,” I asked the waitress on this particular day. And off she toddled.

“Sorry sir, we don’t have steak,” she informed me several minutes later.

“No steak!?! No Zebu, the national meat of Madagascar? How can it be?” I wondered out loud.

“Right, how about some chicken and chips, then” I asked.

Again, I shouldn’t have been surprised by her answer that chicken was out of the question too.

“Chips?” I asked hopefully.

This they did have. Which was better than a few years ago when one of the Midglet boys ordered a particular pasta, and got a totally different, cold, stodgy pasta. They figure it was just scraped off someone’s plate when they were half done with it. Or the time I ordered chips (also referred to as frites or fries in other parts of the world.) These took 45 minutes to arrive. Of course that’s because they first had to send someone out to buy the potatoes, or dig them up …

A “Stop Elabola” (from being so rubbish) poster? I’d help.

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2 comments on “Stop Elabola!

  1. kvennarad
    March 29, 2015

    I’m reminded of the dialogue between the customer and the waitress at the Al Morocco Tearoom, from Peter Sellers’ ‘Balham, Gateway to the South’.

    If you have never heard it, it was a spoof ‘travel documentary’. It was recorded in about 1958, and is a satire on the kind of supporting feature we used to get at the cinema.

  2. Tina Simpson
    March 29, 2015

    oh man! Is that funny!

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This entry was posted on March 29, 2015 by in Humour, Silly Sunday and tagged , , , .
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