Madagascar: memories from a trip a few years ago
#1
I visited Madagascar a few years ago for two weeks. Some time after my visit I wrote a post about it on RVF. It's now gone, so I'm reposing my memories here with a small corrections.

There are two languages that spoken on the island: native Malagasy and French. Before the trip I spent half a year studying French and reached a beginner level. It helped me a lot.

The general vibe of Madagascar is that of a really poor, undeveloped country. Expect a place much worse than India. People are nice. So nice, in fact, that it's tiring for a cold and introverted European like me.

Safety

Madagascar is considered a safe place to travel relatively to other African countries. Relatively. My tourist guide was surprised that I was not robbed after I showed him pictures of where I walked in the capital. Fellow passengers on  taxi-brousse told me stories about areas of the country which are controlled by armed bandits, who successfully resist the government's army. I don't know how much of this is true. Other danger is that if you're in a accident or get appendicitis in some remote village far from the capital and you need a doctor, you'll be in real trouble.

I was stopped twice by police who wanted to see my passport. I guess they want bribes from tourists who don't carry documents with them. I will never know, because I had my passport on me, smiled, and everything was very nice and quick. The surprising thing is how the hell were they able to spot a white guy in a taxi at 6am in the morning.

One more weird story. I took an overnight bus from Antsirabe to Antananarivo. I was squeezed for the whole night with 20 other people in a vehicle which is probably designed for 10 passengers. When we arrived at 4am everybody, including me, remained on the bus and slept two more hours. I think the people were afraid of walking in the night.

General Travel Info

Pass on the Lonely Planet guide and buy the guide book by Bradt. It's the best. Bring a hard copy - even in large cities there are long power outages. The center of the island is surprisingly cold. Pack a warm hoodie at least. I found that a light rain jacket can be worn over cotton hoodie, which makes is much warmer, adds protection from the rain, and is light. Speaking of light. I traveled with a single 30 liter backpack with 8 kilograms of stuff in it. I highly recommend travelling light. Do yourself a favor and bring a good flashlight.

I'm not sure what's a good base for travel and where the party districts are in the capital. I decide to travel around and didn't stay much in Antananarivo. Other cities are rather small.

Food

Food actually belongs to safety part. I managed to get a food poisoning twice in two weeks. First after dining at a nice tourist restaurant in Morondava. I got so sick that I don't remember much from one day. Second time in a different city I shitted my pants. I never got sick from a dirty roadside restaurant where the taxi-brousse takes the passengers. My general advice for eating in developing countries is: eat where the locals do. A dirty shack full of people has freshly prepared food. A nice hotel restaurant has food that is too expensive, so it stays there for hours, that's a recipe for disaster. That being said, I do recommend the restaurant near Glacier in Antananarivo.

People and my Adventures with Malagasy Women

The people who originally inhabited Madagascar came from Indonesia. Their descendants inhabit the central plains of the country and are known as the Merina ethnic group. People at the coast of Mozambique channel near Morondava look like Africans, they are Sakalavas. There are more ethnic groups on the island. They all speak the same language, believe in ancestors and Jesus Christ, and are obsessed with cattle, which they call Zebu. Don't expect inter-ethnic violence, but somebody described to me the relations between Sakalava and Merina as using the French word racisme.

Speaking of customs and religion. I attended Famadihana, which is a tradition where a body is removed from the grave, wrapped in new silk, and put back to rest. There is always a huge and expensive party thrown by the family.

I don't know much about one night stands, but I guess they are possible. Malagasy women are free to sleep around. It's always been like that on Madagascar (info from a book written by a person who visited in 1930s).

In Europe we have a clear distinction between prostitutes and girlfriends. It seems those things are more fluid in Madagascar. A girl may want to sleep with you, but will expect money in the morning. P4p is big there with French guys. You might hear about government and police fighting sex tourism. This may confuse and scare you, but what's meant is sex with children. I saw lots of posters about it and they were specific about paying for sex with minors under the age of 18. Over 18 is legal and accepted. I know the forum is not about p4p, but it should be discussed in case of this country, because you may end up sleeping with a prostitute without realizing it, which is what happened to me. I met a girl who was interested in me. Lets call her Tina.  I and Tina went to beach, started kissing, then went to my place, where we has sex. In the morning Tina was very upset about something, I'm not sure about what, so I thought she wanted money. I gave her some and then she left.

I met another beautiful and smart lady in the same city. Lets call her Irene. Irene definitely did not need or want money. In fact, she emphasized this by paying for me in a restaurant on the first date. In the evening we went to a bar. Local men knew Irene and wanted to talk to her, but she preferred to sit with me. At the end of the night a disaster struck. Tina, the semi-pro from the previous night, came to the bar and saw me with Irene. She went nuts and started shouting at Irene, who shouted back. I don't know what was said. Afterwards, I and Irene took a taxi together. We went to my hotel, but Irene didn't want to stay. She left for her place with the same taxi. I met Irene in the following days. She stayed at my place for a few nights, but all I got were kisses and once I got to kiss her bare breasts (beautiful small cup like an Asian girls on a tall slim body). We spoke in a mix of French and English. She knew some English, because her job was in tourism and because she was an ambitious and hard working woman. As for the fact that she did not have sex with me, I'm not sure what the reason was. Maybe it's because of the things with Tina or maybe it's because I am beta and she sensed it. I know from Facebook, that Irene also had a boyfriend, with whom she had been for a long time. I guess, she decided that I'm not worth cheating on him. They later got married.

As for the men they all seemed friendly. I think it was genuine, but in such a poor country you expect that people want money from you, so I was weary of being too friendly. I don't think you having a Malagasy girlfriend would be a problem. My guide asked me about my experience with Malagasy girls and the tone of his voice was like as if he asked me if I drank THB (the most popular beer on the island).

When my guide was taking me to Famadihana he mentioned that it's a great opportunity for him to get a girlfriend in another village. I knew he was married and asked what about his wife, to which he replied "one woman is not enough."

Weird Stuff

I bought a beer from a vendor during Famadihana. She, an older lady, asked if I want it opened. I said yes. She opened it with her teeth.

Near Morondava I saw a group of boys and young men. One of them had a big snake on a leash, which looked like it was dying. I think over there they don't disapprove animal cruelty.

Appendix

Here are some pictures of Malagasy women that I found on the Internet (that is, I don't know them, but I know they are Malagasy). They are representative of the quality you can get there. The first girl used to have public Facebook, which is how I know for sure she's from Madagascar. The second one holds Three Horses Beer and looks Malagasy.

[Image: Laura+Dorine+Angel%2527s+Diablesse.jpg]
[Image: 811760260.jpg?end=1579261830&secure=0933...4655beaa69][Image: 952069146.jpg?end=1579261797&secure=04c2...e075100b7e]
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#2
Nice write up. I have not visited mcar but did get the flag from a malagasy overseas worker. She was from the far north, and I forget the name of her ethnic group but they are descended from Indians who sailed and settled north mcar centuries ago.

Definitely the most exotic girl I've had. Long silky jet black hair and extremely rare exotic features. Took 3 days to bang but she was wild out of control in bed, hit it 5 times and when I woke up in the morning she asked me to take her shopping for shoes, which I did, so definitely can relate to your stealth p4p experience.
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#3
(01-16-2020, 12:50 PM)Flecs Wrote: Appendix

Here are some pictures of Malagasy women that I found on the Internet (that is, I don't know them, but I know they are Malagasy). They are representative of the quality you can get there. The first girl used to have public Facebook, which is how I know for sure she's from Madagascar. The second one holds Three Horses Beer and looks Malagasy.

[Image: Laura+Dorine+Angel%2527s+Diablesse.jpg]
[Image: 811760260.jpg?end=1579261830&secure=0933...4655beaa69][Image: 952069146.jpg?end=1579261797&secure=04c2...e075100b7e]

Only see one picture haha.
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#4
Very nice report, +1 repped. I've heard good things about the island from other friends and besides it being good for girls perhaps, it also has a unique culture and amazing nature, so a nice adventurous place for a guy like me. I speak some French as well so that helps. It does seem a bit from your report and what I've heard that its a place where it is better to visit for a bit of a longer time. The travel is cumbersome and the island is bigger than most people realize. If you wanna travel inland, go to different beaches, etc. then we are probably talking about some weeks to a month at least to really enjoy it and relax during the experience.

Regarded to the P4P reference, I know Africa very well, there is no possibility to discuss African women without mentioning these things, so it is no issue at all. As you said, the categories are very fluid. Most of those girls don't consider themselves prostitutes even, but just see it as normal that a wealthy westerner would help them with money if they spend time together. It creates confusing situations for sure. Often, the locals know very well where a girl stands on the prostitution ladder (or sometimes she might even be higher class and have no expectations at all), but we, as outsiders, just see a hot girl, whether she it is from a certain tribe, class or family, we have no idea. Anyway, I mention and wrote about the same things in my Africa datasheets.
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#5
(01-16-2020, 07:48 PM)Daryush Neubache Wrote: Nice write up. I have not visited mcar but did get the flag from a malagasy overseas worker.  She was from the far north,  and I forget the name of her ethnic group but they are descended from Indians who sailed and settled north mcar centuries ago.

Definitely the most exotic girl I've had. Long silky jet  black hair and extremely rare exotic features.  Took 3 days to bang but she was wild out of control in bed,  hit it 5 times and when I woke up in the morning she asked me to take her shopping for shoes,  which I did, so definitely can relate to your stealth p4p experience.

Interesting. I saw an unusually big house with a tall fence around it in some small town. I asked somebody about it, and, if I recall things correctly, that person told me that it belonged to Indians. According to the English Wikipedia (Indians in Madagascar), Indians control a large part of the economy in Madagascar.

I read a lot about the island. Centuries ago it was visited by Arab traders and pirates. I think this could have resulted in some interesting blood mixing. Speaking of diversity, the island is predominantly catholic, but I remember that the tallest building in Morondava was a mosque.

(01-17-2020, 10:28 AM)Rottenapple Wrote: Very nice report, +1 repped. I've heard good things about the island from other friends and besides it being good for girls perhaps, it also has a unique culture and amazing nature, so a nice adventurous place for a guy like me. I speak some French as well so that helps. It does seem a bit from your report and what I've heard that its a place where it is better to visit for a bit of a longer time. The travel is cumbersome and the island is bigger than most people realize. If you wanna travel inland, go to different beaches, etc. then we are probably talking about some weeks to a month at least to really enjoy it and relax during the experience.

I agree with all that you wrote, especially the part about Madagascar being big and travel being difficult. Two main ways of getting around are taking small buses, which are extremely uncomfortable, and air travel, which is expensive. I'm sure you could also rent a car with a driver. I personally enjoyed the experience of bus travel. Locals are very friendly and curious about you, and you can make friends in this way. In fact, that's how I met Irene (see the original post).
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#6
Quote:Speaking of customs and religion. I attended Famadihana, which is a tradition where a body is removed from the grave, wrapped in new silk, and put back to rest. There is always a huge and expensive party thrown by the family.

Hard pass on the free tickets to EbolaFest.

The rest of it sounds pretty cool, though.
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