I knew it was a good idea to bring a suit.
Ever since I arrived much of the centre of Tana has been boarded up. About 3 weeks ago they took down much of the boarding to reveal some beautiful gardens which light up the city centre. At the beginning of the week they took down the rest of the boarding to reveal the new Hotel de Ville. I was told at that point that even though the Mayoral elections have been postponed there is to be an official opening tomorrow. This morning it was suggested that I might be able to attend a part of the ceremony if I got there early enough. This afternoon Nicolas, a member of my Directors' class, gave me what he called a pass but which is in fact an official invitation guaranteeing a seat. Obviously I am one of the lowest of the low because I have to be in my seat by 9 a.m. and the ceremony doesn't start until 11. Given the way Malagasies like to speak I could be there until 6 or 7. Better stop drinking now.
What I found out only an hour ago (when I actually read the invitation with someone who reads Malagase) is that it is not just the official opening of the new Hotel de Ville, it is in fact the signing, post referendum, of the new constitution by the President, Andriy Rajoelina, at the start of the Quatrieme Republique. History in the making. And I get to be there. And no dilemma over which tie because I only have one. I am very excited as you may have noticed.
Good old Nicolas.