So Madonna was downgraded from VIP treatment in Malawi. The first time I went to Cameroon I was very surprised to get the VIP treatment, and was incredibly humbled by the effort my colleagues must have gone to in organizing it. It was a surprising end to an intriguing few days that had begun in surreal fashion with watching myself on the prime time evening news talking about libraries. We set off on a 4 hour drive to the airport with the Director of Protocol, along the Yaounde/Douala trunk road which I heard is thankfully being upgraded. To the VIP lounge where my passport (and departure fee) were taken away and stamped. I spent the evening in the lounge talking to a senior member of the Finance Ministry traveling to an African Union summit, who was interested in hearing about libraries but suggested I still had time to have 7 kids. He was smiling though, so not entirely a serious suggestion. When it was time to get on the plane we were picked up from the lounge and driven to the plane (in a small car, not a limo) where there was a cursory security check.

Who says being a librarian doesn’t have its benefits?

Originally published on the semanticlibrary.net blog