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What's in a name?

When we first arrived in Mayotte (almost a year ago!), there was not a street sign to be seen. However, the city council decided to rectify that and put up airplane-adorned plaques. As in mainland France, the signs are affixed to garden walls, houses, and buildings some 2m from the ground, rather than placed on poles. Not very handy if you are traveling north and the sign is fastened to the southern wall, but that's a gripe for another time.

When we first rented this house, we were told our address was 10 ruelle Tchora. However, the rental contract stated the house is located at 14 rue de la Mosquée. Yet, when I went around trying to get the utilities switched over to our name, the water company said I lived at 14 rue des Réfugiés. Ok.  Now that they have put up the street signs, I see that we are now residents of number 14 rue Sabili.  Heaven help me. I now have no idea what address to use on mail. Luckily, though, we got an easy to pronounce name, as you will see from the two signs here:


This is a house, not a store (though sometimes it is hard to tell the difference).
Isn't that a mouthful?
How about this one? 


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 15th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC)
Hee - it's like you live in four different places. Do you actually have trouble getting mail or is it one of those small town type things where it wouldn't really matter if you put an address on at all?
Jul. 15th, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC)
All the postal workers I've seen are Mahorais, so I'm thinking they know the neighborhoods pretty well, as well as the history of the names. Frex, we live in the Majitchotchaora neighborhood, which means "neighborhood of the man without any shoes" (on account of a poor guy who lived around here, who, oddily enough, didn't have any shoes); hence ruelle Tchaora. And the mosque which is on our street is called Mosque of the Refugees. Nevertheless, since there are at least 15 mosques in Pamandzi, I have no idea how they figure out *this* is rue de la Mosquée. Also, we mouzoungous (foreigners) kind of stick out, and on more than once ocassion, I've had someone tell me they know where I live. Eep.

I *think* I've received all the mail addressed to me here. No, wait, I'm STILL waiting on a letter from my niece, which she mailed in February. @-@

The town is big enough, and the mouzoungou population itinerant enough, that you do need addresses.
Jul. 15th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
Magochitchora. Geez, why didn't I spell that right the first time? ;o)
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 15th, 2007 02:33 pm (UTC)
They sometimes have odd ideas what constitues decoration. :P It isn't the first house I've seen with an advert plastered to it. One of these days, I'll post some pictures of bangas. Those are interesting.
Jul. 15th, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
Aren't you glad you're tall, fair and blonde eh?
Jul. 15th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I blend right in. *snigger*
Jul. 15th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
I'm loving your "life in Mayotte" posts. And I might fare well there, since it takes me a good two years to memorize a new phone number or address when I move. ;-) Apparently addressed don't matter much there anyway.
Jul. 15th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
hehe. Well if you were in the police, 2 to 3 years is all you would have, so you'd be gone again in that time. :P
Jul. 15th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
I can't say I've ever had anything liek that happen to me, but... I guess Americans are rather anal about stuff like that. My uncle's address in Ireland, though, was just "Beach Cottage, Bantry."
Jul. 15th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
*nods* It drives me insane to try to navigate in France. Things just are not indicated in a clear manner. Here, everyone mostly uses landmarks, businesses, and "third street on the left" type directions.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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