I was lucky in coming to Côte d’Ivoire as my wife arrived before I did and took care of a great many of the tedious things such as finding a house, buying furniture, and killing the cockroaches from the rainy season. I had to take on the fun things such as subletting our apartment in the US, bringing a meager ration of wine, Italian cured meats, and a proper toilet seat.
There’s just one problem in that you have one of two choices in furniture. The first is go the plastic route, which is great for those who enjoy white home furnishing that stick to you in the heat and will end up as landfill in short order. The other is to have your furniture built locally from the Ivoirian hardwoods. There is a very large industry of carpenters here. Some are pretty basic and others are amazing craftsmen that produce some of the finest wood work I’ve ever seen.
Our main working table and the chairs came from a fellow who definitely knew what he was doing, but had his own mind as to how to do it. For starters, the table was about 10cm too low. I couldn’t get my legs under it and after two weeks of doing everything on it from a sideways vantage, we finally had it raised a bit with some incredibly stylish new feet. That left the chair. Woe is the chair.
At first glance in the photo, it appears fine, but it is actually incredibly narrow. I have bruises on my hip bones from squeezing in and out of it, often forgetting the magic angle of approach to achieve seating bliss. Then of course, the arms are too low, but this was the case even when the table was lower, so I don’t get it. Then there is the fact my elbow starts bitching after a few hours of work, so I’ve “praved” a bit of a cushion there with some dish towel I found.
Why do I stick with this miserable contraption that gets up with me when I stand? Well, I’ve only got about four months left here at this point and it makes little sense to buy another chair, although the though has cross my mind. I’m sure it will cross even more forcefully if the chair were to collapse on me one day as it seems to be threatening to do. That and if we got two incredibly awesome chairs, we’d have a hard time not shipping them home when we leave.