Sunday is a good day in Tana. Nothing is open, except for a few restaurants and food stalls, and there are very few people out-and-about. Even the street children (which are terribly sad to see), who can be ridiculously persist and and follow you for blocks asking for money, take the day off and barely blink when the vazah (foreigner) walk by.
Having nothing to do, Meghan, Denise and I walked up to the Queens Palace. It is about a two mile walk up the side of a giant hill. Once we got up there the gates to the palace were closed (given it is Sunday) but a Malagasy man (dubbed "Texas" by a former American boss who couldn't pronounce his Malagasy name) offered to take us on a tour about the palace. I am always hesitant to go anywhere with strange men, but the were three of us and he seemed harmless enough. Our tour was lovely and included amazing views of the city, an introduction into cock fighting roosters, and all sorts of tidbits about Madagascar's history. It was actually a much better experience than we would have gotten if the palace was open. He did try to swindle us out of a bunch of money at the end, but happily accepted our much reduced offer.
When we were walking back, we got asked if we wanted to be in a television commercial. This guy (with a large camera) came up to us all out of breath and said that they were shooting a commercial in the park across the street and needed a vazah to play a small role but hadn't been able to fine any. Although intrigued, we were worried about the time and the possibility of being caught out after dark way across town from our hotel. Alas, our Malagasy celebrity will have to wait.
I was going to post a few pic, but they are refusing to load. I'll try again tomorrow. Night :)