At the border the Senegalese guys were efficient. They didn’t want anything.
At the Guinean side they had to fill in all the information in these books you only encounter in West Africa (mother’s name of the guy who signed your passport, the date and the reason of your 1st night outside your parent’s home, amount of money you have earned on 23rd November 1931, or on any 23rd on any month afterwards and reason for what you have been paid for, etc.). They filled in this all important information at all kind of places, each ministry of the Bureaucratic Republic of Guinea Bissau seems to have its representatives at the border. And all of them would highly appreciate if you would recognize their valuable service – please cash, no receipt. Finally we were stamped in, only for poor Prado we had to get the TIP in the next town.
No problem, we moved on. Some 2km further the police made a multidisciplinary crosscheck on their colleague’s efficiency at the border. Passport stamped – ok, insurance ok, health certificate – forgotten, TIP – infraction, of course you have to have one even if it’s not available at the border. We explained him firmly what they told us about the availability of this all important document in the next town. Miracles happen – he accepted. But then he discovered our bags on the back seat and our lodge on the rooftop. As his French was somehow limited we could not understand him but definitely see how much he was shocked to discover all these items at such strange places. Finally he could only say t h i s b i g p r o b l e m , he walked away with all our documents and went to his colleague for further consultations. Martin had to go out, to say hello to his colleague, to request to have all documents back and to thank him once he received all this paper stuff – without any banknotes exchanged. In the next town we received the TIP without problems and continued our way to Bissau without any further adventures.
Some days later on the way back to Senegal.
Border formalities were quickly done on both sides. Absolutely unexpected the honourable officer of the Guinean Guardia Nacional – as far as we could understand a kind of fund raising institution operating along Guinean roads – asked for 5000 F CFA (Euro 8) because he had to write the name of Martin’s 1st girlfriend and size of Monika’s grandfather into one of these filthy registers. Monika fully understood the ultimate need to hand over this money; nevertheless she needed an official receipt for it. Otherwise Monika would risk to be accused of corruption by his colleague of the National Agency for Limiting at Least Somehow a Little Bit Some Corruption in the next office. Of course the poor guy fully understood that he could not get the 5000 without giving a receipt – because of his colleague. Unfortunately he had to explain Monika that the receipts have not yet arrived from the Global Receipt Printing Office of the MoAC (Ministry of Anti-Corruption). But he promised once the receipts arrive to send one immediately by DHL to Monika. This would not help Monika, because still this nasty colleague in the next office might still accuse her. Finally they found the compromise: both they discovered that nowadays the world is complicated and therefore there is no possibility to make this exchange of 5000 F CFA against a receipt.