Sunshine Abroad

The trials and rewards of French translation and beyond

Ebola? No problem. Go to Madagascar.

You know those games where you're a supervirus? And you try to wipe out the human race? There's one for the computer called "Pandemic 2," and you can customize your symptoms, transmission, everything. It's fun.

But you only win if you actually kill every single last human. And there's usually one problem: Madagascar. It's an island, and they're smart there. If you don't start there, you'll never get in.

It makes for good party conversation.

As it turns out, however, life might be imitating art here, too.

At the end of August, there was a Russian cargo ship that was trying to dock in Tamatave (Toamasina), Madagascar's major port on the eastern coast of the island. Problem was, the ship had made a stop in Liberia just before that. Read: EBOLA SCARE. So the Malagasy officials didn't let them dock. The ship sat there, just off-shore, until the proper quarantine period had passed. So Madagascar might actually be the safest place in the world if a global pandemic breaks out, even in real life.

If you can get in.