Two Economies of West Africa

Two Economies of West Africa
Cotonou Benin West Africa
Thursday, September 14, 2006

100 Franc, which is the going price of many items I purchase in West Africa or Benin. This is 20 Cents U.S.

I can go on a motorcycle taxi for 100 Franc, buy two bags of peanuts, four bags of cold water, a bag of cookies, and a big bread baguette with butter on it.

I think Fran, because I never hear a C on the end of Franc, maybe I do not know how to correctly pronounce in French.

I can go into a Lebanese restaurant hard to find one owned by an Africa person…

There is the difference, there are Africa street restaurants, and however the quality of food, the appearance, the whole demeanor is confusing. There is a street restaurant outside the sitting area here of the Hotel Crillon, they serve what I think is rice and maybe goat or mutton, hard to say, I do not speak French well enough to inquire well.

A girl could travel so much better in Africa than a man. All the workers in the Hotel are men; they thrive on power, to ask a question is to ask to be treated with disrespect. The minute I start to talk, treat them as a friend, they go from respect to disrespect. A female here would I believe be catered too, answered, helped in many ways. The women will help me, however the Hotel, primary place of safer information is ran by men. Women do the work of the country however.

A street restaurant I will find out, but I suspect I can get a locals plate or meal for about 200 Francs. The price for the exclusive McDonalds type Steer Place across the way from here is minimal 2700 or about 6-7 US Dollars.

The normal person takes a Moto or Zim here, a small motorcycle, for 100-200 Fran, easy, quick and incredibly efficient. The rich own a Mercedes or SUV, sometimes a normal small car. The separation is vast between these two classes.

The art of traveling in Africa cheap is to first know, there are two classes of travel. By default, a white man is first class, gouge the traveler class.

The more I accept this, the more I remember, never let down my guard, there is always another angle of how they can gouge you, and then I can travel here cheap. I unfortunately earn more money than the average backpacker now, the need to go super cheap is not with me anymore. I on the other hand would get very angry if I was on my five dollars a day, super budget price of many years of my travel. I think that absolute cheapest a person can travel in West Africa is for 10 U.S. Dollars per day, I think it possible, on a slow, walk around to many hotels or take a moto, cheap, and find the cheap hotel. They are not in the guidebooks.

The resistance to finding local type living quarters would be extreme, as nobody would believe you would accept backpacker standards worldwide when the locals are snobs. The locals do not travel, and if they do, I think they believe they must pay a lot to be ok. Same as in the USA, a person can find a great room in the USA for around 24 US dollars if they scrounge around for a Motel, however the person are convinced 80 is the going price, and minimal is 45, too lazy to save big money.

100-1000 Franc
200-2000 Franc or CFA.

I am going to remember, when the price is a mille or over 200, I am entering exclusive fare pricing. When I go into the Lebanese Super Marche, the big great, grocery stores in the larger cities. The normal local is not in there, they are maybe at the normal open-air markets. I can buy for about two dollars good food for the day; I can then cooking my room.

Rice, Eggs, Bread, and a can of Vegetable, pick up an orange in the street for 100 Francs.

Two Economies of West Africa


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