Togo Travel Stories, Page 18

Togo Supermarket and Food Cost

Togo Supermarket and Food Cost
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 14, 2007

A big supermarket is expensive and the smaller Togo neighborhood ones are cheaper.

I took a taxi to the Palm Beach Hotel, then went to the ATM machine around the corner, went into a large Grocery I think the name is Leader Price. Well, I am trying to buy a light bulb, and they seem to all be about 500-700 CFA. I buy a lot of canned vegetables, peas, kidney beans, string beans and Haricot Blancs, etc.

I have gone to the larger stores many times, Ramco is a big chain here, however I have only seen in Lome. It has continually confused me, as I finally am learning the best food prices.

I swear, I am almost positive the bigger the store, the more I pay, just opposite of what I would anticipate. I tend still go to the bigger stores because there is a bigger selection, however for any normal staples like Laundry soap or Insect sprays, I go to the small Togo owned stores.

The same insecticide is 2000 in the big store and 1000 in the corner store here in the neighborhood.

It is hard to understand, I think there is an European cultural variance here in operation. I remember in Belgium, I could buy bread from the Turkey people for half the price of the Belgium people and the Belgium people would still pay double.

Often price is not a sales point, there is some other economic variance here that is hard for me to understand.

Togo Supermarket and Food Cost

Togo Africa Bat or Chauvesouris

Togo Africa Bat or Chauvesouris
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007

This is a big Bat, or Chauvesouris in French, I walked into a compound home today and these boys are holding this big animal.

Bat in English or Chauvesouris in French.

The wing spread on this bat makes me nervous, the man said, this is a small bat for the USA, you have bigger ones. I said,
- I never seen a bat this big in the USA. -

They have been watching too many movies or doing this everything is bigger in the USA stereotype thingy.

Animals, West Africa Animals, Togo Animals, Togo,

Togo Africa Bat or Chauvesouris

Thanks to Mom and Dad from Togo

Thanks to Mom and Dad from Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, June 15, 2007

I am the sum total of my personal history.

Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. Determinism may also be defined as the thesis that there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future.
Stop Quote

Any way I do the math, my parents contributed at least 18 years of the essential pathway to making my brain, this is the big lump of influence.

Thanks Mom and Dad, for doing good work, I am grateful.

I had this interesting dinner last night with a few influential people from Togo who speak English well, maybe a who’s who in the English Language world of Togo.

There was talk about walking down the beach in Lome, Togo, and wow, what a reaction from the group as I think I said,
- I walk down the beach. -
YOU walk down the beach! Like somehow a person should never walk down the beach in Lome, Togo.

I would say from the Ghana Border at the water or coast, to about 10 blocks inland to about the Palm Beach Hotel is my territory of muse walking wondering and wander. I would say I know this area well, however for sure I am the only white man walking around in the area, maybe though I have discovered one Swiss French person who owns a house and I am being to understand who he is and what he does is semi-amazing.

Ok, so why thank Mom and Dad? I am able to walk the world safely because of my brain is made by Mom and Dad, the tag says,
- Made in America -
- Manufactured by Mom and Dad -

DANGER - Some of my assumptions:
- Danger is cannot be avoided.
- To separate real danger from perceived danger is difficult.
- To not be robbed, mugged, and killed is a proof of people’s ability to avoid danger. -

Robbery is not one of my big problems, I am not robbed enough to be a statistical problem in my travels. I have 10 years under my belt of wondering around and no good story to tell about being robbed, two small ones, I have lost I think 60 US dollars to robbery and this was done by an Italian and Spanish man, never from a local in a country. For me, the European have robbed me more than the locals, the locals have done a poor job at robbing me, I trusted the Europeans a little more and they robbed me, this was my fallacy.

So thanks Mom and Dad, the makers of my mind, you did a good job, something in my brain works very well, I am able to make good decisions.

Thanks to Mom and Dad from Togo

Meeting my Travel Blog Readers

Meeting my Travel Journal Readers
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 14, 2007

Life is a work in progress, the rules are made up as we go.

I received a very nice email today from a reader of the noise I make on the internet, some call it a Blog, others a travelogue, I was defined by a page as a personal Blog. What you call me is not important; just do not call me late for supper.

I wrote a quick reply to say, no problem, then the mail server thingy did not work, went to make an instant coffee. While I went I rebooted my computer, which is required to make this GPRS connection here reset itself.

On the way, I remembered a couple times when people were searching for me, they was angry. I made blunt comment about the Thailand Police after the Tsunami saying I would not put money in their collection box on the corner of Khao San Road. I then received a few emails and said a,
- Whew, I am glad my photo is not on my pages. -


They were not happy, talking bad about governments, organizations, people or anyone can be dangerous. Somebody, I am never sure, however somehow connected with the box and the government wrote me a few personal emails, I do not think I posted them, however they did not like my comments.

In Thailand, I am more or less safe, because Thai people cannot read English well or easy. I am in Togo, and a country that uses French so safer than in Ghana. I said some comments that readers inferred were negative about Ghana and some reader threatened me while I was in Delhi, India.

While in Iraq, my Blog page, only the one page, the Blog page was shut off by, who knows whom…?
I cannot find, but somewhere in this mess are the clues to the page where I say something about the page being down.

I am not going to say the full name, however, Bruce something is angry, I am trying to get this volunteer organization list of who he is angry at, however in Cusco, there was a torrent off comments from a not so good Volunteer organization that was loosing money because former volunteers were posting complaints on my site, he was blaming me for what they said, and I was happy the site was stopping a one volunteer organization.

Ok… hehehe I am of the caste or tribe of Indiana, we trust people, and this is good, can be bad.

How to Meet Your Travel Journal Readers, I sometime need to stay on topic, but then again, this could be called a diary…
- The Problems to Meet Travel Journal Readers

I can think of off the top of my head six problems.

1. Anonymous Readers
2. Person wrote the first time
3. Ambushes by Governments or Journalist
4. Clever people that hate me.
5. I have no protection of the law.
6. I do not want my photo taken.

This is fun, I am going to write the person and say yes, and however, I am aware I need a self-enforced policy. Regular readers are easy, I get to know people, like Ash, Chris, Eric and I can feel them when they post comments.

The internet is an anonymous baby, a real annoying toy, that can slap you or me side the head and it can hurt, sometimes be dangerous. I do not like hate mail, and I do not like provoking comments, I learned the other day there is a name for these provoking comments on the Blog.
Interesting name, and made me laugh…

All is good fun, and then all is not good fun sometimes.

I have made numerous comments about the Peace Corps, I generally believe the Peace Corps is a good thing, however sometimes they do embarrass me, I am from the same country, and I do see them as working as Ambassadors, we all represent our tribe, there is no escape. I found a nasty comment about my Blog, however bad comments make better promotion than good.

I travel for fun, I do not travel to be well known, and I write a travel Blog to make money so I can travel. If I wanted to be famous, I would put my photo on pages and introduce myself to big hotels and try promoting me.

It feels good to have someone read your writing, I enjoy it when a girl flirts with me, I do enjoy it when a reader says they love my writing. Therefore, flattery sometimes opens a door, and then I soon wish it were closed.

I am not in Kansas; I travel in countries that often have limited or no freedom of speech. This is real life, not a game, I sometimes like it when nobody read my writings, and life was simpler. In the Country of Colombia the Narco-Trafficers target journalist, I am not a journalist, however forget I said that, I am person who talks, the world does not want people to talk, and for sure they do not want you to tell their secrets or lies to the world.

Ok, life is a work in progress, while I was typing this post; I went to my fancy new Help Center on and started a policy in the About Andy section… How to meet Andy of in person:

I love the internet, I can connect all the dots of my life and remember what I said, I am continually trying to find a way to post all my thoughts… this is easy, I want to post all my thoughts, then find and retrieve quickly, I need to post quickly and I need to search and find quickly. This is easier done with a computer, I think often of the amazing James Michener doing this without a computer.

Meeting my Travel Journal Readers

Peace Corps Invades Togo

Peace Corps Invades Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

We come in Peace…

There are many Peace Corps Volunteers in Togo, West Africa, there is very large office within maybe 5 block of my hotel room.

There is an invasion of new American Peace Corps people, hmmm, are they volunteers, they are paid small and room and board. Nonetheless, Lome, Togo has an invasion of new Peace Corp Volunteers, I needed to move rooms to help the hotel accommodate some of them, they are walking around like fresh meat ready for the lions, and they are sure young.

I do not know why we, I mean the USA purchases Toyota Land Cruisers and not American made vehicles. I will be nice, however, I am being more cautious as they are driving around in my neighborhood, I have a real fear of being ran over by a big White Car in Africa.

I am waiting for the Signs of Peace.

I have been giving them a big American,
- Hello -
- Whaz Up? -

It would be interesting to learn how these young men and women have been trained. I think it is possible they have been trained to not say hello back, there is a very high ignore me ratio. Then again, I do suppose young people would ignore an older man in the USA also, I just do no remember.

Ambassadors of the USA in action, hehehe, what fun.

Hope the lions do not eat them.
I think of the sign of peace, is to shake hands in USA culture.

Peace Corps Invades Togo

Moonshine Travel Cooking

Moonshine Travel Cooking
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 10, 2007

I need cooking fuel, I need alcohol.

The pharmacies here in Togo are selling 95 percent alcohol for 4 US Dollars per liter or about 2000 CFA. I am annoyed, and in a way, it is difficult to buy, then I came up with the idea, this local Moonshine called Sodabi could work, and it does not good, but it works. I can cook with Moonshine with my alcohol cooking setup, and Sodabi is easy to buy. There are problems with this drink, I think the alcohol burns off the top and I need to discard the remaining, and my room smells like moonshine.

Quatre Heure is the name of this drink, a reference to a man.
That brown bottle full cost 150 CFA or about 25 Cent US.

Belindas Place Convenience Store
Foods, Drinks, Water, Biscuit, Sodabi
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
06 degrees 07.098 North
001 degrees 12.552 East
21 Meters of altitude above sea level
(Note this is not the true name, I just call it Belinda’s place because she does all the work in this store.)

Lint to Photos I took of a distilling process of Alcohol here in Koti, Togo, West Africa and related links about alcohol.

This is a bottle of Sodabi in a French restaurant, the cost is 500 CFA for a shot, I think smaller than the Togo size shot.

Explanation of what is Moonshine or Home Made liquor, there is also a lot of information about Nigeria Moonshine.

In Nigeria, home based brewing is illegal. Moonshine is variously called 'ogogoro', 'kainkain', 'abua first eleven', 'agbagba', 'akpeteshi', 'aka mere', 'push me, I push you', 'crazy man in the bottle', or 'Sapele water' depending on locality.
Stop Quote

Drinks, Togo Food, Alcohol Still, Alcohol, Togo, Gear

Moonshine Travel Cooking

Teach Me Bad French Please

Teach Me Bad French Please
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I am close to fluent in the Spanish Language; however, same as my English, I learned many bad habits. I studied Spanish for three semesters in University.

Maybe 15 years later I go to Mexico and start to learn Spanish again, and while I was there, I learned to say
- Mandi -

Como is correct.

If you go to Acapulco, live in a beach 8 miles north of there called Pie de La Cuesta, all the people on the beach when they do not understand will say,
- Mandi -
- Como -
What? What do you mean?

Now, I go to Spain and when I am there, and I rrrrr my R and the people in Spain point at me and laugh.
- Mexico. -

I have a Mexican accent, and as far as I know, the only country that does this rrrr thing is Mexico, and my teacher was insistent I learn. Three semesters in University and I thought was never told the whole world dos not do this rrrrrr thing.

When I teach people English, I try to teach them the bad English, for sure I teach the word Supper, they will say Dinner, then one day get to Indiana and be confused when someone says come over for the
- Last Supper. -

Making a joke, but the point is, supper is a word, maybe not sophisticated, formal, or all that elite crap, however a proper person needs to know the difference.

I want to learn bad French now, somehow or someone soon needs to teach me the bad French, so I stop. I need to stop today using some phrases I hear every day of the week from the Togo people. I am sure some are not proper French; it is not that I do not want to use them, I want to make the choice and know the difference, this is good French and this is not proper French, I do not want to learn bad habits.

It took me years to stop saying Mandi in Spanish and the truth is, when I am really rushed, not thinking, it will return, it is a habit. Habits learned are difficult to stop, I speak English the way I learned English, I will forever feel the English I speak is proper and sounds right, even when I learn 100 percent correct English, sometime is just does not feel correct.

I do not want to learn France French, I want to learn global French, I want to travel, and I do not want to live in France.

Example: Here in Togo before noon, they say Bonjour, after noon they say Bonsoir, the other day a French man walks up and says, Bonjour at about five in the afternoon to me, I am told this because it was the first time he met me. He does not speak Togo French; maybe he does not know the differences and never listened or talked with Togo people even though he lives here.

How good is my Spanish, I am not sure, but I am sure it global, I can say popcorn eight different ways.

Palamitas in Mexico
Poporopo in Guatemala
Popcorn in Panama and Peru
Pochoclos in Argentina.
Canguil in Ecuador
Pipoca in Venezueala
Crespitas in Colombia
Maiz de pira

Why, because they do not use the Spanish word normally, they use the local native language before Spanish, however how would I know that… I will forever uses Palamitas as I learned in Mexico.

Teach Me Bad French Please

How to Avoid Being the Ugly American

How to Avoid Being the Ugly American
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I was surfing around and stumbled upon some over-zealous pages trying to explain about something silly, and not a problem unless you make it a problem.

How to avoid being the Ugly American?

I was laughing to myself, this is really easy,
- Do not talk to Europeans or Americans and you will be loved. -

Can you imagine telling a French guy to stop acting French.
Can you imagine telling an African person to not act African.

This just is not politically correct, I doubt you would do it, it is bad manners.
Why would you allow someone to insult you.

What everyone wants is you, an American to stop acting American, and act European or whatever country they are from, come on, this is a silly suggestion.

Be a good fief, obey, they know they must obey, and they want to say no, this is all about power, not about this silly story of being Ugly, most Asian think all white people are American, and we do look the same to them.

I never apologize for being American, the greatest way to ask for huge problems is to act weak in a world full of abusive cultures. Then again, I do not sit around a listen to people insult my country, just is not a good mannered person, and to be avoided.

How to Avoid Being the Ugly American