Togo Travel Stories, Page 25

Come To Togo Ghana Benin for Free

Come To Togo Ghana Benin for Free
Lome Togo, West Africa
Thursday, May 17, 2007

I could give a person the money for a one-way ticket to Ghana, Togo, Benin, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, or Cameroon.

A plane ticket from Chicago to Accra, Ghana is about 550 US dollars one way. The cost to ship a package from the USA to Lome, Togo with DHL is…


I asked a man from France, the owner of a Hotel here in Togo, how difficult to receive a package from the USA. He says, the problem is customs,
he said,

- I had one small pack of CD Room shipped, the lady said, 5000 CFA, then I said, how do you figure this, and she scratch the paper, and then said 13,000 CFA.. I gave the money. -

Something to do with value, 13,000 CFA is about 25 US Dollars. Say the price of the CD Rom was 50 US, then I ship 400, that is 8 time 13,000 of about 200 US for custom.

382.04 for Shipping
200.00 for Customs

582.04 Enough to pay a person to come to Lome one-way.

448.50 is the value of what is in the bag, and insure only does 250.

The problem here is not the money; the problem is the scratch, the unknown amount of money to pay. A bribe, funky, no law, no rules life is difficult, how much before I desert the box at DHL, and say too much. How much is this worth to me? Any way I do it, they say I have to go to the Airport to Customs in Togo to pay.

The value of the package is 400, this is reaching for 1000 US, I can fly to Europe and fly back, maybe for 400? Oversimplified, I need to sleep, room, etc, buy, wait and it is Europe, and I may want to talk French French.

I am in Lome, Togo, I think it may behoove me to have the package sent to Gabon, Cameroon or Equatorial Guinea where I will need the package. There is one thing I do not do though in this process, I do not force the play, and I will allow my sense of instinct to guide me. When the time is right, the correct decision will appear.

Ever wonder why these countries have no money, there is no way for the person in the country to buy or sell, the country is held hostage by the import - export on a made-to-help-them scale of payments. On the other hand, I doubt they pay any person tax.

Now, it comes down this, in the not so straight countries, do we know a friend of a friend, which works in customs in Togo?

The idea of a courier is to bring in a package and get it through customs with the least amount of hassle. I need to think… I keep thinking I will see a Peace Corps and ask, I have not seen one person from Peace Corps for a month.

This is crazy, a person can fly a body, a live person and easier than shipping a package, this is the world, this is not the USA.

Shipping, DHL Shipping, Export Import, Togo Economics, Togo,

Come To Togo Ghana Benin for Free

Low Cost Carriers LCC Search Tool

Low Cost Carriers
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 16, 2007

LCC - Cheapest Tickets on the Internet, maybe I have a search tool.

Low Cost Carriers or the LCC are a windfall for me and the world of travelers, or a curse if used wrong.

A LCC is a cheap airplane fare, not sold by a travel Agent, normally only sold on the internet, and purchased online using a Credit Card or Debit Card to pay, then you are issued an E-ticket.

The Tickets sold by Travel Agent are more expensive, however can sell combination and other constructed tickets easier. Plus you get advice on Visas, etc, and told many fun lies.

What would be nice is to search for LCC Low Cost Carriers from one city to another. I do not know how, presently go to this page of Wiki and find the country, and then spend a lot of time clicking.

Maybe this works, not sure yet, this needs a Beta Check by the Hobos.

Some person Rudy, profile on now shown, posted and off topic comment, then did not make a functional link, so I refused. However, the idea is novel and if it is true, is a great idea.

Search for a LCC from one city, then find where they fly?

I think it works, just did Bangkok, and all seem a go, a great tool. Craig of in Bangkok now, could figure out how to escape Bangkok cheaper.

Africa is dominated by expensive carriers, and seems to have a lock on the idea of making Air Tickets expensive; however, Europe and Asia are perfect places for LCC Flights.

WARNING: Check the weight, I purchased a ticket with for 4 pounds in the UK, and ended up paying 120 pound because of all the extra weight and other problems. Also, include the cost of getting to the LCC airport, the cost of a train from central London to Stansted was 15 pound.

The LCC will get you on the weight of your bags.

The link to the left should explain how to make a link function or clickable.

Low Cost Carriers, Airplane, Airfares, LCC, Togo,

Low Cost Carriers

Should Hobo Experts Answer Questions

Should Hobo Experts Answer Questions
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 16, 2007 site has developed a way for experts to answer questions easily, just by responding to emails. Each email answer is posted or filed in a way readers can find, therefore another reader does not need to sift through piles of comments to find their answers. There is a logical filing system or the hope of one.

A Forum can be great; however, for a person like me who is using the Internet and is paying in an internet café a forum is not good. I need to know today, not tomorrow, or at least soon, and the hope of help.

An example,
- How do I get a Visa to Cameroon? -

A good place to find the personal answer is the Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum.

I can find the answer to this question, how to get a Visa to Cameroon in this forum, and if I pushed, I would know the answer to this question after say about two weeks, for the Congo, maybe never. If for France, Peru, or common country, where I do not need an answer, today. A form is random and impossible to find answer, and amazingly they delete old and very good answers because of age of the post, more of a social network than a way to find good answers.

I have questions, which only an expert can see or understand all the implications and give a broad open answer with options.

Here is an example, I have asked many travelers, how to do I fly from Europe to West Africa, this is an expensive path to travel.

I asked a Peace Corps person how to fly from Europe to Togo and she said,
- Air France. -

She said something like, I flew with American Airlines to Paris and then with Air France to Lome, Togo.

I think… to myself, Oops, I asked the wrong person, then she goes on to explain how easy it was to buy the ticket, all the travel agents sell them and how many flights per day or something. Then she tells me Air Franc is the Airlines the Peace Corps uses to fly to Africa.

I think to myself,
-- There goes my tax dollars! ---
I say nothing; I wanted to end the conversation.

A better answer would have been Air Moroc, and one-third the cost or something.

If she would have said,
Afriqiyah Airways

I would start to think, she knows a lot, if she gave me some real weird option like take a charter flight to Agadez, Niger, then go by Togo Embassy bus from Niamey to Lome, I would say, voila, an expert on Flights in Africa.

When I ask what the best way to fly is, I mean and imply, what is the cheapest, not what is easy and expensive. I am always amazed a person will recommend a flight that cost more than 1000 US or one that cost 3000. I semi-think anyone who pays more than about 1500 Dollars round-trip for a ticket anywhere on the planet is somebody I have a bridge to sell too.

I can find some experts with no agendas, who love to help, and they can earn money with the ads that surround the post. The contextual advertisements will give them some small cash, and eventually big cash. The person can help to drive traffic to their only pages and we weave two sites together, or many site together. This would allow me lend my skill of making good SEO pages for the search engine, and allow the person to be an expert, and not think about how to make pages.

The task here for me, is to find experts who will not lie to make money, that do not have a money agenda that overwhelms them to give bad advice in the hope of money.

I think I have the technology and now I need to find the people, I am asking for opinions and ideas here, if you want to write to me personally, write the help center.

This is also the area of the site where I could put Experts to answer the questions.

I need these experts, I need expert advice, an expert is an expert on one area of focus, not the whole planet of questions.

Should Hobo Experts Answer Questions

0 or 1 People

0 or 1 People
Atakpame, Togo West Africa

I keep trying to emphasize or think of the people who are yes or no, black or white. I am calling them the 0 or 1 people.

The Zero or Ones.

They are incapable of seeing a person is both good and bad, a culture is advanced and primitive.

Zero or One people, off or on.

0 or 1 People

African AIDS and Corruption

African AIDS and Corruption
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I ask a girl two weeks ago,
- How many people die from AIDS. -
- Many. -

I say tell me the name of one person.
Two week later and she still cannot tell me one name.

I said,
- How many people are killed by the government? -
- Many -
I say,
- Tell me the name of one specific person. -
She thinks and then about one half hour later says,
- I know, but why do you want to know? -

I said,
- You know one name. -
She says,
- Two. -

I say,
- Ok, I understand, do not tell me. -

African AIDS and Corruption

Africa Iron Age

Africa Iron Age
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I am interested in how cultures develop or do not develop, I want to know who I am or was.

QUOTE form Encyclopedia Encarta:

- Iron Age, period in the development of any culture, when iron was commonly used for making tools and weapons. As one of the three ages (See also Bronze Age; Stone Age) into which archaeologists divide human prehistory, it generally follows the Bronze Age. Chronologically, the term is only of local value because iron took the place of bronze at different times in different cultures. -

- Making tools -

This is a common site in Togo, easy to find, they are making tools by the forging of steel, I think technically steel and iron are different, but they are making tools.

Does this mean there is part of the culture that is somehow still in the Iron Age?

I receive an email from a person saying is New York or Paris, London primitive under the consumer items. This is interesting how the world denies we are an animal first, and then something civilized second.

I would guesstimate the animal part of humans controls about 90 percent the day of the average person in New York, Paris or London, and the separations between Togo and these cities is not as vast as you believe.

Animals get hungry, and then they eat, try to stop this desire.

I would say reactions are animal, pro-active and planning are not, try to get a reaction from the worker next to you, I bet it is easy.

Africa Iron Age

Togo Closer to Perfect

Togo Closer to Perfect
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I sometimes feel like a Preacher, I debate whether I capitalize the word Preacher or is preacher correct.

I have two Togo friends, Michel a man from Ghana and a girl in Atakpame, Togo. I feel semi-weak, maybe sad; they both have expressed the same sentiments to me. They say,
- Andre, I do not want you to leave, I trust you. -
Then continue and say,
- I like this. -

I have this lead us not into temptation speech I use and it hits a homer here in Togo as at the base, most people feel a deep need for religion. This mean in their ideal world, or if they had a perfect world they would be closer to God. They want one person to be honest with them.

I am no saint and have no desire for the job; however, I truly do work hard to avoid feeling guilty. I feel that guilt is hell, and if there is a hell, it the facing a person after you have sinned at them. Done something unfair, unjust or hurt them in a willful manner. I had this conversation about lies, and said, hmm… Please do not lie, it make me lose confidence in you.

I will work harder to avoid guilt than I will to be good.

On most of the planet a small white lie or real good lie is given in every sentence, and very annoying. I told my friend, please do not do give me petty and silly lies, please think a little, and when you are tempted to feed me some bullshit lie, just do nothing. Do not accept the temptation to lie, say no, and it is easy, just do nothing.

There is this cultural need here to feel everyone deserves an answer. The problem is the answers are about 90 percent not worth listening too. If I ask a person here a question, and I do not see an instant look in their eyes of understanding, I move on down the line, otherwise I will be there ten minutes later listening to totally ridiculous comments, then soon there will be three, then five people, next thing I know, I am in a soap opera and I am the lead actor.

I rely totally on my bullshit meter, a surgically inserted meter, in my heart and soul that says to me,
- True -
- Not True -
- 80 - whatever true? - Maybe

I am amiss why people do not trust their feelings, they seem more reliable than brains. A brain is full of convoluted waves of abstract ideas, and it takes a long time to find the calm waters. With my feelings, I can just sense, this feels good or bad, if I am not sure, and then the answer is, it is bad. Yes, I do lose or miss some opportunities in life by these instant decisions, however the good people continue and the bad people avoid me as a bad person really is looking for bad, and good are looking for good. It is a natural preclusion of culture, we find people that are like us, and we do become the same as the friends we keep.

Closer to perfection, the amusing aspect here is a very bad and sinister type person from the USA, could be of higher moral turpitude than a normal base level person of Togo. There seems to be a belief in the USA that perfection is possible and a good goal.

Europe has this we will fail attitude, they believe all marriages fail, and people in the Middle East need dictators to keep them in line. There is no trust in good, that a good idea can take hold. The cultures of the planet are somewhere on a continuum between evil and good.

I truly believe some cultures are more evil than others are, or more good than others are. Togo is a good culture, very little true problems, they just are overwhelmed with the small lies and the big type of sins they rather avoid, however there is not many needs here, they have few wants or desires, they have what they need.

The best way though to lose friends on the planet is to encourage them to behave and stop being bad. The best way to get a friend that will never leave you, is to be closer to perfect, amazing how one small white lie can destroy trust.

I guess there is a bargain, if I tell you the truth, will you continue to like me. I personally make this bargain, you need to like the brutal truth, or you cannot be my friend. I do not have a shortage of friends, even my enemies trust me too much now, and it has not always been this way.

Nothing worst than having an honest person talking about you, everyone will believe them.

I remember a women saying to me, a long time ago, to a group of people getting on the elevator. One, said, I never ask Andy’s opinion, why would I do that, he would tell me the truth, I want to hear what I want to hear, not the truth.

Not lying is so easy, just do not talk.

Note for travel safety, if you are in a place where it is dangerous, the social group, the neighborhood, the band, the community will protect you if they believe you are good person. If you are bad, they will allow what happens to happen, they have to believe you lend good to the culture, not bad, and strange at it may seem, bad people respect good people more than they respect themselves.

What is good advice, Togo, Honesty, Truth, Lies

Togo Closer to Perfect

Voiture de Afrique

Voiture de Afrique
African Car or Transportation

Africa transportation is difficult, however this is not the true problem, the problem is how to ask in French for what you want. If I say Voiture, this means about anything with four or more wheels.
I found out, the better way, may be to ask for the number or seats.

5 place
Small Car

9 place
Station Wagon

15 place
Van and miserable trip

30 et plus
A larger bus or a normal bus, hard to find in Togo,

I am going to leave Atakpame, Togo soon, I need to maybe take a Motorcycle Taxi to the Fwee (I do not know French for this.) or the Police Checkpoint as you leave any city, and this one leading to Notse or Lome and then turn back towards the city, and go to the first gang of cars waiting to leave the city.

Then find or ask for a 5 place car that is almost full, I never enter a car until it is full, or they believe they have a reservation on you..

A friend said to me, you need to go in the morning, I say, what time si the morning to you. She says,
5 to 5:30 and by 6:00 am it is getting late.

The Western world is doomed to take bad trips, this is three to five hours before the normal backpacker leaves a city.

I am not sure what time this is, but I am sure if I knew the sunrise time here, and I left about 10 minutes before sunrise, I would do well to get the early bird rides. My new strategy is to take the cars between major distance or over about 35 kilometers, then under 35 kilometers I will use a Moto or Motorcycle taxi. I am not going to the Gares and I have written off the using of vans or paying in advance.

I will go to the edge of the city, very early, like I was hitchhiking to the next city.

Tranportation, Togo Transportation, West Africa Transportation, Togo,

Voiture de Afrique