Togo Travel Stories, Page 30

Togo Body Talk

Togo Body Talk
Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 2, 2007

My body talks, I think the language of body talk here in Togo iis about a 90-10 ratio. What I say with words has about a 10 percent value and what I say with my body has a 90 percent. When the Togo people talk to me, they talk with their bodies.

I think the USA is about a 60-40 ratio, 60 percent with body and 40 percent with words, and words can totally over ride the body language. I trust body talk more than words. Here in Togo, words cannot override body language easily, unless accompanied by a lot of jumping and waving or body language.

When I walk by a Togo or West Africa person I say to them.
- I am Yeebow of White Man.

They holler at me.
- IF I turn my head

The are in control, if I do not turn my head, I am in control, If when they call, I listen and go over, they are in control.

I am spending a lot of time in negotiations, fun and hilarious to me, but intriguing as can be also, how to learn to talk 100 percent with my body language, and to remember not to use words.

I love to play, and this is play, I can tease, joke, flirt and control with my body language, or allow control. I like to allow a tour guide to control, it just makes sense. I do not allow a Taxi driver to control my life or destiny.

I normally try to listen to the Hotel staff more than others, and I put the guidebooks at the very top of my list of who I listen too. But that is not body talk.

Hmm, maybe I listen to me, the big I, myself first.

Body talk is fun, but I have to remember and remind myself to talk with my body, my eyes, and say what I want to say. I also have to remember these are big men, I try to remember to not tell to many bif one to go and F 93 k themselves with body language.

I also have to be careful with women, they follow me to the room, as I was not putting as much value on body talk as them.

I remember now, what I said… to the girl in the market with my body and actions, it was very clear, she saw my eyes.

Body Talk, Languages, Culture, Culture West Africa, Togo,

Togo Body Talk

Togo Hairpin Turns of Life

Togo Hairpin Turns of Life
Badou Togo, West Africa
Thursday, May 3, 2007

My motorcycle accident a week ago has my observations and analysis or transportation very strict. I am trying to weigh the pros and cons, then the risk of the various types of transportation in Africa.

I travel on the hairpin turns of life and over the edge I go but for the Grace of God.

I will never forget my friend Khalid, in Mosul, Iraq, we sat down to eat dinner and there were no forks, spoons or knives. I may be wrong on this, however not really the point of the story. Then while we were passing food around, and somewhat every persons plate was included in the food buffet I thought.

- You just put your hand on my plate and ate my food. -

They would reach here and there, grabbing food as they wished a very close and intimate eating custom, complete sharing of food and of germs, bacteria, virus, and sickness etc.

I asked Khalid,
- Are you afraid of getting sick,
He held up both hands and reached for God, the Heavens and said,
- Allah be with us. -

This is all a faded memory now, I am sure the words, and the exact story has change in my mind, however the engraved vision of the smile on Khalid’s face and the reach for the heavens will never be forgotten.

Grace is when a guilty person, deserving of punishment is absolved of all guilt, and granted mercy, they never have to pay for the bad they did, they are forgiven unconditionally.

To be forgiven unconditionally is maybe only accomplished by a mothers and fathers love. In my drinking, I hurt some of the loved ones in my life, and they have never forgiven me completely, except my mother and father. All my other friends are in waiting, they are waiting for me to hurt them again, to embarrass and cause them to look bad. This is the punishment I must accept for the rest of my life from these friends, the look in their eyes of that tells me, they do not trust me. Alcoholism kills, it is a slow suicide, and a fast one would be better. Nevertheless, the look in their eyes is the payment I must make for their trust, as it slow fades with time to understanding.

And there but for the Grace of God, I go…
Death is always a hairpin turn away.

Ok, Adventure Travel defined by me is when there exists the possibility of dying. I do not think of my life as an adventure, I think of my life as a life less normal, however maybe some days it is an adventure.

I was on Motorcycle driving down a dirt road trying to go and see Hippos in Nangbeto, the driver is tracking a rut, he is going faster, increasing speed, and the rut is growing deeper. As the speed increases, I know the danger increases. I finally said,
- Dousmahl -

I cannot find the word in the French dictionary, but it is pronounced DoosSmah, which abstractly in my mind means go slow and be careful, I do not know for sure what it means. However, I do know if we lay the motorcycle down and my head hits a rock at 40 miles per hour, I will or can be killed.

I remember walking in Pie de La Cuesta, Mexico along the road, a big water truck goes by so fast and so very close, I can feel it wind friction, if I stepped five inches to the right, I would be dead.

I am in the back of a small van, carrying 15 adults and 3 babies yesterday, I am in the rear seat holding 4 people. I have my backpack on my lap so the driver has no ability to throw it, inside is the computer, drives of taxis, buses, and the worst airplanes throw bags, they drop bags.

The van that broke down, talking and looking, sort of normal here. Think my life is dangerous, think of that man with his head under the rear end of the van.

I have the comfort of knowing, I have a big bag, and 14 human bodies between me and a head on collision with a large truck.

Drivers dodge potholes, the are looking at the road. When they do a swerve to miss the pothole, is a person standing in their path?

As I am sitting in the seat, I feel the shift, the sudden sliding action from left to right of the rear end of the van. I am looking and feeling around, is the side of the van coming open. As if the door was open, however there is not door on my side. It does a small wiggle, and I can feel it, soon there is a scrape of the wheels as the tires are rubbing the fender and I can smell burned rubber.

This was a trip of smells, can a person describe smells?

Body odor of 18 people who carry water to shower, this man was a good guy, but just does not understand armpits should not be pointed at people. I would see this as one of them universal understanding in life, my armpit has the possibility of stinking.

The smell of mother’s milk and the baby claws and rips at the breast of this young woman in front of me, which has to hurt.

Red dirt dust.
Cooking fires along side the road

Now, this unusual smell, burned rubber.

I know, and I keep remembering reading in the guidebook,
- Hairpin Turns. -

There is supposed to be Hairpin Turns on this road, these two words forced my poker hand, I chose the Van and not the Motorcycle Taxi because of these two words.

I do not trust the maps, the road to Nangbeto looked like a major highway on my map, it was half gravel and half paved. The road from Kpalime to Notse for sure looked like a paved road and it was 100 gravel.

I never know where I am going or what I am doing, I never have more than a preponderance of evidence, there are zero guarantees, and I travel with the faith. I know if I move, I will arrive.

I only complain when we do not move, stopping is the problem, moving is the solution, how fast is just a preference.

I remember being in the back of a large bus in Venezuela, I was traveling between Maracay and the ocean, one of the prettiest road on the planet and a great beach at the end with almost no people, very lonely. The bus would go plowing into a curve, then stop, back up, do a three point repositioning of the van, these were hairpin turns, and the bus came to a complete stop. Maybe that is my definition of a hairpin curve.

I was in the back my head out the window, vomit streaking down the side of the bus and everyone laughing at the Gringo.

On hindsight, there was no as I define them hairpin turns on the road between Atakpame and Badou, the road was at least 25 miles per hour all the time, slowing to avoid some potholes.

This was not even close to the road between La Paz, Bolivia and Corocoro considered one of the most dangerous roads on the planet. Bike riders like to go down this hill and as they go around dirt road, with only room for one car they go flying off the edge into Bolivia or is that oblivion maybe Boblivion.

My mind is comparing, analyzing, all my past travel experiences, this has remove my bliss, I am not ignorant, I am premeditated, fully aware, cognizant, I know the danger and I still go, I must be crazy.

I would say about 99 out of 100 people are not even aware of a dangerous situation until many year later, well after the trip was over.

I have had two TRAVELER friends, casual friends, two people, one in Mexico and one in Bolivia, human bodies I met along the way die in car accidents while traveling. I have had one friend be stabbed to death in the Philippines.

Three people I know have died while traveling, two thirds by car accidents, I am aware, I am overwhelming good at math and statistics, I can feel the probabilities, I can see the risk, and yet I go, my bliss has been surgically emotionally removed.

Ignorance is Bliss should be the defining aspect of a tourist and traveler. It is annoying to read information about a country like Togo, Bolivia, Cambodia, and Mexico that is all love-the-place, it was so beautiful; it was a HUGE CLICHÉ… I want to puke, I know I do not trust them, these writers are dangerous.

Full Stop

West Africa I would say is about 10 times safer than South America, Asia, etc. It is just my muse today.

The reason is this; there are no cars, and very few people. I was trying to count the number of cars we passed between Atakpame and Badou, there was probably in the 3 hours on the road, less than 10 cars and about 25 motorcycles.

I know a head on collision is dangerous, two vehicles going 40 miles per hour hitting is about the same as hitting a wall at 80 miles per hour. Sitting in the front seat is more dangerous than the back of the van with 14 bodies and a backpack on my lap…

Hairpin turns…

Falling down the side of mountain, on breathtaking road, weaving hairpin turns and shear cliffs is, well, but for the Grace of God, I would be dead. The back of the van is loose, the tires are rubbing, I can smell burned rubber, I know there is a time limit, the tire has about X amount of rubber and I remember the right front one was bald. I am know we are on borrowed time, every curve, I can feel the pressure on the right tire increase, the sound of about 16 gauge steel as it scrapes off another layer of rubber, the smell, everyone in the van is in bliss.

Yes, the driver stops, Thank you, we waited until we was at the top of the mountain, and we had been climbing for about 16 Kilometers.

This is Odette, she is a Coiffure, I think that gives her real and some imagined higher class status in Togo, She sits away from the common group, under a tree, I am with the locals. Status and class is important and I think hair dressers have a higher class rank. She ws dropped off to her parents on the path, a village of 5 houses, and she went upward mobile. Did you leave home and never look back, and see her family and village as WHAT?

I am safe, I get out behind the other 17 bodies, they unpack and we breathe. I am unharmed, life is good, and Odette, the Coiffure girls is still ignoring me, as is Africa Style.

This is the metal piece that broke under the van, this is rather like a U-Bolt that holds the leave springs on the axel. More or less the right axe of wheel was becoming detached at the axel because part of the spring was not attached. The vehicle could go around a curve and the back of the van would slide off over the cliff.

My mind can stop calculating the risk; I do not have to think about mutiny or sitting along the road waiting for another van. I regularly get out of vehicles and say, enough is an enough, this is just too stupid. Other tourist and travelers do not enjoy me leaving a van; they feel safer when everyone is together. When one person jumps ship, or mutinies, they have to stop being ignorant, they have to go from, the oh-I-am-safe mode to maybe-this-driver-is-stupid mode, to there is one person leaving, he has decided the driver-is-stupid.
This is the metal piece that broke under the van, this is rather like a U-Bolt that holds the leave springs on the axel. More or less the right axe of wheel was becoming detached at the axel because part of the spring was not attached. The vehicle could go around a curve and the back of the van would slide off over the cliff.

West African drivers have No Huevos in comparison to Mexico. West African drivers are amazingly slow. I see stretches of road and there are no speed bumps. I am thinking, what is wrong here, this is not normal, this is a go as fast as possible stretch of road, a third worlds dream road. The fast as possible driving does not happen here, West African cars are twice to three times safer than in Asia or South America. However, you have to remember, there is nobody on the roads, it is empty, and the probability of a head on collision, the most dangerous accident in my mind, in my calculations is close very low.

10 cars in 3 hours on the road between Atakpame and Badou.

This is a second breast-feeder mom, her child is a real tugger, this girl sat in front of me after the second van picked us up. She continually was peeking back to look at me, she spoke no French. I was having fun talking to here with body talk, she would look, I would look, and we would play, good fun.

This is the life, living in the back of a van full of 21 people, 18 adults and 3 children, this is the van that picked us up. I am 100 percent sure this passes all USA regulation for safety, weight, shipping, and transport of breast feeding mothers according to United Nations standards… NOT!

The whole world want to solve AID or SIDA, and they are not sharp enough to see the real killers on the planet. I have never hear of UN saying, car safety, bus safety, etc, maybe, but not here in Togo.

I have questions.
- Is a driver more prepared and safer who leaves in the cool of the morning at 5 to 6:00 am, smarter, and better than a driver, that leaves at 9:00 am.

- I was not happy at the Gare; the person I chose to drive was changed out by another driver.

- If I wait at the road leaving the city, and not the Gare or Station are the car drivers smarter and safer.

- Are cars loaded in the station more dangerous than a car loaded as it goes?

- Will a normal nice person with a car pick me up? I am thinking hitchhiking is safer than going to the bus stops.

- The smaller the car, the less people.

- Asia, South America, Central America, Europe, and strangely NIGER has buses. Buses are safer than TOURIST brainless vans. I really despise vans as a way of travel, they are low, I cannot take photos, and always twice as packed as a bus, plus the driver goes faster, the air seldom works and I have no window.

Finding a big bus, and they do exist here Togo for long hauls, is very complicated and confusing and takes weeks of planning. I need to speak French better.

Small six passenger cars
Station Wagons
Micro Buses
Full size buses
A full size bus is safest.

I think walking in a city is very dangerous; bikes in a city are even more dangerous. Motorcycles a little less dangerous in a city, because you cannot be hit from behind as easy.

A motorcycle in a head on collision is wildly dangerous and a lot more dangerous than a bicycle.

A head on collision in a van, with me in the back is safer.

I can choose the driver of a moto; I have a tough time choosing the Van or Car drivers. How do I know I make good choices?

How must stake do I put in my ability to make a good choice, does the choice of choosing a moto driver outweigh the random van driver, yet safer because it goes slower and I am in a bigger vehicle.

A motorcycle on an open road can avoid an oncoming truck on a NARROW road better than a Van.

One big problem with Motorcycle Taxis here in Togo or West Africa is this, when they are on a dirty road, there is a smooth path, the will not leave this path. The road can be 30 meters wide, and if a person is walking in the path, they will start to beep their horns and force a person to step into the ditch.
DoosSmah. (Slow in silly use of French.)

I have to grab the moto driver with no doubt of my desire, slow down, and strangely, they slow down. I am not in Asia or South America; where macho says, go faster, never give. Strangely, Macho here in Vehicles is ten times less than in Asia or in South America. Maybe it is these driving schools; I see many car driving schools.

Walking is a macho not give the road event.

Decisions, I cannot just think forever, I travel.

I will…

1. Only enter vehicles that are moving, stop to pick me up, I want to see and make a personal judgment of the car and driver.

2. I will take a moto to the outskirts of town, then get off and allow this moto to return to the village. What this mean, there are stops or logical places to hitchhike or catch a vehicle leaving from one city to the next, it is the last stop as you leave the city. I had very good luck in Lome; I was on a personal motorcycle of a man who wanted a little extra cash on the trip between Lome and Tsevie, Togo.

3. No more pay in advance, removes my ability to negotiate with the driver.

Moto or Hitchhike with a paid Hitch…?

I would say Hitchhiking is safer here that going to the Gare or Station, as a normal car in good shape, they will not put five loads of bananas on top. The normal car driver will not risk breaking the car or destroying the paint.

Motorcycles give me the most amount of choice.

A driver that knows the road is a better driver than I am who does not know the road. If I hitch a ride with a moto or car going in the same direction, on the road leading to my destination, as it clear outskirts of the city, I will be with a driver that knows the road.

In addition, these drivers do not normally ask for bag fees, the ask the going rate or fee as the station or Gare. Note, I have only paid bag fees in about 1 in 50 rides, get out of the van and leave, and then they decided they do not need the money.

All of the above journalizing was for me, remember, this is my journal, not for you, but for me first. I have trouble forgetting others are reading when they write me emails, I calculate the consequence of some comments and think, do I want them emails or not.

Writing has this intriguing ability aspect, it takes a mind that is full of a clutter of feeling, thoughts, half-thoughts, random this and that, and says time to clean house.

This mind is a mess please organize and clean it, but first you have to write down in uncensored, and un-edited manner, journalizing your ideas, feeling, do not forget to explain how you feel. Clean them up, organize, and then, if you want, go back, re-write, and make legible, consistent and understandable by a reader. Then again,
- I cannot be bothered. -

I believe in the jumble of thoughts is authentic truths, if I want to learn about myself, I need to return later and Rorschach this writing and journalizing of mine. I will see where I alluded to some abstract, non thought out idea, I used one word, this word does not fit, yet I was compelled to use it why, the un-edited typing or narratives, missive as some call them is raw meat, not bologna.

On the other hand, not editing could just mean, I am lazy and do not care about readers, I am a traveler, I would say a person that travels more than one year has acquired a knack to know how to turn off the caring about others button. If a person is accosted by bad manners, rude and dirty people and beggars long-enough the ability to care for them or others is diminished in a visceral sense, becomes more intellectual and focus and prioritization has to be continually reenergize with introspective injections of common sense.

Togo Transportation, West Africa Transportation, Tranportation, Budget Togo,

Togo Hairpin Turns of Life

Africa Saying No For 3 Days

Africa Saying No For 3 Days
Badou, Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 3, 2007

I am on day one, two more days and the village of Badou may stop asking me for address, to sit, for talking or to take me to the waterfalls. I will go out of trend and they will just say, oh yea, the white man. Togo people do not sit around trying to get me to buy objects like say in India or other places, they more or less just try to get free money, I would not call it begging, more or give me a cadeau, I want to get over on you.

A village or city anywhere needs about 3 days before they accept you, and grow accustom to my presences.

No, Non, Pas

Fun to say no in a direct manner, I know the benefits, the whole village will soon decide I am cheap and will not give to them, then I am the same as them, they do not give either, then I can talk with the nice people who do not want something.

Culture West Africa, Entering A City, Togo,

Africa Saying No For 3 Days

Badou Togo West Africa

Badou Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Van ride from Atakpame to Badou from porthole to porthole 5 hours.
Atakpame to Badou is 59.8 Kilometers as the crow flies and the road meanders like a river, so maybe up to 100 Kilometers.

07 degrees 35.093 North
000 degrees 36.586 East

287 Meters of altitude above sea level

Badou, Togo, RATS, aagh, I was hoping for 500 to 700 meters above sea level minimum, maybe these mountains will bring rain and cool air.

Badou is a nice village, sort of winding up and down and sideways, we came down from the mountains, entered the city full of small shops, full of all sorts of what looks like a Ghana - Togo border bring it across, but forget to pay customs operations. Many bearded men in the shops, I semi think the Islamic religion encourages merchants.

I am very happy, the ride down the mountain was like being delivered from an Amazon River Boat, onto the dock and a scramble is made for shore. As we came down the mountains I could see the village of Badou was in the Valley, the bad part is we came down from the mountain, I was hoping to go up. The temperature of my room for sleeping is better when I go up.

The Auberge a.k.a Hotel is 2500 CFA or 5 US dollars and a good barefoot Hobo choice, this area has many villages and Badou seems like a good base. I have GPRS internet in my room, the electricity is working now, the fan has velocity, and life is good.

I met two good souls on the way to this hotel.

The Van ride from Atakpame to Badou from porthole to porthole 5 hours. I left the Atakpame Hotel at 9:00 and got here in Badou at 3:00 pm, I am not going to the Gares or Bus Stations again, that was the last time, and they just make you wait they do not help. I am going to the road leading out of town and hitch or wait. A spring bolt on the van broke, we had and an18/3 situation when another one picked us up, 18 adults and 3 babies in the next van, They then wanted me to pay 1000 extra for the new pick up van and everyone else paid nothing. I was too tired to argue, the van did pick us up, and I was willing to pay and jumped in the Van, the others waited for some deal to be made. A moto ride here would have taken about 2 hours porthole to porthole. I am not big on dirt road moto rides, and I was not sure, did not want to do a winding dirt road on a Moto. I was wrong, the road was all tar or black top, from Atakpame here, and the road was nice, the edges were not close, for sure it would have been a nice Moto ride, or bike.

A Lebanese man stopped and asked us if we needed help what a good guy.

I entered the city; the Moto taxi driver did not know of one hotel, I am now positive there are at least three. A woman along the road stops and tells him about one, we go, on the way back after I refuse the first, and on the hill back up she stops him and tells him another the Cascade. What a great woman, intuitively she understood that a person coming into a city needs a place to sleep.

Intuition is a good thing, she understood intuitively my needs, or empathy as hers was on the high empathy setting.

Togo Hobo OK, Kilometer Marker, Togo GPS, West Africa GPS, Planning Africa, Togo,

Badou Togo West Africa

I Go Badou Togo Today

I Go Badou Togo Today
I have a 20 percent chance of no blog post for a few days.
I am traveling by collective taxi to Badou, Togo today on the Togo - Ghana border. I will travel by car, or collective taxi cars, or whatever mode is easy.
I am not sure if there is Intern or a GPRS Internet connection in Badou, I would say there is a 80 percent chance there is Internet, but if not, then  tt may be THREE to TEN days with no blog, so relax if you do not read a blog, I am not in Kansas anymore as they say in the Wizard of Oz. I haved an 80 percent chance of yes.
I Go Badou Togo Today

Auberge Atakpame Togo Hotel

Auberge Atakpame Togo Hotel
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Hotel Relais Des Plateaux

I am in room 105 on the bottom, as far away from the speakers on the first floor as possible, if I went up a floor, the same room up, and then should it should be quieter, yet I think the higher priced rooms.

I maybe had set a new record for music volume on my new Radio Shack Sound Meter. I have only been using and testing for a couple of months and great fun. I have discovered sudden abrupt noises, like the beep of a horn, or this many screaming in the microphone here the problem noise, steady noise like a fan I can ignore, although noise.

78 to 92 decibels in my room.
85-97 decibels maybe 101 in the reception area.
11:12 AM
May 1, 2007

The digital reader jumps tremendously, as the man has a PA system with a Disc Jockey type microphone speaker system. Right up there with the loud speakers of the call to prayer in the Islamic Religion, I had to move last year in Natitingou, Benin because of the speakers, and maybe the loudest room I have every been in was the call to prayer room on the eighth floor in Cairo, Egypt.

It is a Holiday here in Atakpame, maybe called a Fete, I ask what and they say, May 1.

Sort of like saying September 11, without saying Terror Attack on World Trade center in New York of the USA. Anybody reading 100 years from now would be clueless as to what is September 11.

We live in a world where we assume everybody understands, I do not think the world ever had empathy, I keep wanting them to have empathy, but I do not think it every existed in the first place.

I was a little worried last night, and not sure what they were up to, there was about 10 men, or younger men, older boys in the Hotel lobby reception area. This total single men group thing is always a problem anywhere in the world and here in West Africa a bigger problem. When I rented the room, just Eliza and Paula, a girl and a man hanging around.

I was having a kick last night talking with Paula about the price of Hotel rooms, explaining how I got Douche and Toilette mixed up, the prices on the walls, not normal said room with Douche or Chambre avec Douche for 4500, this is the one I negotiated down to 3500. I was thinking a Douche is a Toillette, but one is a shower and the other a toilet, this room is with a shower.

As Paula and me are talking a telephone rings at the recepton desk, one of the short boy goes and get a girl. She answers the phone, Paula says explaining the girl,
- Waiting for a man. -

I say,
Combien pour un chambre pour Boom Boom ici.
He thinks I say,
- How much for the girl walking away. -
He then says,
- I do not know do you want a girl; I can get a nice girl tomorrow for you. -
I say
- No, no, I wanted to know how much to rent room for love. -
He says,
- 1000 CFA per hour. -

I truly think every hotel I have every stayed in in West Africa has been a Boom Boom love hotel. There is always a person or girl waiting in the reception type area or out front for the partner to come, then later they go.

This is a good hotel, Paula is very helpful, asks my opinions, am I ok, tries every few hours to sell me very expensive food. He pays attention to me; the other staffs are same as normal.

I do not know about the Music, he said there would not be music tonight, for a reason I cannot understand there is a huge area behind the hotel, they could have an open air wedding for 200 people with no problem. The hotel is about half again closer to the Atakpame Market than the l’Amities hotel and 100 Franc cheaper by taxi.

I am ready to leave Atakpame, all fun and games aside, time to get out of Dodge, I know of very few reasons to come to Atakpame, except that it on the path and in the way. The hotels are too far outside any homes and normal cultures, the Amities is better than the Plateau here for normal culture, I just do not see taking a moto from the hotel to a market as being in Africa, like living in prison and they allow me out to go walk in the courtyard for exercise. Then I take a moto back to the room and go to my jail cell. This is great room, number 105 if the paint would stop pealing, I think if I stayed a few days, I would take a broom and clean the walls of loose paint, and the ceiling is falling on my computer and me.

It is a good place to stay, and go and look at Hippos on a day trip, I think a lot better than living with Hippos, but what do I know, I have not seen a Hippo.

Paula will never be able to stop the testosterone bunch from dominating the hotel tonight.

I wish I could say this is abnormal in travel, noise is the reason I purchased the sound meter, and I wanted to really measure how noisy some places I live or leave are. The music is different from traffic noise, I know they cannot stop traffic or beeping horns, and I know the music is done or helped along by the staff acceptance. The l’Amities had a speaker on the courtyard, never too loud, but loud enough to easily be heard in my room. Michel my friend’s radio was too loud, this is where I am and the culture I am in.

The roads of Nepal, the streets of India are louder, not always but louder.

Choosing a room, I saw the bar area, I chose a room as far away as possible from the noise, reception and other factors or variables. I like this hotel, however too much testosterone is presently living here, the owner and the manager cannot stop that. The people in a hotel will change radically, one time it could be great, come back a week later and terrible. I am thinking, the hotels managed by women in West Africa are calmer. The hotel staff has all their friends come over to visit, for me, a series of off the clock rooms are rented to men that are with their Cadeau girls. There is this extra pay thing, done both by men and women manager, yet the men have more male friends they can hook onto for money.

How loud is 100 decibels, I need to find a reference, however various types of sounds are different. This is like Thunder or Heavy Traffic.

This may seem petty, like you are on vacation and people party. I am living in this hotel. I do go home to escape, my art form is to figure out how to find my place to live for me, not for you.

Note as a funny, I moved out a noisy love hotel in Arequipa, Peru because the love noises never ended. Fortunately the West Africa culture is not noise this way.

80 to 92 decibels in my room.
94-97 decibels maybe 104 in the reception area.
2:04 PM
May 1, 2007

This is interesting stuff, I can somewhat determine the effect of concrete walls and echos, and the value of a wood door, or how much a close window stops sound.

They have set up a big disco in the very large area here.

As best I understand the music is a combination of Togo, French and Africa semi-rap, more or a steady beat Africa music. Modern, yet very small USA influence. It this was in Ghana there would be heavy American USA Rap, or Gang music, and the words would be about 50 percent more violent. Then a lot of Nigerian music in English. The French Black musicians are about 70 percent less violent than the USA Black musician music in the nature of the words and actions. I am not sure if Gangster rap apply in French. This is one of the reason I am traveling in the French part and not the English part of West Africa now and skipped Ghana, just did not need the influence of the USA music and the culture with it. This does not mean they do not love me, the all want to go to the USA and more in Ghana, however the music of the world is setting the ethics and morals, it is the example the world follows.

Togo, Togo Hotels, Hotel Room Choosing, Hotel Noise, Noise, West Africa Annoyances, Party, Music

Auberge Atakpame Togo Hotel

Decibel Scale

Decibel Scale
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
May 1, 2007

I have a digital sound meter I am carrying for reference, I purhased at Radio Shack in the USA for about 50 U.S. dollars. The hope to measure the level of sounds around the world. I sort of think in term or No Smoking or Smoking choices. I think any guide would be helpful to explain large source of temporary or regular noise.

The decibel scale is used primarily to compare sound intensities although it can be used to compare voltages.

Decibels Typical sound
0 --- Threshold of hearing
10 --- Rustle of leaves in gentle breeze
10 --- Quiet whisper
20 --- Average whisper
20-50 --- Quiet conversation
40-45 --- Hotel; theater (between performances)
50-65 --- Loud conversation
65-70 --- Traffic on busy street
65-90 --- Train
75-80 --- Factory (light/medium work)
90 --- Heavy traffic
90-100 --- Thunder
110-140 --- Jet aircraft at takeoff
130 --- Threshold of pain
140-190 --- Space rocket at takeoff

Decibel Scale, Noise, Annoyances, West Africa Annoyances, Hotel Noise, Hotel Room Choosing, Togo,

Decibel Scale

I Have a Bigger Car

I Have a Bigger Car
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I have some observations and questions for why.

Why did the Spanish conquer most of Central and South America and now the Latino culture seems in nothing? Why did the Romans advance and then decline? Why did Egypt advance and decline?
Why is Norway, Sweden, Denmark now highly educated and expensive? What happened to the Mayans, this was a powerful and important culture? Who cares about Babylon and why should I care about Babylon, nothing there and but hot nothings, I saw it. Why does India have so many people? Why does Asia have so many people? Why does West Africa have so few people?

(Note.. Hehehe I just realized each of the lines above is not the start of a new paragraph and a separate idea; they are related, but different. I can combine all of them and not be grammatically wrong. This principle will dramatically decrease the line space of my writing.)

Is the life in America or Europe better than the life in Africa? Arrogance, lack of introspection, and failure to focus on the goals of work, would say life in America is better but it Americas goal of work correct?

I have always used my brain to conquer my world. Then I started to compete with other men and women in my society. I wanted a car. I went from about age 20 to age 35 into focusing my majority of efforts on level four of Mallow’s hierarchy of need and motivations. (See Below)

At age 17, maybe it is was 18, my Economics teacher assigned us the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau, who the Author I would now say and think of as one of my Mentors in life, along with my one Grandfather Fleck, and a Farmer Buster Spade. My parents became Mentors after age 30 and continue to this day to be my mentors. My Grandfather and Buster were mentors in working on level four of Maslow’s hierarchy and now I ask for instructions from my parents on step 5 of the hierarchy of needs.

I now see that at age 17 upon reading Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden I understood his experiment on Walden Pond whereby he proved a person could work about five weeks per year and live well.

I went and disobeyed the Mentor Henry David Thoreau because I needed to go and compete, to see if maybe I was ok.

The logic stuck though, the common sense has always held, I have never stopped believing his theory of economics was brilliance. I see and continue to see or believe, this man understood how things work. His theories of Economics enveloped in writing and surrounded by an annoying preoccupation to talk about the beauty of nature is confusing, hard to understand, and why his chapter is named Economics when he talks about so many other topics is difficult. And the book Walden seems to be more about his love of nature, than about the simple economics of life and the theory of Civil Disobedience.

I often wander, and I do think, Thoreau understood Civil Disobedience ten times better than Ghandi or Martin Luther King, in a way, I think both of those two just wanted power, and they found the power of Civil Disobedience not the profound nature of it to use against power, and in many ways just elevate themselves to higher social status and dominance, to become the big cheese or boss. They accomplished a lot, and not as simple as it seems,

Civil Disobedience is:
I will try; the idea is you cannot ague with a person that does not talk back or argue back. To do nothing is sometimes more powerful than to do something. I protest by not obeying, passive not active.

Military might is the ability of the Army to feed itself, and to exchange natural resources and information resources for the best weapons, hmm, that made Sadaam very dangerous, he could buy the best weapons, if he was smart enough, however he was too dumb maybe.

The bigger the physical power, the more a person or culture is capable of dominating another by violence, the more they are considered advanced. The USA because of extreme security and safety, just forget to see that it is not safe, it does not thanks its leaders for taking great care of the people.

All this aside, the idea is for one person can and should be independent, as Thoreau pointed out in simple and complex ways, a person owes society a debt, however an individual also owes themselves the right to enjoy their life the way they wish. After you die, there will be no refunds because you squandered your life.

- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. -
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

I think the number one reason people want to travel is to play, to disobey society, to go into a hedonistic pleasure filled existence of mental and physical masturbation. They want to go on an endless party. What is crazy, is the party people can see that they can work say maybe two months per year and play the rest of the time, and the economics majors think you need to work 12 months. Fools

The Western Economics now enables a person born in Western country, to travel to the West, earn the money in two months, and go live where the cost of living and more correctly, the competition for step 4 of Maslows is not enforced or developed acutely and thrive.

Providing, they do not need to prove to their fellow man they are someone, they are something, or they are better than their neighbors are. The competition to prove ones self is more capable or better in money, cars, wealth and affluence is staggeringly stupid. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet do not work for money; they work for ideas, the game of ideas.

I say, have said on many occasions,
- It does not take a genius to make a million dollars working 16 hours per day; however, it does take a genius to make a million working 2 hours per day. -

I truly believe time spent spinning time at work or employment is a severe hindrance to the accumulation of extreme wealth. An extravagantly good idea creates extreme wealth. Conquering the ability to survive earns enough money to live was done with social security act and pension plans. An accumulation of cash is winning if you have the need to prove you are competent, this is an emotional need, not maybe a want.

Economical is making great sense to work where the pay is highest and to live where the pay is lowest. This give a person the optimal quality of life for the least amount of money.

The cost of living normally stays at the same level as wages. The cost to live in luxury is 10 percent here in the cost compared to the the USA. I can have a cleaning lady for 1 dollar per day here. The competition with peers is still here, and who has the most money, but a Western person competes too well in this area of the world, and too easily dominates, in the game of bragging who can prove they have more money, this is a no need to go.

Many Travelers love to feel rich one time in their life; some love travel to India where for one brief journey or period of time, they are competent. They are complete failures in the modern world, in India they are Gods, and held in high esteem by the India people because they have the passport and the money. However, when the go home, they are constantly reminded, they are a nobody. They have trouble leaving India, they love to be a somebody… hehehe Clueless Travelers.

Independence from the need to compete, and independence from social controls, to have the introspection capacity to see that the rules of global life has changed, and a person needs to grab the advantage while they know this, or eventually the wages and cost of living will all be the same everywhere.

I have a friend, who is in the epiphany phase of travel thinking. He has returned to the USA and now has to put back on his boxing gloves and compete with people in the USA for social status. It is amazing how when I return to the USA, they also or think, I want to compete or stay with them in the game. I wonder if my other traveler friend in the USA, also now in the USA can see, paying the same amount of money as an American in a restaurant is silly and a competition of sorts. When I return to the USA, I do not pay the same as the people around me, I have left the game. I think to myself, why I would spend 10 dollars per meal. I think that here in Africa, there is this Brag by having money group, why would anybody pay 10 dollar for a plate of rice with a scrawny chicken when it cost the person outside the hotel less than one or two dollars. Unless they want to brag to the Cadeau girl, I am somebody.

The USA pays a lot for convenience, they work 8 hours per day so the four hours after work are easy, or busy and not convenient. This is 8 hours of work to have convenience, that is not convenient.

The goal of work is to give ourselves and family enough food, shelter and safety to be ok. Then to allow ourselves free time to enjoy our lives. Now the modern world spends 50 percent of their time working and 50 percent playing.

Africa spends 95 percent of their time playing and 5 percent working.

How things work, the ideas on how things work is amazing, I keep dwelling on the explanations of the world, I keep seeing and become more capable of seeing the way things work on the planet.

Did you know Fat, to be fat is to say to your peers, I am so rich, I can eat all day. To be Fat is a sign of rich in many cultures. I had a girl in Africa tell me to stop losing weight, I am looking poor.

The amount of water, food, the need to fight the cold determines how much work a person must do to survive, once survival is easy, the average person takes a coffee break from life. They only wanted to get fat and prove they had a bigger car and bigger house than their neighbors and to not lose their wife because the man down the street was willing to give here more money and fun.

Note, Michael Crighton alludes many times to the idea that subsistence farming may be a better form of life, on the other hand, I think he may work all the time, I do not know, I am speculating, there is a different from fun work and working for money, the fun work is not work it is getting paid to play.

Interesting read:
Principle of Population By Thomas Malthus

Maslow has hierarchy of needs or motivations of people.

(1) physiological; (2) security and safety; (3) love and feelings of belonging; (4) competence, prestige, and esteem; (5) self-fulfillment; and (6) curiosity and the need to understand.

Henry David Thoreau, Mentors, Togo, Togo Economics, West Africa Economic, Togo Economics, Jobs on Trip,

I Have a Bigger Car