Togo Travel Stories, Page 48

My Problems in Africa

My Problems in Africa
Lome, Togo
Monday, March 19, 2007

Problems, problems, Problems the things I have to deal with in life are interesting an mysterious. I just thought I would give a notice, sometimes it is not easy to be me. Then gain, the life is good.

I was walking by the home of a couple of friends of mine the other day.

I stopped to say hello, and to ask what they was doing, now what is my problem? No problem…

I am born in Indiana, not the most sophisticated part of the world, we are probably shy and conservative. Now as you go upstream or downstream in cultures from Indiana, the world gets more risqué.

I have gone sideways maybe, and here in Togo or West Africa, it is possible to walk into a home and the man is urinating in the corner and the women have no tops. I this particular instance, my friend just has on her, I am not sure, it does have a Little Charlie Browns Snoopy logo it... though?

Ok, not sure, but it is ok, all is right.

Now, I said it is possible to do these things, I did not say common. I sometimes think the men see walls like dogs, see fire hydrants, it make them want to walk over near the wall.

Women like to stay cool, the less clothing, the cooler they are, and the more a shy boy from Indiana, has to be careful he does not make a big deal about it. I just try to ignore.

I am taking this photo not because of here clothing, I am teasing her about he muscles in her belly. She has this interesting belly in many ways more than muscles.

My Problems in Africa

Kpalime Togo in Like Flin

Kpalime Togo
Kpalime Togo West Africa
Monday, March 19, 2007

I am in like Flin; life is good in Kpalime, a change of homes, a change of Hotels, and a different channel. I found a great hotel for 5000 CFA or about 10 US, about the bottom of the deck is 3000. I took a tour of all the hotels, think I stopped at most in the guidebook, and one not in the guidebook.

Thanks to the NGO - ONG for make the best hotel, the least favorite. NGO drive cars, go away from the city, from the people are more or less living the exclusive lives, therefore the nicer hotels are outside the middle cultural parts of cities. The price of hotels is funny here; I had to tell the nice manager, Sarah.
- I just took a tour of all the hotels, this one is too expensive, or Cher in French. -

She finally dropped to five Mille, I do think the prices are all negotiable, everywhere, just a matter or wanting to try. The have a room here for about four, could maybe get for three, the problem is, maybe there is noise or boom in the night, and I am not sure. Boom Boom hotel is better than a Buvette Bar Hotel, as less noisy in a way. All are Boom Boom, yet this hotel is more local, not NGO or ONG Boom Boom.

The guidebook calls the room Spartan; I think it is white and bright, no place for the ants to hide.

I got an Elephant for a nightstand computer table; my cell phone signal is better here close to the Market and the cultural center of Kpalime, and not near the Toyota Land Rover parking Hotels.

Because the Cell Phone signal with Togocel is good, I have a good GPRS internet connection and can blog away easily.

Hello, Church Bells! Not a bad sound, soft and light, I wander, it is noon, maybe a Monday wake up.

Kpalime Togo

Adjidogomé Togo

Adjidogomé Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, March 18, 2007

Adjidogome with an apostrophe on the e.
Sur la route de Kpalime

I will leave tomorrow morning by the Peugeot Station wagon method of travel I assume, a collective taxi of sorts and travel to Kpalime, Togo. I am debating about the letter e with the apostrophe on it, it just causes too many problems in web pages and emails to place the accent and spell the word Kpalime correctly.
I will need to test and se how the é shows ups and works, not fun go see a lot of gibberish in pages.

Map of the countries on both sides of Togo, in West Africa.

Yesterday, I spoke with Christine, also called the Footballer, because she like to play Footballer or Soccer. She walks around in semi-of fitted soccer clothes normally and looks to be the Footballer. Ok, she was leaving Lome, and Rene says she was not from then said something that sounded like Gohmay to me or Gomé maybe in French. With a push and shove, I got her to write the city down and she wrote.

Adjidogomé sur la route de Kpalimé

It is best I can tell, on the road or route, on the path to Kpalime, it I maybe 50 mile north of Lome, and somewhere around 500 CFA to travel there by public transportation. I will do my best to find this place. I now leave in about four hours for the place. I expect to take a taxi or moto to the road that leaves for Kpalimé.

I do NOT micromanages the taxi, I do not ask for the Gare or the Stations or anything. I will say,
- Kpalimé -
Or I will write it down and show the Moto or Taxi in Lome, I want to take the highest and best form of transportation to Adjidogomé, not Kpalime, yet is I make an error, I wish to end up in Kpalime.

There is a transportation error made by travelers, they try to tell everyone what to do. The world pretty much can figure out how to take your body to another city. That does not mean, if there is three choice, say Train, Bus, Car, Taxi, Airplane or many choices, they will take you the best, they will take you to what is easy, and big money in that event.

However, Togo, West Africa does not have many choices for public transportation and I have a very small downside in the event of error. I have six hours to find a new hotel that is north of Lome, Togo.

This is my path basically, make me nervous it does not follow along side a river, a village settled would I believe normally settle next to a river, however the water table is easy to find more of the time in West Africa and not a deep hole to dig.

Ok, I will try to go to the village of:
Adjidogomé sur la route de Kpalimé

Christine the Footballer says there is a Hotel there, so I am good to go, and life is ok. IF this does not work, I will get on another bush taxi, or cattle car and move on down the road to Kpalime.

Adjidogomé Togo

Worlds Most Healthy Foods

Worlds Most Healthy Foods
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, March 18, 2007

There was a comment on the a blog post that was excellent:
That's a good example. There's no way to know if anything is really organic unless you work the soil yourself. And no traveler is going to stay long enough to do that!
As for lemons, they are on The George Mateljan Foundation's list of worlds healthiest foods. Nutrient density is what they look for in food and drinks. I think it's good criteria for healthy consumption.
The World's Healthiest Foods
Enjoy the lemonade.
I have been thinking for a long time, there are foods, and there are foods that are sold. There are foods that people say to eat, however, they are not available, and often the reader has been going to some super large Walmart too much or Tesco, I think and buying too much of anything.
Anything is not available, and the list of the most Healthy Foods is by far not really available on the planet, especially getting specific.
Here is the list on this page:
I took the list, and am showing what is common and available from the list, I put a number 1 next to the most common, sometimes the list does not have listed what people eat, for instance it says brown rice, and all I see is White rice, unless the brown rice really looks white.
List of food you can buy in the world easy:
Cucumbers 1
Mushrooms IN CAN
Shrimp - Fresh
Tuna 1 in can
Bananas 1
Eggs 1
Lentils - Not 1, the number 1 is Kidney Beans
Chicken 1
Peanuts 1
Sunflower seeds
Brown Rice I do not see, white rice. 1
Pepper something, not black
Cane juice 
1 is not here, brown sugar
Soy sauce (tamari) - I have not idea if Tamari
Water 1
Note: The man puts apostrophes and such in the title of his page, this foundation would get more traffic if there were none;
Example: This is bad SEO, nobody puts apostrophes.
The World's Healthiest Foods
This is good:
Worlds Most Health Foods - the MOST does not help him, but is needed for natural English.
Worlds Most Healthy Foods

Togo Culture Identifiers

Togo Culture Identifiers
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, March 18, 2007

There are identifiers, small things that explain the behind the scene action in cultures. They are there, small, and signs that all is not as simple as we see.

This is the BTCI bank here in Lome, I think the letters are correct, it is probably the best bank to go to for ATM card, as best I can tell, there is one at the - Change Money - area that is more interesting located. I can literally say Change Money, like I was speaking French and for 150 CFA they take me there to the Bank Machine.

This time, I went to the main bank by accident, the man on the moto was smarter. Ok, out in front is this big sign that has a photo of a Sleigh with Snow, a Christmas scene and say have a good year 2007. It now the month of March and the sign is still there.

Why snow? Why still in March up and at em?

This is a photo a calendar in my hotel it shows some Lebanese boys pointing machines guns at what I think is an Israeli jeep. The Lebanese both Christian and Moslem seem to have a big financial interest in all of West Africa and run most of the Grocery stores.

Not the win friends and influence people calendar, and why is it in a hotel where there is no Lebanese guest, and why would an Togo person put the calendar up?

It is not as simple as it sounds and sometimes it is very simple.

Togo Culture Identifiers

What Time Is It

What Time Is It
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 17, 2007

I know there is a way, I have just not figure out how, I want to know what time it is in Boston and Indiana, the USA. It is the same time.

I use this link constantly, however not much good for other countries besides the USA.

It does not work here, now, the GPRS connection is beyond a crawl, it it child that fell down and cannot move slow. The java in this page, slows it down, I disable it and it breaks.

I would think there is some Palm Pilot, handheld computer program that I can use on my computer that would allow me to do this.

Type in the time now in Togo, the numbers would spin and tell me the time everywhere on the planet mas or menos one hour. More or less close, I do not ever trust them completely, except the USA clock thing and for some reason it is accurate.

More or less, how do I say that in French. I know, but I have never seen is spelled. Hmmm I think it is - come see, come sah, - talk about bad spelling, I have no idea how to spell it in French, this is maybe a phrase I am learning naturally, by the way the people use it.

Maybe, I can find out what time it is, and I would call my one friend, not good when I make accidents and call in the middle of the night.

I was clicking on the little clock, it will synchronize the time, however not so good when a person is changing time zones a lot. I tried to go to the link, this is the next day now, this link does not work.

Having a connection to the internet 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 24/7 would be nice, however not going to happen for about 5-10 years on a continuous world basis, unless I go Five Star, then I would have no reason to travel.

There is probably a software program that I can install on my computer, whereby I type in the time in once variable. The variable being the time where I am presently located, in example Lome, Togo and it would tell me the time in the majority of cities, I do not think they can do this perfect, but I would be within one hour.

What Time Is It

Big Brothers Togo

Big Brothers Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 17, 2007

I have a small boy, about 4 years old by the name of Narcisse who has adopted me as his Big Brother or chief person to hug and hold him. This is not so unique in itself, however, the ability of Narcisse to find me is what is amazing.

The other night, the electricity was off, therefore I sat down outside of the hotel on this stand of cement blocks. It as black, dark, I had trouble seeing across the street. As I was sort of sensing my surroundings quiet inside my thoughts. I hear this noise, a plop, a yip, a running boy in the dark. Soon Narcisse arrives and jumps on my lap and proceeds to plant his head into my shoulder. He relaxed, looks at me, then proceeds to fall asleep.

This sense of where I am located and what I am doing is powerful, like he knows me so well he is thinking the same as me. He is not able to understand my French, or at least he never replies to my constant line of questions in the French language.

I would guess he has now fell asleep while on my lap five times, and has everyday two to three times climbs aboard. This is interesting to my other friends, and the mother is of no help, she I assume encourages the boy to find me, interesting way of claiming friendship. I sometimes know that being there is much more important than me talking, I know in person people become overwhelmed with my never-ending continuous curiosity and questions.

Narcisse does not talk with me in word, or a spoken language, however for sure we have long conversations.

I could call this Momo Magic…. Hehehe but that is the name of the great Laundry soap that smells so good.

Big Brothers Togo

Togo Lemonade 10 Cents

Togo Lemonade 10 Cents
Lome, Togo West Africa

I wish to drink more fruit juices, I am trying to healthier. This young man is selling me real squeezed lemon juice for 10 cents US or about 50 CFA. I am not positive, they say they add some sugar and some water, but it appears to about 75 percent lemon juice and a proper balance. They speak Mina mostly and some French.

It is interesting to observe the world, as marketing of products is pushed, then price somehow starts to say what is good and bad. The real 100 percent apple juice, the only one I can buy in the store here, that says 100 percent is about 850 CFA for a larger container. I am not happy, it is not even sold cold, I can only buy beer, and total sugar drinks cold in the store. Here this boy sells me semi-frozen real lemon juice for 10 cents, while the store wants me to pay 2 dollars for something I do not trust.
I could care less whether organic grown, grown by hippies, grown by liars, grown to put a label on it, I just want something that is close to being real juice and does not need a loan from the bank to buy. There seems to be three major forms or economies here in West Africa.

1. The French Economy of sales.

2. The Lebanese Economy of sales.

3. The Mina or Normal locals ethnic group.

I am able to purchase in the Mina groups, sometimes, if not in a package foods for about 1/10 the price of the French or Lebanese economy. What happens though is they variety of foods is limited. I must purchase from the Lebanese Groceries to buy the most variety.

The French seem to run the restaurant businesses, and I almost never eat there because the prices seem to be priced in a country club manner. I came to live in Africa, not a French club in Africa with no French girls.

The culture is wonderful here, the boy smile, I give him 500 CFA one-time and he has trouble making change. If he is not there, I can put a 50 CFA coin under the cooler. When he is out of business, or playing I must walk to his home down the small lane, knock on the gate and ask for Citron. I get to enter the small grouping of apartments, have them holler.
- Yaboo -
- Yaboo -

And sing the little, song, mothers come out to look at me, and small children touch me, all to have a nice cold bottle of Lemon juice, I suppose it is not purified, who knows how they cleaned the bottle, I am sure it has been used many times. They give me a straw, making sure they do not touch it.

Life is simpler when one does not live in terror of normal life, normal people and when we are truly organic or normal. I eat what is around me, I eat what I enjoy, I try to do my best, but if not, then so be it. The labels, the terms, the jargon can help me or it can hurt me, I can become aware of how to be healthy, or I can buy some fantasy, scare me to death marketing program that sells me nothing.

I remember an organic mango farmer in Brazil. He had about 5 trees of organically grown and naturally grown mangos. If anyone came, he would take them there, and when he sold mangos, he would go to the field of pesticides, herbicide, and all the other chemicals to harvest a good fruit free from problems, that looked good and sell as organically grown, he was not stupid. A German man in Brazil, go figure…

Togo Lemonade 10 Cents