Togo Travel Stories, Page 55

Galion Hotel Lome Togo

Galion Hotel Lome Togo
Lome Togo

I am in the Galion Hotel, it is nice, two times the fair price and does not have hot water, but other than that the normal French pay-too-much and get no service thing. The French are very good at doing IT to you and making you pay, and think you liked it. Africa just does not understand how it is done.

Ok, I am amiss, I do not hang around with the Smokers in the bar, I have not met one Frenchie, well, one in the morning very early that comes for Breakfast. I am connecting the dots, the hotel is set up like a the restaurants in the Philippines if you are not paying attention. Everything is someway of fashion on the sly made so you can go boom boom with a girl. The girl got near my room the other day and maid came for the first time in a week and wanted to change the sheets. In a boom boom hotel nobody stays, they leave after boom boom or one night. I am not in the main part of the Hotel or the noise would have made me leave the second day.

Boom Boom hotel are normal, everywhere, sometimes called Love Hotels, in the end normally about 20 percent of income for most of the Hotel industry is with people who, should,
- Get a room. -

I like the one girl who works at night, she has exceptional manners and is proper, for Togo this is nice to see, not that I have seen it before, that is manners. A French guy tried to cut in front of me at the Supermarche… He did not get it done, and I did not like it, and I did not say thank you or somehow ignore bad manners, like it was some great cultural event.

I need to leave Lome, I have not seen a white person on the beach, the beach is of no value. The girls are only wanting to pay-to-play, I need a small village without the workers. However, I have a few friends at the local small store, they are nice. I will leave as soon as I am finished in the Cyber Café or Internet Café.

I have met some great people in Africa, not many in a tourist area, but in the small villages when I am the only white man. It can be weird to have a friendship when the person thinks he or she is talking to Donald Trump and is willing to pay for anything. (Donald would not just pay for anyone.) I think the way it works, I am sure in the Galion I figured out how it work, I watch the men do it. If a girl talk to you, and you respond, you need to start giving up the money. Talking involves buying or wanting to purchase, nothing is free. You are to support the persons you talk with.

IF I talk to someone, they think, no they assume I have agreed to give them money, or buy, or something. To talk with a girl and have her think I am agreeing to give her money is a first on the planet, many try to get money, but none until now assume I have agreed because I have acknowledged their presence, I acknowledged all beings in my path and, I suppose beings includes dogs and cats. I think and believe a stranger in a foreign land should pay attention, and give notice, heed, I am in you neighborhood, give me notice if this is a problem. People are territorial and need attention.

Galion Hotel Lome Togo

I Must Study French

I Must Study French
Lome Togo

I am resting, I am not immersed in an place where I want to speak French, most of the person here I say, Hello in English and let them deal with it.

Moreover, I need to learn French, it is causing trouble.

I am playing around, walking today, it Sunday, I think the French Africa has a hangover, and Ghana is in some church dancing and singing.

However, as I walked around the city, I think of word I want to use, I try to collect these words and add to my vocabulary, I think I am at about 200, I need about 500 in my experience with Spanish, to just have a minor conversation. This does not include the numbers… hehehe

Today problem, I came back from walking, a long walk, tired, hot, sweaty. I am walking across the street, two girls are walking, one is bubble this, and round that, and on her rear is the word Brazil. I am in the walking passing lane, and I say,
- Bon Jour,-
Hello, in English or good morning, good day.

Ok, whatever, I say Hello, and they say hello, they seemed surprised as is everyone I meet when I say hello, I continue with this habit event though the socialization of the planet says to stop.

I say then,
- Fala Portueguesa? -
or or something like that in the Portuguese language. Do you speak Portuguese?

She nods here head, I realize later she did not know. Well, then I learn they are from Togo, the two immediately ask me where I live.

A normal question and not a stalking question, the taxi driver earlier wanted to know where I lived. It can be translated to mean, when do you live so I can figure out how to make you pay what you will pay. People in expensive hotels normally are clueless on what is the fair price. I just answer the question, knowing I am willing to give anybody the boot if they stop at my room.

Well, I could see my hotel from where we were standing. I say,
- Le Galion -
I point, and say more or less the blanc building, they seemed lost.

I pointed, then said,
- Deux Etage, Maison Blanc-

I am not sure, I think I was trying to say, the Second Floor of the White Building.

The think I said douz or 12,
The say,
- Qui,- Yes
I say,
- Non, deux -

They say ok, the one girls speaks English a small small as she says,
- She come at 2:00. -

Aagh, I am talking about the second floor of my building and she is thinking I am saying to come to my hotel at 2:00.

I am walking away, thinking, I am not sure, pretty bubble, round and sorts, I can sit on the balcony again and talk. I am drastically simplifying this, when in the afternoon the came over, I said, want to go to the plaige. The beach, it just outside the door, they say, yes but we can go to a pretty one very close in a taxi. I am thinking, just another stretch of beach, oops, they drag me to another restaurant White Man bar where I proceed to get obligated to buy lunch.

This good is another pretty, nice, outstanding, bubble, the whole thing is like getting raped by Shakira, but natural. I am not sure if I should run or enjoy.

I am getting the picture, do not talk to girls ever, they is not stops here, there is no social customs that say to stay away from men hotel room. This is an easy protection on the planet, a nice girl will not go to the hotel of a man and knock on the door. I think anyone and everyone many knock on my door if they could get money.

I Must Study French

ATM Lome Togo Bank Machine

ATM Lome Togo Bank Machine
Lome Togo

There is a bank machine or a way to take money from the bank with a Visa on the card ATM. I extracted 200,000 CFA yesterday here in Lome, Togo from a machine. I put in my pin, number and pulled out the money.

The machine is behind the Palm Beach Hotel in Lome and has a big Western Union sign, the other option is to wire yourself a lot of money to Western Union, you can do this online at the internet.

Hmm, Cash Machine, Money Machine, Bank Machine, what do the Brits call them?

ATM- Automatic Teller Machine
Hole in the Wall - England
Cajero Automatico - Spanish

This is one of them guide type, made for pages that need to be made, so someone can search and find the knowledge easier.

I will add all the French words soon, guichet automatique or something, cachette, annoying to learn to spell.

ATM Lome Togo Bank Machine

Cooking Food for Travel Health

Cooking Food for Travel Health
Lome Togo

I screwed up, I thought I could use my alcohol cooker in Africa, but normal rubbing alcohol is almost impossible to buy, and about 10 times the cost of the normal planet.

I therefore did not bring my electric cooker. I have not been able to find one to buy; it is annoying, they use charcoal here or wood, maybe propane for the real rich.

I need, not want to cook food in my room. There is not a variety of foods to eat that is healthy sold in the restaurants, unless I would be willing to pay 20 U.S. dollars per meal.

The five serving meal I think has disappeared, only meat and a desert, or just some rice and chicken.

I can buy vegetables with a lot of work, but the only way to have a variety of foods is to buy canned foods, I am in need of fruits and vegetables. I can do the fruit so far pretty good by buying in the streets.

However, the vegetables are difficult, I need to eat already cooked in a can vegetable, and the price is a minimum of 1 dollar per can. I am trying to find a variety, only found at most three to five vegetables sold in cans here. In the streets, I can buy raw, in the village, only tomatoes and peppers, no variety, hard to feel safe.

I am searching constantly for a large store; a large store has two lanes of foods, not even close to large. 50 percent are desert foods.

I can now cook food by putting my cooking pot on top of water I cook with my one-cup water cooker. It takes about 20 minutes to warm the can of vegetables.

I buy about one orange per day in the street and cannot find anything but orange drink; orange drink is not orange juice. The cost of food here in the stores is about 5 times the planet normal, but about the same as France.

I can afford to eat; I know most locals cannot, when the easy food is deserts, why would a person eat the good foods.

Food preparation in my room is moving from a want to a need status. I go severe health problems after four months in India one time, I refuse to eat what these dirty people prepare, they are very dirty people, there fingernails are dirty. Here in Africa the people are cleaner, but not as easy to see… hehehe

Cooking Food for Travel Health

Economics of Subsistence Poverty

Economics of Subsistence Poverty
Lome Togo

I have always thought of subsistence farming as sad, and then Paul Theroux in his book the Dark Star Safari alludes or says comments about how the persons now have no food because they stopped the subsistence farming.

However, subsistence business is the way of the world, in a country where you can start a business anywhere, on any corner, and as you wish. Everyone desires to be self-employed.

Subsistence prepaid cell phone card or loading is rampant presently in the world, everyone is in the same business, and nobody is making money, then with the trend of cell phones, they spend money they do not have.

In Mexico, there is or was a convenience store or shop in front of every home. It was a subsistence shop, no money, dreams of money, but no money, and the completion was fierce, and their children ate all the profits.

Economics of Subsistence Poverty

West Africa Land of Opportunity

West Africa Land of Opportunity
Lome Togo

I was replying to a reader, and realized I said this,

- there are specific aspect where it is very good in Africa; the quality of life is very good here. Open space, freedom, land ownership, opportunities galore, the problem lies in a culture that is not motivated.-

The Lebanese have and the French have came to Africa and started Hotels, Restaurants and some stores.

The salary or wages of labor in West Africa seems to be double of the rest of the planet. Then they sell everything for double the cost. The cost of food here is staggering, I cannot believe they want so much for food, it is terrible, the normal person here has no money, then you have the rapist who have all the money, a have and have not society, a huge difference between money classes.

A whole broiled Chicken can be purchased on Khao San Road for about 1.50 U.S. dollars; here the price is 8 U.S. dollars, if you can find a place to buy one.

Hmm, I may be wrong, I can buy Fried Rice with a piece of chicken for one Dollar, this is double the price in most of the world, but the chicken is not so expensive with the rice.

There is a problem here, I cannot get my finger, or mind on the problem, I think it is a marketing perception perpetuated by the stores and restaurants.

I think one problems is the sit around and drink culture of colonist, or for sure the French, in Ho Chi Minh city - Saigon Vietnam, everyone sits on the street and looks at people, pays way to much for a beer and looks. They do the same in France.

In France, a McDonalds is on every corner, I have never seen as many McDonalds as in Paris, it is the center of McDonalds. I went to McDonalds in Paris, it is the only place where you can eat fast and pay a more or less good value for your money. All the other shops are working in harmony to gouge the clients.

The Galion here, the hotel I am in, it has real gouge prices at the restaurant, the staff thinks I am cheap, that I will not pay the money, and they are right. I refuse to pay 10 times the going world rate for a meal, with the ambience and environment of a bunch of alcoholic smoking French men, and a group of fat W h o r e s.

Last night was Saturday, the great TV room and a big plus for this place was full of 5 girls, there is only 6 seats, the hung around, bought no drinks, and waited, seeing if any possible Johns, then they took off later. Aagh, the economy is normally good, when the girls are so ugly.

Good service in McDonalds and the economy is bad.
Old, slow, and slow workers in McDonalds and the economy is great, all the good workers have a good job.

Yep, West Africa is a land of opportunities; I think the labor is very cheap if you went just outside the city where people are not all convinced they should be like the rich. Then there needs to be a different culture than the French.

On CNN it said,
- French Unemployment goes below 9 percent…-

Nine and over un-employment in France is normal, and some have said much higher in reality.

England has everyone working, less than what 30 miles away, and the unemployment rate is about five.

The French are not good mass employers, they are better at making the rich get rich, and the poor getting poorer. The somehow convince everyone to be very in love with France, and then have no job, no money, but they are convinced it is great.

The have not brought prosperity to their colonies.

A business in Togo, Ghana, and Ivory Coast for the people to start. There are these small kiosk chain food stands in the Philippines, some crazy names like Burger Mania.

There is Fried Rice Kiosk and other small Kiosk buildings in Ghana, but not what I can obviously see as chain restaurants. The business of selling and making the kiosk is big in Ghana.

Hmm, Aflao has many, I have not seen any in Lome, but I am not in the business district, I am in an extremely empty tourist zone.

A chain of pizza stands, or chicken to go.

Any chain would have to also grow their own food, chickens, or what not as nobody seems to be doing this.

West Africa Land of Opportunity

Flicker in the Eye

Flicker in the Eye
Lome Togo

There is an intelligent flicker in the eyes of people, sometimes it is missing, or slowed, but when excited you can see the eye movement.

I heard a smart child looks quick, then looks away, not looks and stares. The smart child observes and make an opinion quickly.

Togo is 143, out of a total of 177 on my HDI list, I have in my computer. I sure it could change.

Nature versus Nurture, school versus no school, I am lost to figure out these West Africa countries. I know a man that cannot read, yet is a multi-millionaire in the USA. I do not care whether a person has money; I do not care where they were born, and all the other hoopla.

However, I do evaluate a person how well they do in their chosen professions. I know internet cafes, I know telephone services, and I refuse to deal with governmental people except when absolutely necessary. I do not expect much from a police person. The math skills are hitting not functional for people here in the internet cafes and the telephone cabines or places to call.

They appear incapable of calculations. I have started just giving the money to the internet café person, and not talking about the price. He does not get to tell me how much I pay, I pay him what I believe is right.

I just made a phone call. I do not speak French well, but I do speak enough to make a phone call. I asked the price. Established that the price was 1 minute for 100 Francs. I made a 19-20 minute call, I do no know for sure, however I was watching my time on my cell phone to check them.

I finished and the I thought the person would type in about 2000 Francs, I did not evaluate closely, I knew that 100 CFA is about 20 cents U.S., and thought that is a very fair price. Somewhere between 10 and One dollar is the normal in a cabine price in the world, it is getting cheap.

I tried to buy a SIM card for the phone, I could not get an answer, do I need to pay for incoming calls I could not find the price to call out, and I do no want to call people. I shook my head, I am glad they are slow, I was thinking, amazing level of slow brain for this type of office.

Have they never used their brain for math, is it a lack of practice, is it a lazy brain, it is dull, do they need vitamins, strange, and weird at the same time, as most persons are good at also being corrupt and clever at the same time, I have to be careful they do not steal, this is like a chess game with a person who does not know how to play, plus they cannot figure out the rules.

In the USA fortunately we have many high paid factory jobs, they are going to China soon, however many in the USA, closer to the market. However, we can take that person that never applied themselves for a minute anywhere and plug them into a job and they can have a reasonable nice life.

I saw a BIG gun on the back of a Jeep the other day. I do not know, but BIG machine gun, like some French Foreign legion, shoot them up, this was Togo Military not French.

Not a common sight on the planet, I saw in Iraq, but figure, it was 2 months after a major war conflict.

Any investor with a lick of sense would not invest in Togo, unless it was a rape. I think the cell phone companies and banks are systematically raping or windfall profits off the people incapable of figuring out what happens.

Ghana was half the price of Togo and Cote d’Ivoire, but more violent in mood, not complacent.

Intrigue and enigmatic, these countries do not seem to want to farm, I am not sure what they want to do. How long have they lived like this, I am use do plodders, a farmer with his back hunched, plodding down the street, proud, carrying the load. Yes, I see a few, more lying around though, waiting for Godot. I wonder if that French person that wrote that book was in Africa.

Everyone is waiting for something and I think or almost can guarantee it will never come. The only business a person can start has to have less than five people if owned by a foreigner or extreme profits like a cell company. Five people and you can abandon, but not bring in large money, or you lose large money.

Flicker in the Eye

Togo Benin Girl Semi-Pro

Togo Benin Girl Semi-Pro
Lome Togo

My former friend came over today again at 11:00, she said she was coming at 12:00, however she was all excited. She says she leave today for Cotonou, Benin, I finally figured out what the word Coneton means, I was lucky and had my computer close. I original told here I was going north, and I thought she wanted to see cotton.

She was in the door less than 5 minutes and already was saying Cinq Mille of 5 Thousand Francs, she wanted 5 thousand Francs or CFA, this is about 10 U.S. Dollars.

I opened the door and said,
- Au revoir - or
Goodbye, and pointed out the door, she slowly walked out the door, and I am free from stupid entanglements. She was fun sort of observing and listening too, in a childlike I want manner.

I have learned too many times, when a person starts to ask for money, get them out of your life as quick as possible. Fortunately, the normally in Africa are not clever, and asks for money in the first five minutes. She waited two day, and one meal, and attempts to have me buy her gifts before she went for the money.

Semi-Pro is my definition of groupie type girls who try to ply things from males by way of being nice. Ivory Coast, Ghana, and now Togo, and for sure Niger, on the prowl, looking always for the easy money. I sometimes enjoy and I do not think they believe how easy it for me to say NON or NO.

I do not give an explanation, I do not lead into a sentence, I do not continue to talk, I stop, I knew a long time ago, a discussion stops when one of the persons stops talking.

I see many travelers sit and talk for 10 minutes, believing they were clever on how they dealt with a person. I think, they desire to punish the person asking for money, I just wish to separate and close the door, get emotionally onto the next subject in my brain.

The Peace Corp man from Chicago said there were many levels of prostitution in Africa, many shade, this is the semi-pro version to me, and a prostitute extracts money by making you feel good. It has little to do with S E X and a lot to do for most FAT men, or for sure the overwhelming number of ugly smoking French one here, just to pay attention by a pretty girl, and in their case, fat and cross eyed, there is one cross-eyed that may be working the area.

The Peace Corp man said, a girl working in a bar would be from another country. I instantly thought, this girl is from Benin… hmmm.

Then he explained how a local woman does not want to be known as a prostitute of something like that, and the local men want something different. I think it is much more simple than that, however not important.

Friendships in travel should and can be made quickly, the commitment to friendship should be fair, clear, and open, no strings. However, there are boundaries a person needs to learn, and when they are cross, especially in the grace of a new friendship, then au revoir, or good-bye. Final, ending and no looking back, not point in compromise, a good friendship is easy to maintain, a bad one is always a mess, complicated and taking in nature.

I am fortunate in West Africa, I have met some nice persons, most are not blogged about, try to not talk about the genuinely nice. Nevertheless, how to say no is the art of saying yes, and finding friends. The less time you deal with the persons that are not your friend, the more time available to find friends.

Togo Benin Girl Semi-Pro