Gifts

Help Me With a Pig

Help Me With a Pig
Kametonou Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 15, 2007

Can you help me with a pig?

This was the question, after somewhat a sloppy Ghana English translation, but literal as maybe you can get. I try to have translated back to Ami,
- I feel like I am in a slow soap opera. -

She does not know what a soap opera is, so that one went over her head, but maybe it was more for me, so I can think of how I feel. I did say,
- A pig. -

This is some convoluted, highly indirect and culturally oblique way of saying they want me to buy them a pig, which is not true; they want the money for a pig. It is a floater, or a throw out comment, like if a person was sitting by a millionaire and made a comment.
- I would like to start a pizza shop. -

The millionaire would get the idea, and slowly I was becoming aware of their dream of a pig.

Do not underestimate this culture funny, they know exactly what they are doing and are trying to give me five levels o separation from the blunt reality, they are asking me for money.

Michael and me have many a conversation as one of the boys, trying to get Michael to explain to me, how a cadeau or the gift is given to a woman that goes to a mans room and why it is not the girl selling themselves as prostitutes. There is this exchange of money or benefits, or considerations a social contract is established between the men and women of West Africa on a minute-by-minute basis. I will do this for you in a sex way if you do this for me in a money way.

I guess, I can say, I am in a slow continual soap opera as if you can get a grip on the empathy here; I am like the millionaire in the village with the ability to also help them win the Visa Lottery. Therefore, there is an offer made to exchange love and care in return for me giving them the riches of living with me in the USA as my wife.

Then the soap opera escalates when men offer to give me

some sort of friendship or to make a wildly bad deal with them and take them to the USA.

I tried to explain to Mawuli in the Auberge Mandela in Kpalime, which for me to take him to the USA or his request to take him to the USA, made me think his brain was a rock.

Michael says,
- He is sleeping -

Then again another story.

Help Me With a Pig