Togo Food

Togo Banana Scavenger

Togo Banana Scavenger
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I buy a good looking banana, when I see a good looking banana, I am not talking about the girl.

I do not like just any food, in my town, they call me Snoopy eater, this word is used only in the Northeast corner of Indiana as best I can tell and is a cultural variance of words of this area. I learned in University I needed to say, I am a picky or a choosy eater.

I say, I am not a Garbage Disposal Eater also, referring to travelers that just put anything in their mouths.

I am a scavenger eater, trying to always find the one day collection of foods I scavenger for, as a balanced day of small meals. My friend - A Man - with the name Michel in French, or Michael in English thinks I do not eat.

I explained my diet, a Gateau or Bread in the morning, a few peanuts here and there, a couple of eggs or can of tuna, when I can find chicken, I eat chicken and a lot of the Vache Qui Rit Cheese or the Laughing Cow cheese.

I walk by the market, I buy Carrots. I eat a can of Peas, in Lome, I ate more vegetable as they had more variety. I eat an apple here, and apple there, other fruits and vegetable when I can.

I do not see rice with spaghetti on top, and a chicken drumstick as being a great meal. This type of dish is an illusion of food to me, and common for the Togo people.

Michael has been laughing, IF I see a banana lady, with a what looks like good bananas. I stop her, buy 100 CFA or about 20 cents US of bananas. This is about 4-5 smaller type bananas. I am always on the lookout for the more yellow bananas because I will not eat a banana with black or brown spots. I am a snoopy, maybe a snob about the food I eat.

European food.. What is that? Here in Africa, it is good excuse for a person to pay 5 times the going rate for food, it is amazing and I just do not understand how the poorest of countries can have some the most expensive restaurants on the planet. For the most part, locals do not go to restaurants in the fashion of the pay-to-much and think they need this white folk.

I am an independent person, I cannot buy big quantities of food, therefore I eat larger than normal helpings of one food, then scavenger all day long for various types. After the day is done, I more or less have all the correct foods, then supplement with Vitamins.

I eat about 1000 CFA per day, or 2 U.S. Dollars, including the lemon juices and slice of oranges.

Togo Banana Scavenger


Kpalime, Togo West Africa

Hello Dan


Name: Dan (Edited)
Country: USA

Hi Andy, thanks for the great website.

Can I ask you to NOT list WalMart on your website? It is a wretched, evil company that destroys communities, towns, small businesses, the environment, people and their families. I wish more people were aware of exactly how terrible the situation is with them. It sickens me.



I think, I am not sure, you are referring to my gear page here:
(Site has from 25,000 to 50,000 pages according to your perspective.)

Yes, Dan you can ask me to not list Walmart on the website. I try to understand people and to listen, I try to take into consideration all points of view and I think when a person disagrees with me, I try to listen harder. I suppose by me saying, yes you can disagree with me, I am saying I disagree with you.

It is possible you know many facts, data, reports, explanations and in your excitement just forgot to send, if so please send at least as much information as statements of opinions, I do not know you, I have no reason to feel impelled to trust you. Thanks for reading my site, and liking, however not a reason to believe you.

I would recommend a person read my blog for a couple of months, then decide, do you not like me, and disagree or do you think I tell lies.

Walmat is a company I recommend to people in other countries to go and visit when they visit the USA as a tourist.

Ok to the start, you made a statement, you told me an opinion about Walmart, and gave no specific reasons, validations, explanations or better yet a scientific study about this, and I am almost positive you could find one. Instead, as in a way normal in out new world there is this idea of opinions are of value without some explanation.
(The evil part was over the edge.)

I personally have adopted a new term, or set of words to explain this that somehow I came upon, it may have be from Michael Crichton as he explains a lot about the lack of good study and scientific methods in his book - State of Fear - An excellent book and many footnotes, reference and whatnots at the end of the book, and he is substantiating fiction, not a requirement for fiction.

Junk Science -

Junk science?
"Junk science" is faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special and, often, hidden agendas. The junk science "mob" includes:


Why do I recommend Walmart on my site, because this is where I a traveler, and it is my opinion recommend and buy a lot of gear for me to use and carry in my backpack? I do not think most people would call it gear, but 99 percent of the stuff in my backpack is not sold in Travel Gear shops, so I would call gear the 99 percent and not the 1 percent.

I see gear shops as needing to sell specialty gear, like the ropes to climb mountain, but this is not for travel, it is more or less sports gear.

I will try to give one very good reason I recommend Walmart, and it is right here in Kpalime, Togo.

Wal-Mart sells very cheap products and drives the small retailer out of business because they sell so cheap. This is free enterprise, competition to sell the cheapest to the public, and a very good system that has proven to be a success.

Now, who wants to be driven out of business, not me? However, it is a fact, I compete for search engine traffic, and this is my competition, other people using the same search words. Stop picking on a hobo…. Duh, that is pretty stupid.

I am in Kpalime, Togo; there are about 20 small food stores from the corner of my street to the Texaco station. I have been in every one of them trying to search for canned vegetables to buy and eat. I actually have gone in maybe 50-70 small mom and pop stores here in Kpalime, they rein as king here.

I have found 1 in about 50 stores that carry corn; I have found about 1 in 70 that has a can of string beans. About 45 out of 50 have Petit Pois or canned peas, and none has the Haricot Rough or Kidney beans I like and can buy easily in Lome.

West Africa and all of Africa may have a problem with Malnutrition, I am not positive, but sure in Niger they do, I suspect the do in Togo, but then again AIDS is the issue-per-jour here, not the true problems.

I am not worried about West Africa first, I am first worried about me, Andy, I think I got very badly malnutrition in India and it became worst in Tibet, took me years to bring my system back up to happy.

I am going to eat my vegetable and fruits, take my vitamins and stop eating so much bread and peanuts. (That translates to peanut butter sandwiches.)

Where is Walmat, I want selection, I want the big super Marche to come here and sell a variety of foods and drive them little business to the moon. All it would take in this city is one larger store with a selection to drive stop many of the smaller stores.

Strangely, the Africa people do not do this, the Lebanon people come from Lebanon, start grocery stores and start to feed West Africa. There is no Lebanese people or few here in Kpalime, therefore we have this 50 small and no variety, all selling the same products, NOBODY, making any real money and thriving.

Thriving, I want people to thrive, Wal-Mart thrives.

Walmart good, bad, or who cares does what a good business does; they sell a product cheap for a good value. Therefore, I go there, and they have this quirk of the world, they refund you money if you are not happy.

I tell the world this, learn the word REFUND, in the USA, you can get a refund. If I buy bad cheese here as I did, from one of these Mom and Pop stores, they will not give me back my money; they do not make enough money to even stand by their products. IF I opened the cheese in the store and checked, they would give me new cheese, or something, but to leave the store and come back, they would say, you bought that somewhere else and lie.

Mom and Pops stores, small shops, small hotels lie, big stores have trouble, they can be sued and the person can get rich, not here in Togo.

Ok, Junk Science, there is not proof to your allegations, but then again it is your opinion, and yes you can say your opinion. I am sure someone can send links, and explain how the big Wal-Mart is bad.

I will continue to buy in Walmart providing the give me a great price, and a good product for my money. That is the deal I make with Walmart, they lose me the instant I can buy anywhere better, and I do not buy all things from Walmart. I go to Walgreen’s and Target and shop around.

Mom and Pop stores here in Kpalime, sell Peas for about 1.50 US dollars in one of the poorest countries on the planet.

How much does a can of Peas cost in Walmart in one of the richest countries on the planet?

Something is wrong here, and there is a reason why people want to go to the USA, and it has nothing do with freedom, and liberty all that crap, they just want to have a good life, thanks to companies like Walmart that sell cheap and drive these high priced small stores out of business. There is a shortage of jobs here in Togo, and the USA has many, there is a different in how the economics works.

ALL that I have said above is opinion; I have only done the 50 to 70--store search for vegetables here in Kpalime, Togo. To do proper research, I would need to list, document and explain, then go back to the USA and find the prices of Peas, Carrots, and all the other foods sold in Walmart.

This is sort of anti-junk Science opinions nothing to do with collaborated evidence. I could be 100 percent wrong, I think I am 99 percent correct, but that is my opinion.

Walmart is one of the eighth wonders of the world, or you can come here and eat the food, buy the clothes, and hurt. I purchased a shirt in the market yesterday, I wore it without washing, my neck broke out in a rash, I had to take a taxi home, and take a shower, and I was very worried. They had ironed or pressed the shirt with some unknown starch or liquid, I could have ended up in the doctor trying to clean my body of some rash because there is no Wal-Mart here.

Cheap and easy to purchase foods would help to solve the malnutrition problems in West Africa, but nope, that is not what the NGO push or shove or promote. The say, lets give them money, food, and make them beggars, the World Bank does more in seconds and much better than any misguided save the world ONG-NGO.

Someone told you about Walmart, and you are gossiping and telling others. Do not trust BBC and CNN, or the big news companies, they have an agenda.

Going to McDonalds overseas is humorous sometimes, why am two dollars for a Hamburger in Thailand when I can buy Chicken Fried Rice for 50 cents, then in France, I went to McDonalds every day.

Please some one come and sell the Haricot Rouge or the Kidney Beans here in Kpalime, Togo, I could care less how, I want to buy, market of one person exist.


Togo Peanuts

Togo Peanuts
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 8, 2007

Cooking peanuts or dry cooking the peanuts over a fire with some sand or soil intermixed with the peanuts.

This is
- Arrishide -
Peanuts in some language, does not seem to be French, but then again, I do not trust dictionaries. The word in my French dictionary says the word for peanuts is a Female and Cacahuète, almost the same as the Mexican word, and I think Argentina, while most or Central and South America say Mani.

Walking along, talking with Michael, and trying to locate the weavers in the city of Kpalime, when he stops to chat up one some girl. I wonder over to check out the peanuts being cooked.

How, I am not sure, they are not fried, this is not baked

They pop popcorn the same way in Nepal, very dry and not the best popcorn, fortunately they use oil here for the popcorn and the taste is better. The peanut come out good, and cooked ones are better than the boiled or raw.

The girls is wearing this very wear around the house, typical wrap around dress. The actually will wear it anywhere, but they tend to be closer to home. It is held up the same way, you would overlap a towel as you get leave the shower.

This tends to make them need to balloon it out and readjust, not the type of clothing that allows for rapid movement. Not a big worry about getting in a hurry or straining yourself here in West Africa.

There is often the Midwest shyness thing, and I often feel like I am walking in as a girl is just coming out of the shower. They do not mind, so I my best.

I took a few photos and the girl pretends to ignore me.

Togo Peanuts

Incredibly Rich West Africa

Incredibly Rich West Africa
Amlame, Togo West Africa
Monday, April 23, 2007

I have traveled too much, I have seen to many versions of poor. I ain’t buying it, West Africa is rich.

West Africa
The subsistence farming here in West Africa has an over-abundance of flat land and water and sparsely populated. It seems to me, to be the perma-culture, self staining, and no need for the outside world, insulated, separated like the USA. The land gives what the people needs and more.

If this area the planet could find a way to have solar electricity for less than 20 U.S. dollars per family, they would almost not need anyone. Sadly, the more they strive for cell phones, cars, televisons and fashion, I suspect the more problems they will have, not less. The danger lies in want of luxury jobs, that provide non-essential trades ike the tissage or tress, and even the moto taxi.

The cost of living here is nothing and life is easy.

However, what is killing me is how they grow food in West Africa; I would guess they farm less than 15-20 percent of the land. Then after they plant something, they just hope it grows.

This means in a way, they have the worlds easiest farming to do, they can just plant something and hope, they do not even need to weed, and they have enough food to get fat. I was thinking, I do not see tractors, or oxen pulling plows, I seen one in Kpalime, however for the part, they just walk out and hack up the ground, make into these special anti-rain mounds, plant and hope it grows, no special work, easy, anyone can do it, and most do in a way, but not much.

I was thinking, the beef here is somewhat difficult, I do not see many cows, or cattle, however there are groups they call the cattle people. They grow goats here, and goats take very small amounts of care, then there are few chickens.

There is nothing grown in surplus except these stupid little peppers called Pims and they are everywhere, I think they grow in surplus because they cannot stop them from growing.

There is no BACKUP.

If they had a water problem in the middle of this rainy area, it is not a rainforest, as best I can tell, and for sure not a cloud forest, but it is very wet, I believe. How can they have a water problem?

There is no extra food, the risk here is a bad crop, if they have a crop problem, then no food, they need to learn how to can foods.

There are no cash crops grown that makes any sense, no mass-produced cash crops or animal husbandry. The only raise what they need.

They have no money. They make the homes out of clay, wood, and materials close to their home. The water cost, but they have the money to buy it, and it is clean, I drink it every day.

What happens of my feeling is this, I think when a person needs money, they become somewhat ridiculously easy to negotiate with, and they will not lose the deal under any condition.

I think money is just an extra, good if they have it, but then who cares really. The life is easy, too easy, they can grow food too easy, there is no striving or working for the food. There is no motivation to strive to better yourself. There seems not desire to fight for a job.

There are some indicators of need.

1. Number of beggars.
2. The amount of theft.
3. How much land is farmed.
4. How dirty are people clothes.
5. How much they will negotiate and still sell you an item or services.
6. How hard is it to steal available food that is growing.

I had a friend try to tell me the price of a Bungalow in Indonesia, I thought he was going to say 300 US or something. I can rent good room in Bangkok for 40 US per month, with AC. I rent a room here in Lome, Togo for 20 US per month, no AC.

The cost of renting a room on the planet starts about always at one-fourth the monthly wages or less. The people of Togo earn abut 30 as base pay and this would mean a room should start at 10 or something like that, and I believe I can rent a room for that.

All six of these items above are at an incredible low.

I sort of feel like I am in the lower part of Brazil, or the upper part of Argentina and there is no cattle, and no farming.

This could be the next Brazil farming boom, and the trees are already cut down. Note, I think one of the number one businesses in Togo or West Africa is the making of Charcoal. Charcoal is a luxury, as best I can determine, not a need.

Malnutrition, and badly balanced diets, overweight, etc is probably everywhere, I do believe the introduction of large amounts of vegetable seeds would alter their diets. They do not have the grub-stake to just start luxury crops, and do not see the need, they are farming thes same they have since the days of colonization, the eat Baguettes.

Togo Food, Food, West Africa Food, Africa Burning, Togo Economics, West Africa Economic, Farming, Animals Domestic, Perma-Culture

Incredibly Rich West Africa

Wagassi Togo Street Food

Wagassi Togo Street Food
Wagassi Wagashe Wagasee
Badou Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 3, 2007

One man wrote it down as Wagassi from the Kotokoli language, but what does he know, he only speaks the language.

Street Food of Badou, Togo West Africa

I have considered trying to think of guidelines and a tip on how to eat safely anywhere on the planet. I believe the safest way to eat food is packaged or processed foods, like crackers in a package and any food on a shelf in a container of some type, I now check the expiration dates, and I go in stores that are selling a lot of food, eggs make me nervous.

Then second is to cook the food yourself.
Third is Street Food
Fourth is a busy food stand.

I think the more expensive the restaurant maybe the more dangerous the food. Numbers, what I feel I need, I need numbers, I count the people, how many people are eating the food. Here in Togo if I go into an expensive Tourist fare restaurant, I am probably the only person in the restaurant. This make me extremely nervous, unless a busy Tourist Fare restaurant with lots of tourist.

Busy is good, slow is bad. More food tester, maybe we all die.

Now, when the food comes out from a Tourist Fare Restaurant, it looks good, and it may be good, but how do I know how long that chicken was there in the kitchen, and when they cooked it. They may have cooked the chicken five days ago, it could have been sitting in a basket, on a shelf, and now they think, we will sell it or we lose money, so let us heat it up and sell it. They are happy to sell the left-over food, because why would they lose money to be safe.

I have traveled for 10 years, I see this all the time, every day of the week, the food that was not sold yesterday, is served the next day. I took a photo of cooked chicken in Thailand at 7:00 in the morning, this is normal, not abnormal, and do would you trust a leader in Africa, and you trust the cook.

Street food, I like street food, I can see them make it, I cannot see goulash, or sauces, or complicated foods being made, but if I can see many people eating it, if the place is busy, I know, there is a good chance this food is fresh, because it will soon be gone.

This is a very happy and fun lady just as I clear the parking lot of the Cascades Plus Hotel here in Badou, Togo. She is selling as best I learn and surmise, cooked cheese.

One piece is 25 Franks and 10 would be 250 Francs or
50 Cents US. How much does cooked cheese cost in a restaurant in the USA?

I had an opportunity to eat this at a stop along the road when coming from Atakpame to Badou, however, I could not see them cooking it. Plus not much fun to watch all the locals squeezing the cheese as the reached from inside the van, then grabbing many pieces, squeeze food and put back on the plate, normal for them, touch the food, not normal of me. Why are you touching the food, have you no manners, oops, I am in Africa, this is about what maybe 147 down on the Human Development scale, they did not get that far down the list by being developed, they are under developed.

This is Wagassi, I would say there is maybe no correct way to spell and if there is, then so what. I trust the man today who offered to write the name down for me, then demanded a Cadeau for the service, I ended up giving him my pen, what a pain sometimes to talk with people, everything has a price on it.

I like this food, great to eat, the fat lady was fun, and the man who wrote the word down was ok, in a twisted, you have to love them sort of way.

He says the language is,

Never heard of this, and not sure where it came from, not sure I care, it I cared about what I seen everyday, I would need to go home and relax after one day of travel. The world is endless, there is more than I can every learn, but great for a curious sort like me, and I do get hungry.

Food, Togo Food, Street Food, Togo,

Wagassi Wagashe Wagasee
Wagassi Togo Street Food

Togo Beignet

Togo Beignet
Badou Togo West Africa

This is Togo Street food, found in Badou, Togo and other places I forget already.

Beignet d Haricot Piment Sel

One man says, or wrote this, it is a bread type of food, deep fried, and with an African type of pepper inside and salt. The pepper really is a good extra kick, I learned to like them before I knew they were made with Beans, Haricot in French is beans. If you would have said beans, I would have refused.

Literally this is

Fried Bread of Bean Pepper Salt

It is a little frustrating and sensitive to me, the Togo or West Africa diet has so many calories packed into every food. Pate, Fufu, Yams, Cassava, etc, then they put oil on the top of many things. This is an over packed country, the people are fat, there is no easy way to say if nourishment is correct, however if there is fruits around they eat better.

This is a lady in Badou, Togo, does not seem to understand French, is grumpy, and I am a regular customer. The way to buy food in Togo is often to just to give them money. Give here say 100 CFA or Franc and she gives you a bag with some amount you will learn the price after the fact.

My most cultural experiences and the best, I am have about a 1 in 50 chance of understanding what happened. I am slowly, it has taken 10 year of practice, but slowly I have learned how to understand a culture fast. This food as explained by one man, maybe the information is correct, maybe it is not, learning about food and culture is a process, not an event. I like the pepper taste of this bread like food.

I eat what is tempting to me, not what someone tell me is good. I do not like the Pate or the Fufu, therefore, I do not want to learn about it. I want to learn about what I enjoy.

The food of Togo is difficult, either I am in restaurant that is twice as expensive as the USA, and the same as France and the food is terrible or I am in the streets. There is very little middle ground, I like the street food 100 times more than feeling like a victim to an overpriced Tourist menu with bad food.

This lady prepared these perfect, strangely I had one on a moto trip to the Ghana border, and had to throw them away.

I have discovered by in Atakpame, it is rare and difficult to find the cooked cheese called Wagassi, I am sad or hungry or both.

Food, Togo Food, Street Food, West Africa Food, Togo, Togo Budget,

Togo Beignet

Mesonges du Tchoukoutou

Mesonges du Tchoukoutou
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Sunday it the day for Tchoukoutou in Atakpame, Togo

Tchoukoutou is some type of corn mash beer, and Sunday is the day to partake.

This girl went to visit her parents and drank some Tchoukoutou, then proceeds to tell me she only drain half a bowl. I said, Tchoukoutou Mesonges, however she corrected my French and said, Mesonges du Tchoukoutou

More or less the lies of the home brew. She says she speaks Kabiye.

Sobabi is the high powered brew or distilled drink they make, I have started noticing signs on building saying Sobabi. More or less come buy moonshine here.

Beer, Drinks, Food, Street Food, Togo Food, Togo

Mesonges du Tchoukoutou

Inca Kola or Irn-Bru or Cocktail de Fruits

Inca Kola or Irn-Bru or Cocktail de Fruits
Lome Togo West Africa

I would like to bring this soft-drink Cocktail de Fruits into the ring, I have seen this drink daily in Togo for two months, I feel and suspect it sells better than Coca Cola in the country of Togo, West Africa.

I think a new contender has entered the ring, Coca Cola has another challenger for who sells the most for another country.

There is always a tourist and traveler glee in saying,
- Inca Kola is the only soft drink in the world to sell more than Coca Cola in a country. -

This is gossip, now I am reading and it appears so does Irn Bru, in Scotland or somewhere.

The world of Coca Cola, these are the little mouses that roar, these are the little Trains that go,
- I think I can. -
- I think I can. -
- I think I can. -
- I think I can. -

Inca Kola or Irn-Bru or Cocktail de Fruits

I Came to Togo to See Togo

I Came to Togo to See Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 2, 2007

Why in the F#~K, would I pay 900 US dollars for a one-way Airplane Ticket to Togo and eat in a French Restaurant?

I think I have said variations of this comment weekly in West Africa, sometimes it takes a gut level reaction for me to get in touch with my inner child.
- I want what I want, and I do not care, give it to me. -

I want to SEE TOGO!

I am a traveler, I am selfish, I had some girl write me, in your
- Throw away people way, you just discarded our friendship. -

Some casual email writer, who became very angry when one day I totally disagreed, and she started to insult me, call me names, and now say this. I find readers want me to be the same as them, and I am not, go figure everybody is unique, we disagree.

Togo ONG
Togo NGO
Togo Volunteers
Togo Peace Corps
Togo Guidebooks
Togo Web Sites

Hmm, listen to the noise and think, please I came to Togo to see Togo.

- Excuse me Sir, will one of you point me toward Togo, I seem to have gotten lost in France, Germany or some Volunteer Headquarters, I want to leave the Five Star Hotel and walk around in Togo. -

Food in a Togo Restaurant, served by Togo people, and prices at Togo prices. This is Togo Meat for one US Dollars at the Bronco Bar on the beach of Lome, Togo near the Ghana Border. This is Togo, the more trendy Togo, however at the core, it is Togo.

Lome, Togo West Africa
Restaurant Coordinates - Bronco Beach Bar
Monday, June 4, 2007
06 degrees 06.901 North
001 degrees 12.301 East
0 Meters of altitude above sea level

I want what I want, I want to see Togo, I do not want to see a bunch of drunk French, German and UNHCR people sitting around in a wanna be rich in a poor country bar.

Please, please, I am tired of you, can you focus, remember, tourist, we pay heaps of money to come see a country. I really do want to see Black People, I like all people, I want to see Togo people, and I did not come to avoid all of them!

There is some term sailor’s use, I cannot remember…
- Steady as she goes. -
- Stay on course -
- Toe the line -

Keep your priorities in line…

I have found some funny pages.

- Surpassing All Previous F--k-Ups.
(This for sure applies to the tourism industry in West Africa)

Set and Drift – Refers to the behavior of a ship under the influence of wind and current; both deflect the ship from its intended course. ‘Set’ is the direction of that deflection, and ‘drift’ is the speed in knots of the displacement. A vector.

Brouchette a.k.a. Gristle on a stick

Ok, I am joking, there are some excellent brochettes somewhere in West Africa and I just have not seen them yet. That is not true, these cost about 100-200 per stick and are terrible, really is Gristle on a stick. However one time I had very good, in one of the rich wanna be Noble Class stay away from the Third Estate French places, I ate very good ones for 3500 CFA or 35 times the cost…

Maybe sometimes the best way to see West Africa is not to describe in what to see, however what NOT to see.

Situation Normal, All F----d Up
F----d Up Beyond All Repair
Head Up The Ass
Bend Over, Here It Comes Again
Fun in the Navy (alternatively, F--k The Navy)
Do I Look Like I Give A F--k
F--k It, I've Got My Orders
Stand The F--k By

Les Brochettes del Capitale

AVOID this place, it is gristle on a stick go to the Bronco Bar on the beach and hope the boys are still in business.

What kind of logic is this, cybernetics, maybe it is about feedback, there are two ways to choose where to travel or what to see, one is by searching for what you like the other is to get feedback on how to avoid a bad situation. The internet being full of liars and people who speak sweet words, (Sweet Words is the international words used by non-English speaker to say, you are feeding me a line of Bulls--t or ingratiation or sucking up.)

25 good and 75 bad information.

I know what I like, but I have had 10 years of practice, the truth is everyone knows what they like, they just have trouble remember to say to themselves.
- Why am I here, I do not really like this. -


There is an extreme amount of French, German, NGO, or European ways of avoiding Togo people.
1. Restaurant too expensive for Togo people.
2. Hotel with only things that a foreigner would like.

I suppose the biggest way they stop is price, however there is number 3.

3. To have many prostitutes in the establishment, or waiting for Cadeau girls, this means or implies to a nice girl.
- You walk in that Hotel; you will be called a whore. -

This is somewhat hard to see until you invite a nice girl in to your hotel and she refuses to enter, then you in reverse start to understand the reputation of the hotel with the locals, this is the place where all the white me go with the pay-to-play girls.

So in the haze of Africa sunset, the separations or reality and lies is difficult, however in a place where the normal amount of bad tourist information is at about 98 percent and not the normal 75 percent tourist need to remember.

I came to Togo to see Togo

Togo Food Biscuit Kolonto

Togo Food Biscuit Kolonto
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, June 11, 2007

25 CFA or about 5 Cents US per biscuit

The name for this food in the local language Ewe language of Lome, Togo is Kolonto, pronounced as you would pronounced French. Koh Lone Toh.

Interestingly the persons selling this corrected me when I said Ewe and they said Eva language.

This food is maybe made from wheat flour, however I have never seen wheat in Togo, maybe of corn or millet, hard to know. This food is more or less flours with water made into patties and baked, I think they add some licorice flavor or something, just a tinge. This is hard and stays fresh or ok to eat for days in these containers.

Lots of calories for a few cents.

Collecting information on language, culture, foods is like chasing rainbows, just when you think you are close it is further away. I read information written with too much force or authority, I do not want to portray confidence in this information. I am often very confused and it can take years to unravel the truth.

Who to trust, the educated people try to hide information and the one with no education cannot read or write. These simple street foods are often ignored as low class foods and not worthy to mention. This is a common food, easy to buy in Lome, Togo as you would walk around in neighborhoods, however, I do not see many Yebo walking around in neighborhoods.

In the USA or Indiana we say supper, this is a word in Indiana, a person teaching English should not avoid the real word, or the person traveling to Indiana will be surprised.

This is a normal food of Togo, normal is normal and special is special, culture is all things of a culture, not just special.

I read often about special foods of a country, I go to the country and never even see the food, I semi-believe what is obvious is the culture, and what is not obvious is history.

Togo Food, Food, Togo, Street Food,

Togo Food Biscuit Kolonto

Moonshine Travel Cooking

Moonshine Travel Cooking
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 10, 2007

I need cooking fuel, I need alcohol.

The pharmacies here in Togo are selling 95 percent alcohol for 4 US Dollars per liter or about 2000 CFA. I am annoyed, and in a way, it is difficult to buy, then I came up with the idea, this local Moonshine called Sodabi could work, and it does not good, but it works. I can cook with Moonshine with my alcohol cooking setup, and Sodabi is easy to buy. There are problems with this drink, I think the alcohol burns off the top and I need to discard the remaining, and my room smells like moonshine.

Quatre Heure is the name of this drink, a reference to a man.
That brown bottle full cost 150 CFA or about 25 Cent US.

Belindas Place Convenience Store
Foods, Drinks, Water, Biscuit, Sodabi
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
06 degrees 07.098 North
001 degrees 12.552 East
21 Meters of altitude above sea level
(Note this is not the true name, I just call it Belinda’s place because she does all the work in this store.)

Lint to Photos I took of a distilling process of Alcohol here in Koti, Togo, West Africa and related links about alcohol.

This is a bottle of Sodabi in a French restaurant, the cost is 500 CFA for a shot, I think smaller than the Togo size shot.

Explanation of what is Moonshine or Home Made liquor, there is also a lot of information about Nigeria Moonshine.

In Nigeria, home based brewing is illegal. Moonshine is variously called 'ogogoro', 'kainkain', 'abua first eleven', 'agbagba', 'akpeteshi', 'aka mere', 'push me, I push you', 'crazy man in the bottle', or 'Sapele water' depending on locality.
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Drinks, Togo Food, Alcohol Still, Alcohol, Togo, Gear

Moonshine Travel Cooking

Togo Supermarket and Food Cost

Togo Supermarket and Food Cost
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 14, 2007

A big supermarket is expensive and the smaller Togo neighborhood ones are cheaper.

I took a taxi to the Palm Beach Hotel, then went to the ATM machine around the corner, went into a large Grocery I think the name is Leader Price. Well, I am trying to buy a light bulb, and they seem to all be about 500-700 CFA. I buy a lot of canned vegetables, peas, kidney beans, string beans and Haricot Blancs, etc.

I have gone to the larger stores many times, Ramco is a big chain here, however I have only seen in Lome. It has continually confused me, as I finally am learning the best food prices.

I swear, I am almost positive the bigger the store, the more I pay, just opposite of what I would anticipate. I tend still go to the bigger stores because there is a bigger selection, however for any normal staples like Laundry soap or Insect sprays, I go to the small Togo owned stores.

The same insecticide is 2000 in the big store and 1000 in the corner store here in the neighborhood.

It is hard to understand, I think there is an European cultural variance here in operation. I remember in Belgium, I could buy bread from the Turkey people for half the price of the Belgium people and the Belgium people would still pay double.

Often price is not a sales point, there is some other economic variance here that is hard for me to understand.

Togo Supermarket and Food Cost

Photos of African Food

Photos of African Food
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Please send us some pictures of the grocery store. I love looking at
all the different stuff they sell. Snap the meat market area, vegetables and the check out counter. It will show what differences the culture is from here.

Interesting proposal or request, and not easy to do, because

1. 10 percent of food is sold about the same as the USA, the check out counter, the meat section is almost the same.

2. Then there is the 20 percent combinations of modern and traditional types.

3. Then there is the 70 percent normal world open markets, supplemented with small corner stores to distribute the imported foods.

The normal country of Togo is self-sufficient in they grow about everything they want or need, I think maybe a problem with Vegetable Oil and Rice, however everything else is here.

If I want to make the country look rich, I take photos of 1, if I want to make it look poorer, I can take pictures of number 3, and if I want be fair, I need to take many photos of all levels, and put on the same page. This is why I am often very annoyed with Journalist, I know they just took an isolated incidence and portrayed it a the normal situation.

To be fair is difficult, hard to make a very clean meat counter in a fancy Supermarket seem special, I will try to be creative and take more Togo and West Africa food photos.

Photos of African Food

Agpe Popcorn Learning Togo Ewe Language

Agpe Popcorn Learning Togo Ewe Language
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I am becoming Togolese.

That is a scary thought, I hope to take the good and leave the bad, I am sadly aware I will take a little of both.

However, the good!
Agpe Popcorn.

I do a daily stroll through the neighborhood; it is how I become Togolese. I like the popcorn they sell, I have my own personal popcorn woman, she is nice, and I claim her as my popcorn person. The other day, I almost cried, hard to believe I can say that, half way do it, nonetheless, the truth is I was so touched by this women I almost started to cry.

I thought later, I am going go take her photo and try to say those words, some dream of writing touching words that explained what I felt. I started to, and I could not, she is not for sale, she is mine, and yours.

What happened?
I purchase two 25-CFA bags of popcorn daily, this is about 10 cents US, I try to give the lady correct change because I like her, I reserve the big money for the stores I do not like.

She knows me, I know her, no words are needed, she sees me, she knows I will grab two of the clear plastic bags of popcorn and give her either 50 CFA or drop it down into the plastic tub as is the custom here. They store the coins in the tub, or under the small towels that serve as table clothes. If I cannot find the vender, then it is self-serve, I just place the coin down, and I make my change and continue on the path.

The level of honesty at this level is amazing in Togo Africa, they leave money just sitting around in the open, one days pay here, can you imagine putting 100 dollars in the coffee area at work, and this is what they do.

I do the transaction, I say,
- Merci, -

This is French, I now she speaks the local Ewe Language 99 percent of her daily life, however I do not speak Ewe so, I say in the business language French,
- Merci -
Alternatively, thank you in French.

I look at people, I do not ignore people, as I give her the money, I grab my wrist as is the custom with offering of money, semi-do a small bow, she is woman of respect, older, I must be, I just must be… I am becoming Togolese.

Then it happened!
She looks back at me, nods her head, and says,
- Agbpe -

I look around, I can feel the piercing of my soul, this women just reached inside me, I can feel her touching me.

She is saying, I am you, you are I, we are together, however now as you are my son, you should say,
- Agbpe. -

I repeat,
- AackPay -
- AaghBay -

She repeats, I try to repeat, I do not have an ear for languages, this is tonal language, and I know I need to hear it many times to say correctly, I have to stop thinking, I am to repeat the word.

She has now adopted me, she is my teacher, and I am her student, as I become Togolese. I think, and I hope she said Thank You in the Ewe Language.

There is an art to learning about people, it may be you need to be touched, and allow them to touch you.

I was touched, and life is indeed good.

Agpe Popcorn
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 19, 2007
06 degrees 07.155 North
001 degrees 12.598 East
10 Meters of altitude above sea level

Three-quarters of a block North of Galion Hotel, Lome Togo
Please say,
- Agpay -

Do not worry about the spelling, I hope she will correct you…

For a real treat, watch her pop the popcorn, she will very so lightly add some salt, test the popcorn, shake it, add, adjust, then test again, she makes sure the popcorn has just the right amount of care.

Agpe Popcorn Learning Togo Ewe Language


Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 30, 2007

I ate Tapioca here in Togo today.

It started yesterday, as the polite cleaning girl here in my quasi home stay rental room in Lome, Togo asked me,
- Do you want to eat La Bouillie de Tapioca? -

This is a photo of the tray brought to my room around 7:30 am, after I opened the door to a very quite tapping on the door. I was told the day before, however I thought she said, rice, I now realize she said both rice and La Bouillie de Tapioca. I am debating, maybe this means baby food or maybe it means boiled, my French dictionary and Systran Translators is not helping clarify.

My literal from French to English is
- The Baby food of Tapioca.-

This is a photo of the Cassava or Manioc Tapioca served to me, then I poured into a cup, they kept asking is it hot. I poured some onto the plate, so I could take a better photo. They say the word cassava, and then add the word manioc to me; I then try to learn the word in the Ewe Language.

This is a photo of words the cleaning girl or servant girl Adjo politely wrote down for me.

French Language: La Bouillie de Tapioca
Ewe Language or the Local Mina Language: Tapioca Zogbe
English: The Baby food of Tapioca

If I desire to eat the same food repeatedly, it is best to learn the local word for the food, then I am able to purchase or have made faster. They call this food in Ewe, Zogbe, although the e is not an e, if you look close, it is written different.


Tapioca is an essentially flavourless starchy ingredient, or fecula, produced from treated and dried cassava (manioc) root. [1]and used in cooking. It is similar to sago and is commonly used to make a milky pudding similar to rice pudding. Purchased tapioca comprises many small white spheres each about 2 mm in diameter (althugh larger grain sizes are available). These are not seeds, but rather reconstituted processed root. The processing concept is akin to the way that wheat is turned into pasta. These tapioca pearls are made mostly of tapioca starch, which comes from the tapioca, or bitter-cassava plant. In other parts of the world, the bitter-cassava plant may be called "manioca" or "yucca".

Cassava is native to South America. The balls are prepared by boiling for 25 minutes, until they are cooked thoroughly but have not lost pliancy, then cooled for 25 minutes. The pearls have little taste, and are usually combined with other ingredients, savory or sweet.

Tapioca is a word derived from the Tupi language of Brazil (from tipi'óka). [2] This refers to the process through which cassava (Manihot esculenta) is made edible. We should note, however, that as the word moved out of South America it came to refer to similar preparations made with other esculents: 'Tapioca' in Britain often refers to a rice pudding thickened with arrowroot, while in Asia the sap of the Sago palm is often part of its preparation.
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Note: For you SEO junkies, I went for the one word title of Tapioca, this means I hope to get in the top 10 search resuts, I normally target farther down.


Atakpame Togo Restaurant

Atakpame Togo Restaurant
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Friday, July 13, 2007

I ate two omelets here today in Atakpame, Togo

Two, two-egg omelets for 500 CFA per omelet along with piece of bread and some ice cold water in a bottle, which I am sure, was not purified. I wrapped the two-egg omelet up in the bread, make a sandwich and life was good.

500 CFA is One U.S. Dollar, not the cheapest meals for the bottom of the HDI scale countries, however this is a good bargain in West Africa.


Cafeteria in French with a couple of accent marks and maybe I have finally put together one hidden ideas of eating cheap in Togo. I knew there was a Cafeteria in Kpalime, where most of the White people sat and drank in the center of the village.

There was also a place with a sign on it that said Cafeteria on the way to the Auberge Mandela.

Cafeteria is the word.

This may sound strange, however one word can make my life better. The word Hotel causes me to look at too expensive and crazy priced hotels. The word Auberge gets me down to reasonable priced rooms, and if I want to get rock bottom rooms I now say, Pas Cher Chambre de Passage.

If I say restaurant in Togo to a taxi, they will probably normally take me to a French restaurant that would cost a Togo person one half month pay for lunch.

Cafeteria seems to be the correct word for cheaper restaurant food and a lot cheaper than the hotel food.

I am excited now, I am going to try this world with a motorcycle taxi guy in Lome or somewhere, see where they take me. It is always nice to take down the curtain over the wizard who knows all the answers.

I normally eat street food or purchase food and cook myself from the small markets. Then splurge once in awhile and eat French or Lebanese food to leave Africa.

I have been checking the not ready for prime time site, it is probably good for the Hostel Toursit in Europe and fun to check.

Drink bottled water such as Volta or sachets of "Pure Water". Bissop juice is also fairly safe as it is boiled, avoid the lemonade "citron" despite its delicious aspect. Stay away from road-side meals if possible.

Ok.. I drink the tap water.
Bissop taste like crap so I drink the Citron.
I usually eat the road-side food, I like to meet the cook, see how the clean and know what life is about.

I lose or I win.

Atakpame Togo Restaurant

Efio Tiger Nut Togo Food

Efio Tiger Nut Togo Food
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This is called Efio in the Mina language of Lome, Togo, and the Nigeria man called it Tiger Nuts in the Nigeria English. I suspect the reason is because of the stripes on the side.

It taste something like a raw peanut, but peanuts taste much better. I think this nut has arrived in season or they are harvesting them now, as I now am seeing them sold. This handful of Tiger Nuts cost about 25 CFA or maybe 5 cents US.

This is another of the mysteries I encounter daily, what is this, why, where, how, etc, it is easy to see why curiosity killed the cat.

What is this? Does it grown on tree, in the ground, what is it?

Efio Tiger Nut Togo Food

Gateau Batoken and Achtomon

Gateau Batoken and Achtomon
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, August 1, 2007

These wheat cakes are called Gateaux for many and Gateau as one. There is a little mark above the A, but I am going to ignore it and hope it goes away.

Next comes the Mina Language, I can ask for a Gateau, and the locals will try to give me what they have close to them, the word Gateau is a general word for cake, however normally here in Togo means these round things.

On the left is the type called Batoken and is smooth, and on the rough one on the right is an Achtomon in the Mina language, maybe I say Gateau Batoken if I want the left type and maybe I say Gateau Achtomon if I want the right. The truth is, I do not say either one if I can see them, I just point at the one I want, and saves many silly communication headaches. My goal is to communicate first, and learn the language second, better to be a good communicator than good in languages.

However, the problem is this, I like the Achtomon, the flavor is sweeter, and takes less like oil, more or a cake and less of a fried taste, it is my favorite Gateau here in Togo. Now, when I have a fancy for a Achtomon Gateau, I need to inquire around, because I have now learn the specific words, I can not request,


I suppose I could say,
- Je veux le gâteau achtomon -
Or maybe,
- Je veux le achtomon gâteau -

Complete with the little pyramid on top of the A, however I will probably just say,
- Achtomon -

Then point, or hold my palms up, and in universal language of hand talk, I will say where is Achtomon?

I like to communicate first and learn a language second.

I guess soon I will climb the French ladder and figure out what is the difference between a Gateau and a Beignet. As I see it, they both are deep-fried in oil, so I cannot say the Gateau Achtomon was bake and a cake. I saw is my favorite Gateau deep fried in the street in front of my eyes, and I like to see my cook, it makes me feel safer to eat.

I forgot, there is probably a word for Gateau in the Mina Language, I could learn that and forget my French. Would I be learning to communicate, or would I be learning a language?

Gateau Batoken and Achtomon

Preparing Pineapple to Sell in Thailand

Preparing Pineapple to Sell in Thailand
Learn how Thailand prepares a Pineapple to be sold by street vendors. This video was made in the hope that people in West Africa can earn more money selling Pineapples using this method of preparation. It is a good idea that needs pass along.

This is a gift to West Africa, a good idea… from Thailand.

Bangkok, a.k.a Krung Thep, Thailand Southeast Asia
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Andy of ---

This is what happens when a Thailand girl or person puts there hands on a Pineapple, what comes after they finished is great to eat.

I travel round and round the planet earth, I see a good idea in one country and wonder why they do not use it in another. It is hard to come up with an original idea and sometimes I think,
- All the good ideas… have already been taken. -
Note… is now taken…

However, you make the stew, the problem to me is this, we need to share recipes, we need to share ideas, and good ideas could make a better life for a family. I think we need to pass them around, easy to do now with a video we put on the internet for all to see.

There are many Pineapples for sale in West Africa, and it appears to me, if the vendors of West Africa, Ghana, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast etc. would cut up a Pineapple and sells this way, a family could have more money, and this very healthy food would be eaten more.

I suppose when I was there, I should have videoed the way West Africa cut the peeling off an Orange and sold it.


IF no video here, you need to read on the blog, and not by email or RSS feed, click here:

Take care, a Thailand girl with a knife.

The start of the process of preparing a Thailand Pineapple to be eaten or sold by the public.

I never purchase a Pineapple in Thailand, it cost 24 Baht in the store, I can purchase a whole Pineapple prepared and iced down for 20 Baht, however normally I purchase half for 10.

After they are finished, these Thailand girls with Black Hair and Brown Eyes push this cart around selling Pineapple,

Please Send to Africa, Thanks

Preparing Pineapple to Sell in Thailand

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