The Trouble with Travel
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Ironic coincidence, is this a proof of Gods existence?
I received this comment in an email:
It is an amazing relationship, isn't it? The fixer and the traveler...to rely on those that can’t be trusted. Does it get exhausting? Is there anyone you can release yourself with, where you aren't worried,
fearful, plotting, manipulating or being manipulated, someone you are not having to bargain with just to get by? Anyone you can just BE with, where presence is a mutually shared gift?...I guess I'm now writing about you, the forever traveler, and not just someone going
on a month-long vacation.
Until later...safe journeys!
I would say in a brief paragraph she has explained the trouble with travel, not the fixer, the whole experience. (And to always sleep in a different bed.)
My relationship between me and the people I meet on the planet earth. A good person does not walk up to a stranger, a foreigner, a person they do not know. It is the people with bad manners.
Maybe the started after this post:
I have been having this email conversation with Sarah, most of the emails are posted somewhere in the Help Center.
This comment is ironic; I am in Atakpame to take a vacation from all the concepts in the quote:
I become exhausted with people, the people of the planet can be extremely trying, they can be so frustrating you start to envision or have a desire to capture them, tie them up, then turn over to God and get a bounty for finding sinners. When a new person, ME, enters a culture he or she is not protected by the culture, this means any nefarious, bad, evil person that wishes to come up and try to manipulate, maneuver, sell me something has an opportunity. Nobody is going to say, do not do this to the person.
- They often think, allow Joe with no money to make some money, he need it, and will help or encourage the person. -
On 20 percent of the planet, not where I travel, in the so-called developed world you can turn them into the police. On the rest of the planet, they are normal people.
The art of travel in so many ways to avoid the bad people. If you avoid the bad, then what is left over is great.
I become very annoyed with Guidebooks, Travel Writers, and Adventure Writers who do not give me hints. Hell, I do not want hints; I want to know specific clear ways to identify the scammers and avoid.
I want to know who to avoid, MORE than what to do, what to do is easy to learn, everyone is writing about that. I want to know how to avoid people. I know in West Africa there are two easy ways, one is drive a car, and he second is to live in Tourist Hotels, the ones that cost above 10 Mille or about 20 US per night. Then life is insulated. The car would easily insulate me from the people. Then why come here?
I have seen very few people, I think one Swiss girl, maybe two French Canadians in my travel experience in Africa using public transportation, and me. This is three people in about 6 months of my life living in West Africa. In Ghana you have many volunteers that travel or leave the project and go on brief trips, they are not crossing borders. I have met one bike rider.
Africa men are very annoying, the closer I get, the more they know me, and the more they annoy me. I would suppose the Philippines men are often the same, and this makes the women love me here and there.
I am taking a pause here in Atakpame, Togo, I am in a controlled environment, and I am in a place where it is difficult to have a casual annoying conversation. I must pay a moto taxi to take me to the annoying cultural conversations. (Also boring, but good.)
This is a vacation from what you perceive as a vacation. I actually live here today, then tomorrow maybe somewhere else. I do not get to go home and recharge, I must re-charge here. No go home bivouac.
I love West Africa, the genuine normal people after I am able to somehow avoid the large gauntlet of annoying men, sometimes women are fun. Innocent, joyful, playful and curious, they do not now foreigners. I think the reason is also because they do not want money. They think 99 percent of the time about eating, talking, enjoying life or lying around like a big dog. What a wonderful society or culture, the majority of time is leisure. The do their leisure while disguised as work.
This is really 80 percent of the world, the under-developed part, the 20 percent in the USA, Europe and Australia etc are crazy, no time, I have no time, call me later. Here in Togo they would stop and talk all day if you would talk. The always have time, they do not let work interfere with the enjoyment of life and food is plentiful as the Garden of Eden, you can see the fat on the body, they do very little exercise and eat tremendously, if they have a problem, I think it is boredom.
I am going to give an example of a list I am making, I thought I already posted, maybe I did, and I cannot find or remember clearly.
I am making a list of how to avoid the problem people in West Africa. Pretty much, it goes like this, if a person does any of these things, pretend you did not hear, and continue to walk. They will give up quickly and forget.
IF you obey and avoid these comment, what you will have left over is well mannered and good people.
Togo Starting A Conversation - How they start an annoying conversation.
Yeh bow by an Adult - It means White Man
VA - I means come in Ewe or Kabrye, etc.
Cadeau - Gift
Donnez moi - Give me
Horn - On moto
Call Andre - Somehow learned my name.
Stare at me
Rastas - Always annoying and believe I want to talk.
Speak English to you.
Patron - Means like owner or boss
Blanc - White
Holler until I turn around, then demand I come
Tell someone else to holler at me, that is closer.
Walk into you - This is done as macho tactics.
Shake you hand - Pretend not to speak any language they know.
Have a friend introduce you, - Do not talk -
OK, this is a great way to avoid everyone.
How do you meet people.
I listen to the voices, children, and happy voices, inquisitive voices; there is also the polite person. I had a girl following me in Kpalime, she was a pain, she was so polite, and it was close to impossible to avoid her. She did everything right, the problem was she was 17 and wanted to come in my room to get a Gift, I was successful, I talked politely until she gave up. I find that about one day is the diligence level of West Africa, three days is an exceptional person. To annoy me for three days and me consistently say no is difficult.
The other good thing now, my French is improving, I can say no easier.
I am on vacation, the trouble with travel is the people you meet, and I guess I am tolerant, or I would leave. There is this somewhat idiot idea that tolerance is good. Tolerance enables people to continue to act badly, and intolerance of bad manners is what the world needs. Not a tolerance for bad manners and un-civilized behavior. I try to make a one-path entry into my life, by good manners only, if no manners, not behaved, they do not enter. What is amazing to me, the lesser the education in West Africa, the better their manners.
Togo Annoyances, Togo, Planning Africa, Annoyances, What is good advice, Why Travel, Why Not Travel
The Trouble with Travel
Goodbye Burkina Faso
Bobo Dioulasso or Bobo, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I deleted two pages of angry thoughts about Burkina Faso Cling-ons, people who follow you and just never stop.
I was in Banfora doing the Burkina loop trip in my brain, when I thought,
- I am not happy, I do not want to be in Burkina -
To continue to do something that makes you unhappy, means a person has a desires to be unhappy.
Ironically I had just keyed in on a comment from Wade:
- To move with the grain, the path of the traveller -
I am working on a few I-need-high-speed-internet project and the internet café here in Bobo across from the Soba Hotel is one of the best I have found in West Africa.
Burkina Faso is in the middle, a good transit point to go North, East South and West, I have no choice, I will come back.
Ouaga, Bobo and Banfora all had young men who found me, then followed me, they will not stop, when one stops, the next one begins.
I am sad as I have seen many things to explore here, sugar cane that stretches for miles, Dates sold in the market, every type of food in West Africa seems to be here, this is a Mecca of West African foods, a lush area of farming done right. I saw the big moving irrigation systems over the sugar cane. There are tourist here, I have no idea what they are doing, they are French, about 80 percent women, with a Burkina Boy at their hip to protect them, however I am curious, what are they doing, was is this connection between France and Burkina Faso, why does the French people think they need or want to come here of all countries.
I do not want to collect bad memories of a country, it is traveling against the grain. The list of cons outweighs the pros, I am leaving soon for Mali, I am interested in country of Guinea and Liberia, I have no real desire to go to Mali, Senegal sounds good for a couple of days Mauritania to Europe by land is one of them, say I did it trips.
Goodbye Burkina Faso