AIDS Test, Bad Water, and Changing her Wig in Ghana
I believe I have a desire to explain real life in real time with photos, words, and videos, this is a travelogue. However, so many things happen in one boring day, that only the worst experiences are poignantly remembered.
I sit down each morning and start typing; whatever first comes to my mind is often what I enter in this online travel journal. This is inherently an unfair description of the day, because the daily pain stays in my short-term memory longest, while pleasant memories can last forever in my long-term memory.
This is the girl that does hair across the street, I convinced Cynthia to lose the old woman wig, and get cornrows that are similar to this young Ghana girl. It was not hard to convince her because I was paying for the new hairstyle. Hair is maybe one of the biggest budget expenses for a Cote d’Ivoire girl; I would believe the Cell Phone Credit is the big expense in life. A Cell phone probably cost an African person about 30-50 dollars per month, and rent is about 15-20, hair can be 20 to thirty Dollars.
This hairstyle cost about 15 dollars, she got a good deal, the women asked 20 Cedis for the work and settled for six, and this type of transaction is often fodder for my angry words written. When somebody asks 20 and settles for six, you know they were trying to cheat you. When a person ask 10 and goes down to 8, this is just fair dealing, when they ask 20 and go down to 6, they are treating us as fools, and have no respect.
Sitting on a stool for three hours surrounded by three girls, braiding hair cost four U.S. dollars, as best I can tell the average girl earns about three dollars per day in Ghana for simple labor.
Cynthia went to the market here in Cape Coast, purchased two magazines and paid 10 Cedis, there is no way an average Ghana girl can afford to read new magazines. The internet cost about one Cedi per hour, but not as beneficial as reading offline materials.
Cape Coast, Ghana West Africa --- Friday, January 7, 2011
This is the Sammo Hotel in Cape Coast, rooms start at about 10 Cedis; I am paying 20 or about 12 US Dollars. The inside of the hotel is nice, the front looks like a junk yard for old cars, however is truly just a typical look inside any of the large cities. This is why I am seldom in large cities in Africa, the larger the city, the larger the piles of clutter. I pay close attention to population density.
Population Density per Square Kilometer:
USA - 33
Togo - 107
Nigeria - 151
Cote d’Ivoire - 57
India - 381
United Kingdom 252
The people of the planet are immigrating to large cities; Manila, Philippines is most densely populated city on the planet.
A travelers budget is directly related to the population density, the higher the density the more expensive the cost of tourist Hotels.
True Budget Travelers need to Read This
In the past, tourist and traveler needed to enter big cities to purchase plane tickets, receive mail from home, and to take money from banks. Now 95 percent of this can be done over the internet, the reason to enter highly populated and chaotic cities has ended. However, I will need to enter Accra here in Ghana to get a Visa, not my idea of fun.
The only clear reason to enter large cities is for chaotic living and it they are the center of the most deviant behavior of a country…. Hehehe Big cities is where the highly educated deviants live… hehehe (a.k.a. Liberals.)
When any person lives in a densely populated city, I keep a question mark next over their heads, I am extra vigilant when dealing with them, there may have a couple screws missing. I grew up in a town of 400 people, and I will forever take pride in being prejudice against city folks. (Note, I used the word prejudice incorrectly, I am not prejudice, I have some logical reasons, prejudice is illogical.)
I took this photo using my Canon Camera with a 20 X zoom. I laid the camera down on the bridge railing to keep it stable. There is a combination here of smog and ocean mist, it is late in the day. There is a polluted lagoon at the edge of the city of Cape Coast. It is enjoyable to listen to Cynthia degrade Ghana; she does not have any PC or African filters on her opinions. While Cote d’Ivoire is more modern and the people are more educated than Ghana, the country of Cote d’Ivoire is dump compared to Ghana. The government of Cote d’Ivoire has not cleaned for the last 10 years properly because of their dictatorship type government and violence.
The water is cleaner in Cote d’Ivoire for drinking and showers, the Sammo Hotel appears to be using a well for the shower water; it is muddy when see it in a bucket, it is probably illegal to use well water, but many big hotels bypass the public utilities and cheat. This is why a Hotel with less than 20 rooms is preferable when possible in undeveloped countries.
The Video City Hotel in Mampong, and the Tarso Hotel in Ho have great water, while the water in one of the most famous cities in Ghana, and in one of the most famous Hotels is crap.
AIDS Test in Ghana
A truly long story, but the bottom line is this, Cynthia wants us to get an AIDS test, we accidentally walked by a Hospital at about 4:00 pm, so we started the unorganized process. I asked where to go for an AIDS test of an administrator standing near the Pharmacy area by the name of Davis. He was pleasant man, who spoke horrible English, but adequate to help us find the correct place to start.
We walked into a large room with about 10 workers sitting around talking, and about 10 people waiting to see a doctor or someone. He advised,
"Do not tell them you are getting an AIDS test, you can tell the doctor."
I think he is inferring, you do not want the people to think bad of you… like I care, everyone in Africa is hype attentive to my every move, I would not be here if I cared what people think.
I have had three AIDS test in my life:
USA free at City Country Building in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Red Cross in Quito, Ecuador and I paid.
Guatemala at a Laboratory, when getting another test done, and I paid.
My experience with AIDS test is this; when you get an AIDS test, the people in the Hospital believe you have AIDS, which is why you are getting the test. It is highly uncommon to pay money to be safe; therefore, when Cynthia and I walk into a Hospital to get an AIDS test, everyone around us assumes we believe we have AIDS.
When these three gay boys in Fort Wayne, Indiana test me in the USA, they asked,
"Don’t you think you have AIDS?"
"No, I have a girlfriend who wants the good housekeeping seal of approval."
Note, I got the test, and the bitch never got one, I learn my lesson; bring the girl with you, or what is the point.
I enjoy when a girl brings up the idea of an AIDS test, is analogous to going to church. While I l believe that 99 percent of the people who go to church are functionally atheist, I still believe it is better for atheists to be in church trying to stop sinning, then the other options.
Well, when some dizzy women ask me to get an AIDS test, you cannot just say no, because I want to encourage responsible behavior in irresponsible people. However, from my experience of coming to Africa six times, I have a better chance of getting AIDS in the USA. The girls in Africa are paranoid and hyper vigilant about AIDS and I have yet to ever find one person in Africa with AIDS. While I know of a few Gay people in the USA with AIDS, most of this problem is hyped up and false statistics and this in my opinion makes Africa safer than most places on the planet.
NGO’s and the save the world assholes are falsifying and radically skewing statistics in Africa to raise money to put in their pockets. Fear of dying in Africa from AIDS I high, while, like I said, close to impossible to find anyone who has AIDS.
I asked Cynthia,
"Do you know any of your girlfriends who have AIDS?"
The answer has been no for about 80 girls I have asked in Africa in six visits here.
Truly AIDS is another of the hyped up problems of the world, while cars kill 20 times more people and very dangerous to walk down a Ghana road. I enjoy the idiocy of the public or masses, it is as if the people of the world are sheep, feed them scary information and they will follow you anywhere.
I am getting tired of typing, and save the finish of the AIDS test for when we complete the test. It is not easy to get an AIDS test in a Ghana hospital; I do not think many people get the test.
We were asked for a "Gift" three times while in the Hospital. (Money)
The administrator says, "She wants a small gift."
I am thinking, why Ghana is always begging, have some pride.
The woman to the left checked my blood pressure:
130 over 80
Weighed me, the scales seemed reasonably functional:
85 Kilos or 187 pounds, at six foot tall.
I am fat in my opinion; my proper weight is 170, therefore 17 pounds overweight and fat. From my perspective, one pound overweight is too much. People of the world are addicted to excuses, exceptions, and allowing themselves and others from being strict. Many of my friends in the USA lift weight and exercise daily, one of my best friends Mike in Fort Wayne is bulked out. I am not good at having fat friends, I avoid people who are fat, therefore if all your friends are generally in excellent shape, then 17 pound overweight is fat.
I realized in life one day, we can define ourselves by who we try to copy or the people we compare ourselves too, I compare myself to the body builders in a Gym in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This is how I define myself, and presently I am also comparing my body to a young Cote d’Ivoire girl who is a 9.5 on scale of 10, she is in incredible looking shape compared to me. I am not doing badly, I have a Cote d’Ivoire girl with me who is a 9.5, truly an exceptionally beautiful girl, I am not worried, but I have high standards.
We have to return to the Hospital today, when we finally got past all the red tape yesterday, the person who was supposed to be in the office was off somewhere else. This is the story of management in Africa, the management is always "Out to lunch."
The reason why Africa has economic problem is generally a cultural problem. Africa has chief of tribal type communities, when a person becomes a chief; they sit around, eat, drink and get fat, and stop working completely. They take great pride in doing nothing; this is the aspiration of people in Africa, to be the chief.
Therefore, when workers and African person works hard, and one day become the manager of a business or organization, when they have finally arrived, they begin to act like a chief and stop working. The person who is truly qualified to manage is a "made person" and stops working and goes drinking all day. Jobs are given to all his or her friends with no merit, nepotisms is rampant, the top management is out to lunch.
On the other hand, living in a country where everyone sits around talking with his or her friends and not working is more a Utopia than the USA or Europe.
Note, understanding jokes are a sign of Fluency in a language. I was in the Hospital spewing one-liners, I am lucky they did not understand my English. I said things like,
"Ok, the nurse wants a couple Cedis gift, how big a bribe does the Doctor want?"
"Oh, we need to get consulting before you will give a test, how much money does it cost to avoid doing what you think I need?"
Funny stuff, even with all the surplus fees added on at the Cape Coast Hosptial, the cost is only going to be 15 dollars, maybe two days labor for a Ghana person.
AIDS is 100 percent stoppable, test everyone in the country, and you will stop the problem completely, then put a tattoo on people who have AIDS. This is too simple, but that is not how the real world functions, too much talk and no real solutions implemented.
AIDS Test, Bad Water, and Changing her Wig in Ghana
A very good post which clarified a few of our personal differences and the few opinions we share. If Cynthia looks as good as the hairstylist pictured then I agree with your description.
The best thing to think about when it comes to a woman's beauty shop and hair stylist treatments is how much it costs in the States, especially in the big cities filled with "highly educated deviants" and liberals who are willing to pay such prices I think doing hair like you described costs nearly U$40 to U$100 so WHAT A DEAL U$4 for 3 hours work so STAY HAPPY! That's my way of dealing with frivolous non-essential expenses! Big city residents have their own prejudices and opinionated slurs on rural people so why not vice versa eh? All's fair in love and narrow mindedness!
Wow what a trip, 3 AIDS tests in your life already, impressive. I DO AGREE what you stated about being tested should be mandatory with a tatoo marking those with AIDS. I think the SAME thing about voting for Presidential elections also and for military or community service. I think the same thing about STRAIGHT TAX simple and allows anyone with U$5 calculator to find their own total taxes due withOUT the need of an over educated CPA or accountant or a lawyer. Poor people and Rish people simply TAXED the SAME amount this would bring about incredible changes rocking the boat of "the system" so bad many would find themselves overboard withOUT a paddle.
As you know I'm very familar with the "POOR ME" attitude living here in the Philippines so sharing with us the same thing is rampant in Ghana also helps me be less judgemental. Maybe it's a Christian thing eh?
Funny about the Ghana / Cote D'Ivoire thing going onsounds like the French versus the Yanks or Brits critical attitudes pointed at each other's culture and the resulting sarcastic humor and jokes told.
Can the old dog teach us some new tricks?
Last week, the fringing reef off the island where I live was receiving consistent overhead waves, with glassy conditions.
I wanted to go surfing with some boards I had in a travel pack, which I hardly ever use except in exceptional conditions. However, I had a serious problem. The slider had corroded to the point of fusion with the zipper. I didn't want to use brute force and render the zipper useless. I tried WD40. Then I remembered Handy Andy, and made use of your posts. Problem solved. Zipper opened. Great session!
How about some more advice on gear repairs?
I wanted to commend you on getting tested. I pesonally don't believe you should have sex outside of marriage but if you are, you should becareful. I hate that there is a stigma to this, it should be that there is a stigma to those who don't get tested. Although you should know your tattoo idea will not work. It might dhelp to slow down AIDS, but people would A get around it and B some people are crazy risk takers. It is like here in california, we put calorie information on all the menus but mcds is doing better than ever.
I suppose in the end, it is always the survival of the fittest.
"California!" The Travel Game