This travel tips applies to all continents, I am thinking and focusing on Africa, today I am presently in Lome, Togo, in three days I expect to again be in Takoradi, Ghana or Elubo.
How will, how do I meet the 1 in 50 person who has a good heart? (Is that a colloquial phrase, to --- have a good heart.)
The title could have said:
How to Meet the 1 in 50 Person in South America with a Good Heart
How to Meet the 1 in 50 Person in Central America with a Good Heart
How to Meet the 1 in 50 Person in North America with a Good Heart
How to Meet the 1 in 50 Person in Europe with a Good Heart
How to Meet the 1 in 50 Person in Asia with a Good Heart
How to Meet the 1 in 50 Person in Oceania with a Good Heart
Walk by and say Hello to 50 people, if you are a good person you will notice when you meet the 1 in 50. If you are bad person, you may understand this story, but would refuse to say Hello to 50 people, you will ask the question.
This is Eva, she has a husband by the name of Coco, and they run a small food stand down behind the Atlantique Bank, near Togocel in the Centreville of Lome, Togo.
Lome, Togo West Africa --- Monday, January 24, 2011
If you have read along for years, you will notice I am not fond of recommending Hotels or Restaurants, and almost never a tour company. The truth is, I only want to recommend a person with a good heart, and it is difficult to say,
"All the people in a tour company have good heart."
I know Eva and Coco, and I would say, Eva is kind hearted and I am not sure about Coco, I am to must put them together. I feel she is the 1 in 50 and he is part of the 49, this is not important. I am only looking to find the 1 in 50; I assume the majority are one of the 49.
If a person shows a good heart, I can see, feel and experience the goodness, I move them from the 49 over to the 1 in 50.
Why is Eva the 1 in 50?
Now, please be aware, the majority of the 50 believe they are good hearted, and if encouraged some of them can move over to the 1 in 50, but generally they keep taking it back and being miserly with their kindness.
Money is seldom kindness, it is being kind, not giving, money is a weird thing, people think by giving money they have proven they are kind, no it proves they have money.
The Story of an Exception in Togo
If you have traveled in under-developed countries…
If you have been the rich foreigner…
If you have been the White Man in Africa…
Then you are aware, money only goes one direction, there is a willingness on the part of Togo culture to take, they are more than happy to say,
"Give me a Cadeau."
"Give me a Gift."
I often say,
"Give me a Gift?"
"Why? You have the money."
The reality is, good can go both ways, but let us not get confused, giving gifts is more about being selfish. People who give gifts want something… maybe, yes, maybe no. you truly need to watch people who give gifts.
Obama Plate, a good way to make me laugh, I like the idea that a food is sitting on top of his face. He should be over here in Africa more, making a change, where real progress could happen.
I wake too early, I have nothing to do, I write, and then I want to eat. I took a Moto to the Centreville and started walking down through the workers area, where the people play and sometimes work. It is an industrial sales area behind the Atlantique Bank close to Togocel main office. Well, I happened to walk up to the pretty and beautiful Eva, she smiled, and I inspected her cooking area. I asked about the price of an egg sandwich, it was 400 CFA for two eggs.
She made this exceptional sandwich, I stopped her from putting in the onion and tomato as is the custom here, and requested she put in Pima, a small hot pepper.
I come back, but this day, Coco is going to cook my sandwich, not my idea of cook, I like the young, beautiful and sexy cooks, and men in Africa seem dirtier. Nonetheless, he starts to cook my two-egg sandwich. I must again stand up, tell him,
"I do not want tomato or onion.’
"I want Pima."
Eva was standing over the left, she had come back.
I look over to the skillet, I can see Tomatoes and Onions, it is not cooked, and I tell him to take them out. He takes one out, and proceeds to cook. I am thinking,
"Fricken Under Developed Cultures!!!!"
"Always less than the minimum, never just the way I want it."
The problem with underdeveloped cultures is underdeveloped manners, and underdeveloped sense of pride in their work.
I grabbed the pan, started to throw the egg out, I said, I want another two eggs. He took the pan from my hand, put it in the bread for a sandwich and put it below the counter… (oooh, who is going to eat that later?)
Ok, Eva enters the show, she tells him, Pima, only Pima, and looks at him. Well, he made the sandwich correct the second time. She is buttering me up; ask me if I wanted some get-me-fat-coffee. I it is instant coffee with a lot of evaporated milk, it is a standard type of coffee in about 50 percent of the planet and I accepted. She serves me this extra large coffee; I suspect it has 200-300 calories per cup.
I want to pay, and I want them to make me a good sandwich every day, therefore I cannot allow them to lose money today. I am going to pay for his screw-up.
400 screwed up sandwich.
400 for good sandwich.
250 for coffee
I hand her 1000, then hold another 1000 up, I then give it to her 1000 like a gift, she is happy.
I gave a Gift because I wanted something
I want the exact same sandwich again and again, the same as the one I got the first day. And as is the brains in Africa, they seldom remember anything, I want her attention, and maybe money will work. It is not that they cannot remember, the culture is sloppy, same as India or most under-developed cultures, sloppy thinking, but I am too strict, too much German culture in me.
I order a sandwich, Coco cooks it correctly while I am on standing over him, making sure, watching every move he makes. If he does it bad today, I will stand up and walk away, no money, no mercy; he will get his just reward for having a no-care, no-heart business.
He does it right, but not because he cares.
I drink a coffee, Eva gave it to me, I did not really want it, but she was "Caring" and just repeated exactly what I had the day before.
400 for egg sandwich
250 for coffee
650 total, I give her a 1000 CFA note.
She give me a 500 CFA back, and waved me away, I look at her and say,
"I owe you 150."
--- Math is not good in Africa, I have to double help them here.
She waves me away, like get out of here, lets not be petty.
I can count on one hand the number of times I have received a discount without asking here in the last 4-5 months in West Africa. I have never got a discount without demanding it; I have never got money back, because money goes only one way. There was a nice woman in Grand Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire that gave me two free Gateau’s, she had a good heart, and she was the 1 in 50. Sometimes Girls will add an extra Beignet to my sack, this is not being nice, and they are stealing from their boss, so not nice. This is about the same as a barmaid giving you an extra strong drink, she wants a big tip, and another person pays for the cost.
(Me the boss, I have been the boss all my life, I know employees.)
Good people are generous for zero reason, nothing to gain, they are willing to lose, good people will look bad to allow another person to look good.
I watched James Sueltzer in the USA walk across the street in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I was about 50 yards away. He stopped as he was walking down the street and picked up a plastic cup lying in the street that was trash, he carried for about 25 yards and put in a trash bin. Nobody was watching, except for me, he was nice, and nobody was watching.
If somebody is watching, you should not be nice, try to not be watched, you do nice things, and the left hand should not see the right hand do a good deed.
The 49 see the 1 and say,
"We have a sucker."
Many a website will report, we give 10 percent to a charity, this is not being nice, it is marketing, it is reported first and foremost, a sucker is born every day approach. People who try to be clever truly annoy me, they are obviously being bad, I allow them to do it me, I want to inspect their spirit, and I allow this one time to check. I enjoy this sort of story, a great way to piss people off for fun and pleasure.
I have never been able to pre-qualify a nice person; I have to say the same Hello to all people. Some of the most obnoxious people at first, are extremely nice as they stop being afraid, my advice it to always say hello to all people when possible. I somewhat think of a Hello as a fishing rod, I load up with bait, I put on a smile, and I fish by saying Hello.
It is great fun to catch a happy person in my little game of life.
Business Trip to Ghana
I need high-speed Internet this week to attend a conference call on Thursday, and to call a bunch of India people to see if they speak truly speak English as they say on their application. I want to hire some data entry people, therefore I am going to apply for a visa to Ghana today, Monday and try to leave again for Ghana on Wednesday.
I will use an MTN USB Wireless Modem in Ghana to make the Skype calls.
Cynthia Again Enters the Door
For some reason, the good Gods have put Cynthia back into my world. She for some reason does not have University until the end of February; I called her and ask her if she wanted to meet me again. She is going to come to Elubo, Ghana on Friday.
I wired her 100 dollars with Western Union online, worked like a charm, did this right from my room with the Tether.com connection to the Verizon Global Email BlackBerry.
Swimmers Chlorine Body
I have stopped taking cold showers with normal water from the Hotel. Because of a 12 years history of skin problems, rashes, etc, I have decided cold water is too big of problem for me a traveler. I am only taking dip showers with hot water, or I am putting Chlorine in the water and taking a dip shower. I am not using water straight from the tap to clean my body; I do use the water in the sink.
Hotel Water from the tap has too many bacteria, I have the travel skills to stop them, therefore I will.
Stopping all Disliked Comments
I stop all comments on YouTube.com, because of the horrible comments that are made. There is no enjoyment in reading them. There is no enjoyment in reading disliked comments on this Blog, I want to enjoy life, and I do not make a penny more or less, if you comment. I enjoy a good comment the same as you. I have had two things happen in the last four month.
I do not people to accidentally read bad comments, they can do so for strange reasons.
Jeroen my Travel agent wrote and said,
"Why don’t you stop Xxxxx person from commenting. I will never comment as long as I have to read his along with mine."
I thought to myself, hmm, I would not comment if there were bad comments. We have put them into the disliked group very strictly now, too much fun. I do not care if someone talks bad about me, I just do not care, but if Jeroen a friend does not like, then that is different.
SOON, the only people who can comment are people with username and passwords, we will then have the ability to ban an e-mail or user, and this will greatly slow down the problem children of the planet. May as well go and sign up, we presently have over 2500 people, it is amazing, there is 5 people per day that sign up and this is an under-developed area of the site.
I do not evaluate my Blog by the number of comments or likes, I evaluate by my own inner scorecard. If you are making a comment, do it to help other readers, do it to clarify, not to be prove you are clever.
Being clever is a good way to be exclude from my day, to find yourself having the door hit you as you leave. I am clever, I want you to be clever with the team, not against the team.
How to Meet the 1 in 50 Person in Africa with a Good Heart
I've enjoyed reading your posts on here for a long time. I'm sure there are
hundreds of others who do the same and never comment. This is my first one.
I read them every day and save the ones I really like to read again later.
Thank you. Keep up the good work. I've always wanted to go to Africa but
never did because my wife doesn't like to travel and I didn't know anyone over
Jerry from Alabama
Been busy back here in Manila so haven't read your recent extra long posts recently because I was too hyper to invest enough of my attention span to really read your posts word for word like they deserve. This 1 in 50 is an interesting guestimate but know what you mean about how few people do the right thing and reach out automatically to others with a welcoming smile or a random act of kindness for no reason other than, "treat others like you want to be treated" or "you reap what you sow" or "what goes around comes around". My wife and I have had such incredible good karma or enjoyed such a lucky life we attribute it directly to being rewarded for the way we live our lives, some call it FAITH others call it, just doing the right thing. So occasionally when various roadblocks or negative people cross our paths spewing "poison" attempting to infect anyone they come in contact with enter our daily life we are tempted to REACT or ATTACK or DEFEND but in most cases just resist by avoiding and evading. Such circumstances and people feed off people reacting or giving them attention so avoiding, evading and ignoring them and their behavior hurts them the worst.
Of course we are aging so there is whole new generation and various types of people who are traveling the world but for us helping other travelers just if the only natural thing that we do without thinking. It's just the simple "Zen" reaction to others needing help or advice of course when it comes to money there are just too many "leeches" and "parasites" who live their whole lives from the efforts and sweat of others so we still follow the "never a borrower nor a lender be".