I am on the fourth floor of the Arvo Hotel, I am paying 25 Cedis for a large room, and this is 16.40 USD per day. I am over budget, this room has a TV and Fridge, which I do not need, but I am not going to move to a cheaper room for business reasons. I know Skype.com works well in this room, and one of the primary reasons to be in Ghana is to make business calls.
Hotel Arvo, it feels like a floozy girls, smugglers hotel.
I am able to do the math in my head, I know 25 Cedis is roughly 15 dollars, I knew I was 10 Cedis over budget when I rented the room. Before I enter a country, I study the money, I get on the currency converter site: Xe.com Full
Note: I just realized one way to know you are becoming a traveler, if you bookmark the full list of currencies, you are moving outside the tourist bubble. When went to Iraq, I walked off the "Lonely Planet," level of travel, or I went beyond the guidebook.
Are you a Traveler or a Tourist?, I updated this page and add the currency distinction.
Takoradi, Ghana West Africa --- Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Xe.com saves me from needing to do the math in my head, but the truth is, I do not need to get on Xe.com, I just need to know the dollar to local currency rate, I am good at math, people need to know their math abilities, and stop pretending. The problem with currency converters is to find the level that gives a full list of currencies, you know you are a traveler when you use the full list.
I set my high budget, my high budget in Ghana is 25, my target budget is 15, and I am under budget when I pay 10. To stay in budget, a person needs to know their high budget which for me is 25, but that is not what I can afford, it is the budget for Ghana.
When I was in the Caribbean, the high budget was 75 dollars per night, with a goal of 25 dollars per night, but on average, I paid about 50 dollars per day. Africa is expensive compared to all the other cheap countries, therefore staying on a 5-dollar target budget takes more work. What people want is a great room with no work, this is maybe the number one reason why people will never be able to live "Location Independent," it requires work to travel. While at home, they just looked for an apartment one time, while I may need to look and work.
I need to feel I am getting a good value on a Hotel room, there are Hotel rooms that are bargains at 300 dollars per night, hard to find, but they exist. It is location, location, location with benefits, benefits, and benefits. However, paying for benefits you do not need, use or want is rather silly, but a normal thing to do.
Yahoo News is Getting Market Share
Yahoo News is getting a rather large market share of news traffic, I am not sure they deserve it, but they are doing it in a clever way.
When I was in Tela, two rather naïve internet users told me about current news. Both of the people had read an article about the price of an apartment in Central America. They asked me,
"Did you read the article?"
"No, but I read CNN today, where was the article?"
They could not remember, well the next day, I looked into Yahoo Mail and there is this pop up like the graphics above, and there is the article about Central America Apartments. I ignore pop up look at the Yahoo pop up and my way of paying Yahoo to have free e-mail. They give me a free e-mail account because I agree to look at their advertisements.
Friday I go the Ivory Coast Border Soon
I will make a 2-3 hour trip to the Ghana / Ivory Coast border Friday morning and check into the (Edited Name Out) Hotel again in Elubo. It is humorous, I am looking forward to this Hotel, it has a lot of immigrants a.k.a. smuggler types, people from Nigeria who left Cote d’Ivoire and other strange and nefarious types, the wonderful part of a border city and everything a tourist tries to avoid by staying in expensive hotel. It is getting to grovel around at street level, and know how the other half live, or truly how the 90 percent of Ghana people live normally.
Ghana is a mud hut country about 70 percent of the time then you have some islands where they have more concrete. Because we seek out our comfort zones, many people have a rather blurry eye, rose-colored glass view of a country.
All countries have the Rolex level of money, I first learned this 11 years ago in Managua, Nicaragua, I went to a shopping mall, and there was a Rolex shop. It was dirty, dusty, truly ugly on the bus to the shopping center, and at the end of the road, a Rolex shop with many other expensive stores.
There is a tendency to attribute one standard to the whole country, I try to find the average, and call the country, and the sample needs to exclude the very rich and very poor. Ghana is not poor in my eyes; there are not many places where people are living in squalor. I suppose it exist in the overpopulated Accra, they move there, then complain because they live in squalor, I say to them move back to the village, but they just do not get it.
People moving to highly populated cities is a rat race, they all run for the excitement of the city and never stop to think they are living in insane asylum.
I said I had a 30 percent chance she showed up last time, she showed up. This time I have a 90 percent chance she arrives, and this is good odds. She is my Cote d’Ivoire girlfriend that I like enough to become very angry with; this is a rather strange emotion. I am not familiar with high levels of anger. I am always at a low level of frustration anger in these under-developed countries due to culture fatigue, however I seldom go as high as what a girl can accomplish.
I know this is my responsibility, not hers, maybe my mind has wrapped itself around why I became angry and will deal better this time. There are an unlimited number of small compromises needed to walk down the same path with a lover. No compromise and you will never have love, you will have complete control, maybe take a hostage, but to me love is a continuous compromise with a need to say I am sorry, and the other person saying, they are sorry.
There are people who refuse to say they are sorry, like it is a sign of weakness, it is not, and it is a sign of strength, especially when backed up with a very large stick.
Text Message to Bah - Bring Books
I am going to stop calling her Cynthia if I can remember her name in the village is Bah and I like a lot better than I like Cynthia.
I just sent a text message to her:
"Buy FUN books and bring with you to Ghana."
There is an unrealistic understanding of self --- idea --- to study, like study is something good and needed, I truly to not like being near another traveler or tourist with a textbook with them. They will read one page in day, and call it studying, then carry it around for months. There are also travelers who buy these intellectual books and it takes them six months to read because they hate. I can read between 1 and 3 books per week, while these other people never actually read, they just look at their books.
I want a hidden camera in a pair of sunglasses; does anyone think these things work?
"Love makes the world go round" and "the best things in life are free" as the sayings go so GOOD for YOU for reacting fast enough to arrive in Ghana without wasting anytime thinking about it where "Bah" can meet you. Though I doubt her choice to meet you has anything to do with her university course schedule being postponed til Feb, I'm sure whatever reality she returned to after leaving you made her realize how good it was being with you. WELL PUT about love and companionship and friendship for that matter is all about sharing the same path ahead in life and compromising. Each and every one of us screws up nearly everyday allowing our mood swing or character traits to invade others near us. You might as well get use to feeling anger as it seems like it's the other side of love and passion non attachment like communism and women's liberation are wonderful ideas but don't seem to functional in reality so get use to the being constantly aroused as well as constant emotion and embrace it, C'est la Vie!
I really appreciated today's post and your extremely honest expression of what's going through your head and heart. The budget thing is all part of waking up each morning so may your conferences with the various techies in India go well and help you prosper.
I went downstairs to the reception of the Hotel Arvo here in Takoradi, and had a nice conversation with Winny, the reception girl. I went for walk, and found some truly great hard cinnamon break sticks.
I returned, feeling good about the Hotel Arvo, and walked across the street to take a photo to help advertise the Hotel.
Two really aggressive Ghana men came out screaming, I thought maybe there was something in the photo that was wrong. I stopped, the hotel is a 50/50, not really worth helping.
I went inside, I asked Winny,
"Why are these men screaming at me for taking a photo?"
This is the first hotel in 12 years of travel that has stopped me from taking a photo, a new one for me.
She came out with me, the one man is the accountant, I think I am in a place where girls are working all day. Winny explained to me that the two Ivory Coast girls were working at night, selling to me.
I cannot say the words, the search engines knows how to key in an cause me theme of site problems.
Ghana is a sad place in ways, all the potential in the world, and then they holler at the only tourist for half a mile. The whole English speaking is looking for one acceptable African country to visit. Anglophone countries do not speak French, the choices in Africa are Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda etc. I am sure there are more, but I do not know.
Kenya and Uganda have all the tourism for a reason... hehehe
I still like French West, Africa.
Google "808 camera" they are cheap covert cameras that take pretty good video for less than $10.
Not the easiest thing to figure out at first, better than a cellphone cam though.
"There are people who refuse to say they are sorry, like it is a sign of weakness, it is not, and it is a sign of strength, especially when backed up with a very large stick."
Hahaha!! Funny... And true! :) Thanks for the smile, Andy!