I am now in Elubo, Ghana one of the African "Wild Wild West" border towns. I am with Bah my Cote d’Ivoire girl. She is going to travel with me for another few weeks, and today I was happy. Why? Because we went walking down the road, semi looking for food, and semi-bored, trying to keep busy. While walking on the main road towards Takoradi, Ghana, after maybe two miles, she said,
"Let us turn left."
I look left, I see some hills, mud, mud huts, clutter, trees, but there is no road. Well, I am extremely happy, she did this before, she wants to explore this village of Elubo, up close, personal and friendly she wants to walk where there is no clear path, she is an explorer, an essential ingredient of a Hobo Traveler like me… Yes, I be Hobo.
We turned left, right into the front yards, back yard, and side yards of the people of Elubo, Ghana. Most of Africa is wide open, free range walking, you have implied permission to walk across my lawn, and by the way, there is never a lawn, but if there was, you have permission. Many times, you run into a clotheslines, walk through groups of people cooking, pounding Fufu and generally sitting around doing what people do.
Nomad Wandering and wondering whether I am mad
Bah likes to wander around looking at anything, she does not need to know where she is going, she is happy just going, she is a nomad. She does not understand the word Hobo, so she is saying to me,
"You want me to be a Nomad."
My friend Max, the owner of "GoNomad.com" has to be happy, he is sitting somewhere in the USA saying to himself,
"Yes, Bah, Nomad is better than Hobo." GoNomad.com
My French is better than Bah’s English, and I have yet to explain Hobo in French, or English, my Hobo is not working, it is already over with, she has already branded me as Nomad, sometimes she says,
"I’m not a Nomad."
"You are a Nomad."
…. Ooops, I am thinking to myself, wrong word, wrong word, I be Hobo.
Bah likes to explore, and she see me as a Nomad Traveler.
Bah loves to cook, this time though, I am going to do my best to "Brand" this cooking correctly. I will say, do you want to be a Hobo Cook?
She agreed, this is Hobo Cooking, but she has yet to use the words in a sentence
Google cares what you call my site?
I am advising readers and webmasters, you are invited to write articles and such on HoboTraveler.com. Well, a couple of people took me up on this offer. I assumed they understood SEO, and they did not, if you want to make good titles and extract some Google Juice, and the writers have permission to do so. Well, nope, they did not understand, how can I give them their pay, this is the pay for writing the articles.
When you put a link on your site to my site, the title you give the link, then resounds, resonates, and passes juice to my site, and Google says, so you think this site is about "TITLE." Therefore, we will call the page it lands on that, it will have rank for those words. It is not what I think about my page, it is what other sites say or think about my page, it is how they define me that is important to Google.com.
I want to have my Mobile Office page come up in the first three search results, than I need incoming links that are called "Mobile Office," from other sites. Mobile Office
People sell text links, there is money to be made in links with the proper titles, there are many sites where this is the only way they earn money.
Many Many Bad People in Africa
This is what Bah told me, because she wants me to stop saying hello to many people. The reality is, I only say hello to approximately 25 percent of the people I encounter. She has a belief system that says, I can command you what to do, and she commands me. It is both entertaining and annoying at the same time, she is angrily serious, and so I must validate her feelings.
She warns me,
"There are many bad people in Africa."
I am thinking, yes, there are and I have been to 15 of the countries, and you have never made it farther than a few hundred miles from home.
I have observed this greeting situation now for 12 plus years, and maybe one day I can break it down to the various types of people.
Types of Greetings Behavior
1. People who look dazed and stupid, if you talk to them, they appear to be asleep.
2. People who only say hello to people they know.
3. People who only reply after spoken too directly.
4. People who are willing to ignore good people and bad people.
5. People who cannot ignore bad people or good people, this is truly a problem.
6. People who do not ignore greetings from locals, but ignore greetings from other foreigners.
There is a rather unique case of cultural differences here, she is strong willed African, and will command, and I softly say no, (Andy culture) I will do, as I want, I know I am uncontrollable by commands. Now what is funny, she gives me funky commands, do not walk on the highway, you can be hit. This is half-true, so I obey, but only if the place to walk off the road that are acceptable.
Slave Owner Mentality in Africa
I said without thinking yesterday,
"African culture is about having slaves."
"You give me commands as if I had no choice, as if I am your slave."
She looked at me, knowing and accepting that she does this, and realizing this is something she needs to be careful doing. She is 100 percent aware I will just walk away and she will never see me again. I said to her,
"We are negotiating."
I was a professional negotiator when I sold Real Estate, in my former career. I would help in negotiating between groups of people who had no clarity and were willing to abuse the other people with no remorse. People buying or selling real estate are incredibly selfish, and want the agent, arbitrator or mediator to make unreasonable demands. We started with absurdity and worked our way into compromise and acceptable positions.
However, it is always enjoyable to watch people make a spontaneous, greedy, selfish, self-centered and almost psychopathic request. I say to myself,
"Oops, this person is willing to gas a few Jew, with no emotional problems, I will mark that down in my book."
Slave Situations in Africa that exist because the slave wants a master
A woman is slave to a man or husband.
A man is slave to the chief of the village or his boss.
Friends make slave relationships of other friends.
American Ghetto movies have the same mentality, you can also see it in the Russian Mafia movies. And there is this boss man, who has the right to tell others what to do. Yes, it is also in the Italian Mafia culture movies, but more subtle, and only with greater respect.
This is fun stuff to think about, but is also a real situation, Bah and I must have a meeting of the minds, and we need to accept each other, she will put a few ultimatums on me, and I will put ones on her.
One of hers is Andy; you will brush your teeth after you drink coffee
One of mine, Andy’s: After Bah finishes eating fish and other something-African in the room, she will take the bag out of the room and dispose.
I can refuse these small commands, but they are reasonable, and I will compromise. She has the option, too many refusals and we have no respect for each other.
Ability to be Nice
She stopped to help a women put a heavy washbasin full of products on the head of a woman yesterday. Often woman cannot lift what they carry onto their heads, they need help loading and unloading. This was good; she does not consider herself a chief daughter or slave master above doing common things.
Chiefs are the number one problem with Africa, they corrupt the culture, and stops it from entering a modern world.
Ghana Children Dancing
There is an instant change in Bah’s mood when she walks into a neighborhood of normal people, she says hello, and becomes jovial. While in the obnoxious clutter of city traffic she is closed, we encountered these children dancing. I started dancing and prompted them to do more and more, then recorded this video.
Subscribe to Greeting Blog
Yep, we have a Greeting Blog; we now have about 200 different Blogs related to how to travel, which is the same as saying, how to live life. However, it has been my observation that business people need to read about manners and how to greet people, this is a lacking in business people that is strange.
I had my friend Jeff many years ago talking about a local politician in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he said,
"The guy is very personable and friendly."
I was annoyed with my friend Jeff; I thought he knew many politicians.
"This is how you know you are talking to a politician, when you remove your hand, it feels as if some great type of energy past to you."
Again and again I have came back to this idea of giving good energy to others, in reality, I suspect Bah believes I have some limited supply of good energy, and she does not want me sharing the energy with others so she can have it. Truly good energy is unlimited, as long as you recharge your batteries in correct ways.
If you are in business, you need to learn to say Hello and know when not to say Hello. Greetings Blog
Nomads take their family, friends, belongings and culture with them wherever they go, setting up in different living areas though not staying anywhere permanently.
I suggest that you use the word "voyageur" to identify what you do in French. It gives a sense of adventure and distinguishes you from tourists. A "voyageur" also has a desire to discover and experience many places and people
FYI a "clochard" is a tramp, bum derelict or vagrant. It is a derogatory term. Vagabond is the same in English and French indicating one who has no fixed address, but could be interpreted as one who has no desire to work. If you use it, you would need to specify that your work is travel, writing and maintaining a business etc. You are also an "explorateur"/explorer, but I sitll think "voyageur" is the best choice
Your problem is not so much the choice of words as your life is rather nomadic in nature, (traveling office), but people anywhere have difficulty with the concept of travel as work. Most just think of it as a leisure activity or a source of revenue depending on which side you are on.
I am happy that at last I have seen Bah in a photo, even if it is just from the back and looking down as she does her hobo cooking. I will continue to follow your saga with her and hope she or you or both of you decide to show a full frontal picture of her, or better yet, the two of you au pair.
I am so happy you two are together again.............and may it all be good craic!
Words are funny little buggers and I've found can be used for good or bad reasons. I like the term "nomad" and in my mind, that word most accurately portrays you.
Any news on when your travel pack will be in production? How many litre pack will it be?
I was wondering how much weight you travel with all the electronic gear you have ? Also what do you employ people to do in India ? Enjoying your blogg very much.