I awoke this morning at approximately 5:30 am because of an extremely noisy loudspeaker system here in Mampong, Ghana. I have been observing these phenomena now for many years, and after years of complaining and trying to understand, I finally realized. I am the only one complaining, and that is the interesting phenomena to be observed.
Why am I the only one complaining?
Why does a culture agree to be submissive?
Why does a culture agree to this perpetually?
There is an obvious advantage when one person dominates another for selfish reasons. It is not clear why a large group accepts and agrees to remain submissive. I believe there is a consensus among the submissive group that empowers the dominating group. There is a consensus saying that the noise is not good, but there is an overriding consensus that says they do not have the right to stop the noise. This is a free will offering of control and leadership to one member in a group with no explainable reason, even though there is no benefit to the group.
This type of submissiveness allows bullies to exists and dominate cultures.
--------------------------------- Listen to today’s questions and answers talk show with Andy Graham
Joel from Oregon asked two questions: 1st: Would you or have you visited un-contacted tribes? 2nd: What are the results of your December 26, 2010 straw poll, where you asked people the question, are you happy?
| a life less normal - Talk Show |
| RSS for Talk Show |
The Frustration of Searching for Open Restaurants
African Cultural Studies --- By living with an African girl here in Ghana, I am immersed deeper than ever before into the African culture. I am observing nuances, and small subtle behavioral characteristics never experienced before in other trips to Africa.
You know you are culturally immersed when there is a never-ending queue of new and uncomfortable experiences. Bah is frustrated and uncomfortable, she is an Ivory Coast girl living in Ghana, although the cultures are similar, they is enough variance to make her feel uncomfortable.
Seeing problems in another culture, we avoid in our own.
I enjoy being with Bah while searching for street venders to buy food, she is becoming increasing frustrated. Ivory Coast is about five levels more modern than Ghana; however not enough to say there is a dramatic difference. She does not see the same problems in her own culture, but here in Ghana she is quick to point them out, I just say.
"T.I.A. This Is Africa."
We know of these street food stands:
1. Two places that cook fried rice with a piece of chicken.
2. Three places that cook fried eggs.
These are two foods she will eat with me, that are not typically African, she normally wants
Dorkounoum, Attieke, Placali, or Alloco however, best to leave for another time, that is just another area of frustration.
She wants to be a good African woman, she wants me feed me, she wants me to eat a two-egg sandwich with cut up pepper inside, served on a toast bun. She went to the market and purchased small Africa peppers, and in Kumasi the other day, we purchased a bottle of powdered black pepper. She was prepared, ready to make me happy, she put the red peppers into a bag, then grabs the bottle of powered pepper and we go walking to a street vender that cooks eggs.
We walk to the restaurant stand, and the first one is closed, we walk to another and it has no eggs, we switch to fried rice and it is closed. She finally says,
"Do you want a boiled egg?"
There are at least 30 people selling boiled eggs, no one person is dependable, but it would be hard to not find one of the people walking around with boiled eggs.
Ghana, West Africa --- Tuesday, April 5, 2011
When nothing is dependable, you do not plan.
I accept the underdeveloped world, I will complain a little, but I no longer get angry with owners of restaurants or street venders. There is nothing dependable about a street vender in Mexico, Thailand or Ghana. A traveler cannot expect a Restaurant, Internet Café, store, or and business establishment to open when it says, or even to open, it is emotional sabotage to expect dependability from these countries.
If you want dependable go to:
3. Pizza Hut
I love franchises and chain restaurants; they are a no-brainer love affair.
The best situations overseas are when you can eat at the Mom and Pops places, then when they are too stupid, walk into a Franchise and eat.
Bah is becoming increasingly frustrated, I on the other hand am becoming increasingly comfortable. The longer I am in one location, the more small places I know to eat, the more options that become available. I leave the room as a scavenger, maybe we first walk to our favorite fried rice place, but if closed, my normal plan it to walk around until I find something acceptable.
Bah has started cooking in the room, it takes longer, it does not save much money, but this is more dependable than eating out. To be sure, there is always a way to cook in Ghana, we have both an electric hot plate, and an alcohol cooker. It makes Bah happier to know that she is accomplishing something, than the idea of eating at a restaurant that may or may not be open as agreed.
It is USA inside the Hotel Room
It has been a struggle; however, Bah now understands me and is now making jokes. She says to me,
"You are half German."
This means, I am strict, inflexible, and demanding, I am very dependable, like a Mercedes Benz car.
People hate rules, unless the rules makes lives simpler and easy, then they cling to them. I have lived in Hotel room for 13 years, I have a few self-imposed rules, and when someone else enter the room, I say,
"This is the USA."
Sort of like an Embassy on foreign soil, we hope and should expect to enter our own culture, well, when I return to the Hotel room, I am in the USA. These rules are slowly making Bah feel comfortable, she is an Ivory Coast girl inside Ghana, and she is not at home.
This is always the fun part of about people who are immersed, they instantly try to remove, change and alter everything and make it like home, and stop the immersion.
The longer you stay in one location, the more you adapt, I like Ivory Coast and Togo better than Ghana, but I enjoy living in Guatemala more than here, but would rather eat the food of Thailand. People want to latch onto something they believe in, while in reality the only place that is dependable is my own little Hotel room, which for me is the USA, inside Ghana.
Michael Jackson Skin
I am immersed in Africa culture, and one of my great cultural moments happened yesterday. I was walking down the road with Bah, she point over at a very white black girl, and she says,
"Michael Jackson Skin."
It was an off the wall comment, she did not edit it or think it through, she just said it, but this comment explains the African culture from the inside. Bah is an extremely black person, her skin color is black as coal; she does not use skin cream to lighten the color. In the past, she had a boyfriend that told her,
"Use cream and eat more."
This is a black boy saying to her,
"Stop being skinny and become white."
Boy Genius in India found this headset, he will soon send me four from India, because the do not sell this type in West Africa.
It appears I need to carry 4-5 backup Skype.com headsets, which would last me a year of traveling the planet. I tried to purchase 10 of these headsets today on E-bay.com, and instantly Paypal.com has limited my account because I am in Ghana. http://stores.ebay.com/worldtechon
Paypal.com Shuts me off in Ghana
Paypal.com is normally a headache when I use, today was just another example. I do not use Paypal.com unless I know I have a way to call the USA and un-screw the system. Paypal.com shut me off in Kenya last year, it takes about an hour to re-activate the account.
If I am able to reactivate the account, I believe I will be able to use it inside Ghana, and the problem will happen again with the next country. I do not use Paypal.com unless I truly need too; it is just a headache in action.
You need to bring her to a place where at least 20 of her own people are around, there in Ghana. If not you will face stress.
She will go and find them and nothing will stop her. NOTHING. And there she will stay. Trust me.
Andy, what site did you find boy genius? Elance, Odesk? And what company do you use now instead of paypal? Xoom?
I laughed when you said businesses aren't dependable. Once in Jordan after getting money from an ATM I asked a food vendor if he had change so I could buy lunch. He said 'If I had that much money I would not have come to work.' He said it like he shouldn't have to explain the obvious to me. They're dependable if they need money.
PayPal limited my account as soon as I accessed from India March 29 and sounds like it may be limited until May 1 as there's no sign of anything being attended to. Felt like I was in USA last night watching TV for the 2nd time in a month since taking off, watching Jesse Ventura's interview about his book, "63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read,”. I even shed a tear as I continued to listening, surprised that I totally agreed with each and every answer and opinion he expressed as Piers Morgan ignored most if not all, changed subjects quickly, avoided expressing his own reaction truthfully about past and present issues. If he ever runs for President I'll go "home" to volunteer to help his campaign but as he mentioned him and his family would be in danger as the powers that reign would not allow his candidacy.
Ghana sounds inconvenient and not so receptive to any sort of tourism.
Funny you mentioned Bah's using MJ as an adjective, I've seen 4 Albinos in Sri Lanka and southern India and 75 of the population's skin color is no lighter than any of the blackest Africans. So the "blonde" white hair and pinkish white skin really gets one's attention.
I use paypal.com, xoom,com and WesternUnion.com.
In the past I sent a ATM to boy genius, so he could pull money from an account.
I have never sent checks because I think they would be stolen, delayed, or otherwise compromised.
I now use xoom.com to pay employees.
I use paypal.com to buy a few things, knowing they will shut me off.
I send money with WesternUnion.com when I want it the now, and in any country, at a high fee and very dependable.
I found boy genius by going to Goa and walking around asking for names at Internet cafes.
Welcome to third world music. We wonder why people need to play as they were having a disco in their living room. Why do they assume that everyone wants to hear their kind of music?
In St. Vincent, it is against the law to play loud music. Those who have complained directly to the person playing the music - get words thrown at them and the volume goes up. I assume: I have a stereo system, you don't, or mine is louder than yours, therefore I can play mine loudest of all.
To complain to the police. Nothing. We even had a disco here in that everyone in the village could probably hear. Those who lived next door said the walls and windows would literally shake. We are not talking 6AM in the morning we are talking from dark til about 3 or 4 in the morning. Since the "private" people would turn their stereo on BEFORE 6AM, it didn't give much quiet time. It took SEVERAL court cases and I am still not sure what made the disco shut down. But the private people play on.
Van rides!!! I have sat in the back seat of a van, with the speakers under, and watched my pant leg move from blasts coming out of the speakers.
More than 20 years here and still do not understand it.
If the people of the country wanted it to stop, it would stop.
The neighbors can always become out of control. This is why buying a home overseas is almost crazy, the enjoyment of the home can not be guaranteed.
Alan, you are on the Island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean, and what you are describing is the third world. There is a belief that if you pay a lot of money you will be safe, this is not true. Well, you can purchase 500 acres and put your house in the middle, but that is a lot of work just to have peace.
Might be interesting to actually ask people how they feel about the 'noise'. Sometimes when you have grown up with someting being a certain way, you don't question it. It could be just that simple.
You might just start a revolt! :)
I have been asking for 13 years, and truly they do not care, they agree to be submissive.
"Why am I the only one complaining?"
I have been asking Bah in as many ways as possible:
Do you hear the loudspeakers?
Does the noise wake you?
Can you sleep?
Do you like the music?
Do you want to live next to the market with the speakers?
The people and Bah cannot envision that they could stop the noise, therefore they want me to stop asking questions about something that cannot be changed.
Interviewing people one on one about this topic publicly does not work, therefore I cannot record conversations.
The more simple the question, the bigger the anger, to ask an opinion about whey the sun rises could elicit more anger than explaining how to fly to the moon. People do not want to be proven stupid, ergo the reason why there is only a like button on Facebook.