My friend Cynthia arrived, (I gambled correctly) it feels like a door to emotions was suddenly opened, and I am not sure whether to keep the door open or close it. I forgot her color, she is truly and ebony colored women, with a sparkle in her eye, and a bounce in her walk.
"Imported Fine Ivorian Chocolate."
(Ivory Coast is a big producer of Cocoa.)
View of the river from roof of the Cocoville Hotel in Elubo, I recorded a video below to view.
Cynthia is an Ivorian, who is now in Ghana, often when the situation become crazy around the Hotel she says,
As if, Ghana is a step below Ivory Coast. I told her, this is not my way, I say,
T.I.A. This is Africa.
--- I do not want to change it, that is the job of Africa, if they are inclined.
When I say to myself, "This is Africa," I am affirming that Africa is different from the USA or other continents and I need to accept it as it is, and not try to change. When I talk about the USA and their too busy to be a friend attitude, I say,
"This is America."
It is impossible to not compare one country to another country, and it is impossible to not make the judgment that is a thought, is this is better or worst? The generalizations, although generally can be true of false are just guides, while specific comparisons with explanations help people to make decisions.
For example, the transportation is better in Ghana than in Togo because there is a van system, and I believe the Ghana government stops the overloading, while in Togo the drivers will often pack in as many as can be squeezed, like stuffing ten people in a Telephone Booth. Ivory Coast has about the same transportation, as Ghana, however a lot more station wagons than Ghana, while Ghana uses many vans called "Tro Tros."
Alternatively, I can say the generalization, the transportation in Ghana is better than Togo and you are forced to rely on my opinion, without an explanation.
Elubo, Ghana West Africa --- Sunday, January 2, 2011
In short English, that is understood by non-English speakers, I said to Cynthia,
I felt a little shame at having her live in the Cocoville Hotel, there was no better option than the CocoVille Hotel, for me just another experience, but not one she did not need or want.
She crossed from Noe, into Elubo, and I flag a taxi to take us the 100 yards to the Hotel for a buck. I have this every present thought that all the nice buildings were constructed in Africa between 1950 and 1970. Our home for one night, the Cocoville Hotel in Elubu was a one time a magnificent Hotel for Africa. It is on the river, has four floors and there is not a bad view from any of the rooms. I had a balcony, the room was properly designed, although small, it would have maximized Hotel income, and allowed a guest to enjoy the river, restaurant and peace.
That was 40 years ago, that is not the Cocoville Hotel today.
I was describing my image of the hotel in 1960 or 1970, I do not think there has been much maintenance work done since, and most of the rooms for two people, now the room have between 2 and 5 people. Many are almost permanent residence, I am sure they pay less than me, I am paying 10 dollar per night, but I pay "White Man Tax."
There is no running water in the showers, although I do have a toilet, I needed to walk to the end of the haul and fill up a bucket, both for shower and for the toilet. No toilet paper, no towel, nothing but a room with a lock, with a beautiful balcony overlooking a river.
The Overpopulated Cocoville Hotel
Population Density is what causes problems in life, not the people. Personally, I do not want to know how the average person behaves in private. I have seen too much by accident, however there is this idea of people around the planet,
"I like my music, therefore you do too, and I will turn it up loud."
Image of Cocoville Hotel
Try to envision a ghetto in the USA, with all black people hanging clothing on the balcony, with every apartment playing music; this is the movie called the Cocoville Hotel in Elubo.
On the other hand, if you know the apartment complex at the bottom the Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, it is about the same, clothes and people all hung out to dry.
Now, I want you to also imagine the building decided to put on dance show for the New Year, with music so loud the walls rattle, and you need to holler to talk, this was the first night in Ghana for Cynthia, not easy to get her to stop saying,
The proper name for the Cocoville Hotel is, Cocoville Dance Bar and Church, because here is also a full church on the premises, complete with hell and brimstone.
Video from Roof of Cocoville River Area
This is two of the family of six living next door to my hotel room; they are from Nigeria, and left Cote d’Ivoire because of the gunfire in the Deux Plateaux area of Abidjan. I pressed, and pushed for some clarity on why they left, but there was none to found. I think the fear rose, and they departed, not truly a game plan.
Cynthia told me she has heard a lot of gunfire, and said the United Nations "Blue Hats" were killing people.
Cynthia is a Gbagboý supporter, the person the world is angry with in Ivory Coast. I tend to believe people take sides with personalities, and they listen leaders regardless of truth. If they like the story, they do not care if he or she obeys the law or constitution, and they just follow along.
Obama has made some "King" like opinions, for example, his administration has said that I now have universal health plan. I am suppose to listen and agree, in reality, it appears, or I believe I am going to be forced to buy health insurance, that was not a universal health plan like I hear from the Europeans and I wanted, I wanted it provide as part of the benefits of paying taxes to the USA. I am supposed to believe the king, this is sort of the way leaders in Africa explain ideas and want you to fall in line, the USA tortures a president, the people of Africa cannot disagree easily, it can be dangerous.
The other King like idea of Obama is the decision for the tolerance of Marijuana laws, effectively telling the public to go smoke, do not worry if it is on the books as illegal; we are not going to prosecute. Marijuana
Note, this is in a way illegal, to encourage people to break laws…
Well, the leader of Cote d’Ivoire says, this is my opinion and the public is not capable of understanding the constitution. I said to her,
"Somebody needs to kill him."
"Someone needs to protect the constitution."
"Gbagboý is on a one way road to become a pauper in jail, he need to understand world opinion can destroy him for the rest of his life."
She starts to tell me about Alassane Ouattara being a bad guy, I said,
"They both are jerks, but the one won, and the constitution needs upheld or it is joke."
I know the constitution of most Africa countries are joke, and I know most leaders are a joke, but there has to be progress. Cote d’Ivoire is more important than Ghana, Togo, Benin, Niger, Mali, it status is right there with Nigeria and Senegal. If a lead country drops the ball, the other will follow along. Oh well, T.I.A., not my problem Africa must solve the problems of Africa, the United Nations is a weak and dribble force and too PC.
I met this group or family prior to Cynthia arriving, they are a fun group, and I waved at them from the top of the roof.
Three sisters, the big one is the youngest in the middle, the one on the left is the middle age, and the one on the right is oldest at 18.
This happy girl is 16 years old and has a baby. The whole family lives to the side of the Hotel and daily they walk to the river to wash clothes and bath. There is something about having baby that makes a girl become women, or maybe more practical. I have watched this family from my Hotel balcony for three days; they walk to the river in front of the hotel often. While the two older girls are more discreet, this one of the baby seems to always lose her clothes. I think there is a time when a woman thinks she is finished trying to attract men and is now just living and taking care of her children.
After marriage, women think of the family and become practical.
We left Elubo, and are now in Takoradi, I am not sure Cynthia likes to travel, she tells me,
"You travel everyday."
I keep telling her,
"No, I travel to a nice spot."
We are planning to go to Cape Coast tomorrow to see the Slave fort, I have seen it before. It is the same fort that Obama seen when he came here.
Travel is a good way to lose a girlfriend or wife, nomad, hoboes and traveler are not consider stable or upstanding citizens.
Happy New year. Do you also swim and bathe in the river?
Are you cooking your own food there? You obviously are willing to do with minimal accommodation.
I myself have never travelled in your style, however have always wished to.
I have visited the Dominican republic and rented a motorcycle there to travel a small part of the island.
Meeting the people in the town Puerta Plata gave me a feeling of Bliss.
Staying over at an apartment (1 room ) with a balcony with 4 people living there I enjoyed their culture.
Getting up in the morning and having deliveries of all sorts of fresh fruit and eggs without going to a store.
I am 60 now and hope I have the opportunity to see some countries on a budget like you. Maybe a month in Sousa D.R. Would be a start. One thing I do own is a steripen for water purifying.
Keep up with your wonderful blogg. What camera equipment do you have?
Good Post and Happy to hear you hooked up but at the same time I can feel your hesitation or nervousness wondering how long will the situation last. Anyway enjoy the moment and each day as it comes and goes like you usually do. You are right the universal "nesting" character of females does not mesh well with nomads and constant movement unless there's a good practical reason behind such travel like prosperity or protection.
I do not cook much food here in Ghana because they are small and do not have a good selection. I have finally figured out how to buy Fried Rice and Chicken on a consistent basis. A traveler must spend double their time looking for food, because each culture is confusing and the food is different. The longer I am in a country, the easier it becomes.