Tokoradi Beach Tokoradi Ghana Monday, August 14, 2006
I was invited by two sisters to go to the Tokoradi, Beach, they were funny and neighbors more or less of the Amenla Hotel, and therefore I decided to say yes. I am not big on going on long excursions with locals, who I do not know, and to places where there is no time limit. It was funny, there was the normal country (under-developed is normal, developed is not normal) thing whereby suddenly I am the bank for the whole group. I had a three girls, and one small child that was my good friend to pay for and accommodate. It was not so bad, or normally I just leave them to their ways and ditch them. I did not ditch this group, they did not sit down and order the biggest drinks, meal, and anything they could think of, so I paid and was happy.
80 percent of the time when you go with one and group’s shows up, it is better to get an excuse and leave them. Unless of course, you like to be taken advantage of, or maybe you have an I am not rich syndrome, which makes you desire to be rich one time in your life. It is a cheap way of pretending and acting as if you are rich for very little big money.
I was hoping for beach, got more of a large, noisy bar, complete with the normal copy any MTV clothing you see, Lakers Shirts, Sports of all type shirts, and a few pants with the crotch all the way down to the knees, I must have been in the sup-hip, not knowing where they are going younger crowd. The interesting part was to be the beach for me, I was hoping to get some sun, relax, but the beach was more or less just black dirt mixed with sand, a very bad beach and the wave were darkish, and not inviting. Only a very few person had on swimming suits.
Soccer or Football was being played on the beach, I consider this a good beach sign, a good beach has area large enough for soccer, this also give the locals who really do not want the sun a reason to come to the beach. The reason for the beach was to be seen, and to see people, it was some form or Sunday afternoon, after church social hour. Nobody was drunk, or obnoxious and everyone was very well behaved, I think maybe after the sun goes down it could get more difficult.
I was looking very closely at the people walking, dancing, and moving around, the way a person walks can tell you where they are from. It is staggering to see that a normal person walking down the streets of Ghana walks almost the same as a normal black person in the USA. This is not talking about the swagger, I am cool walk, and this is the average Joe happy to be alive walk.
Very little of the faces, the eyes, walk, mannerisms have stopped from Africa and the USA, there are enough similarities that most of these blacks in Africa could walk right onto the streets of the USA and fit in, nobody could tell the difference.
The only exceptional looking is a subset of blacks that are extremely black, the one girl I was talking with pointed at her friend and said, - She is very black. -
I am not ever sure how to deal with this, I know in my culture I could get myself in a lot of trouble talking openly about how black a person is or describing black people to black people I do not know very well. They do not seem to care about color, this is so wonderful and nice, a society that is not racist in a color way, I do not know, they may be racist in ethnic or tribal ways. Most cultures outside the USA are extremely racist, the USA is racist, but no enforcement of racism, a racist action could end up costing a person their house, home and business. While in the majority of countries, it is built into the legal system. I think this is the problem presently in Cote d-Voire, they have made racist type laws that allow the Christians to stop the Islamic people from running for government offices.
Racism or Religious type ethnic hate is probably the first form, then the love of white about any offwhite is the next problem on the planet. In this black society I have not seen, however it does appear that lighter black is preferred to very black, this type of observance is complicated to separate, I have to wait for them to talk, there is a temptation to lead the cultural conversation where I assume it will go, not where it is going.
I am collecting ideas and writing a tip on how to study cultures, it is very difficult tip to write because I have to wait until I violate something, see how my personal culture interfered with the study of culture. Then, I have to write down how I behaved, introspect on the problems and solutions, then comes the complicated part, and explain the subtleties of how to behave.
The bottom line is there are some natural salesmen and there are people that could not sell a life raft to a drowning man.
PRIDE AND EGOTISM I am trying to figure out how to hire guide writers, maybe I will give them a test, however, what I want to test is how they deal with cultures, and how they sell or do not sell themselves. How far they need to be heard I suppose, I think a great sales person can sit and listen for hours and not talk. I did very little talking at the beach, mostly asking questions and starting conversations.
I was thinking about the Dale Carnegie book, How to Win Friend and Influence People. It has a very good cultural observance, it explains that people like to talk, want to be listened too, and like to hear their name. I laugh when I am talking with a Politician and they repeat my name very other sentence, or refer to me, with people, Andy is this suck-up-comment. Fun to watch the super personal people work. Well, most conversations between locals and foreigners turn into I tell you about me, and you tell me about you conversations. It become a one-up-manship show where I get annoyed. It is dribble, not so interesting and the desire to be heard is rampant.
I am annoying to listen too, my brain never ends, I am afraid to talk too much, I know what happens. People stop talking, learn to hate me, and then treat me as if I am a leper. I now know this, and refrain from natural thinking or conversations unless I am with the super intelligent and super mental processing people. I laughed at Andrew my techie from India, he commented after he went back from Delhi to Goa. - Everyone here talks so slow. -
I was talking at about 1/5 the speed of normal, his English is different, and however I was speaking twice as fast as I would with a normal local. I can talk extremely fast if I want, but normally have no desire to hurry. Andrew thinks very fast, however does not talk very fast.
Studying a culture though is complex; I think if I interviewed 100 people, maybe one would pass my grade. I think the very fact they want to study cultures makes 80 percent off my list. A person that actually wants to listen to 90 percent inane conversations to study is sort or weird to me. I occupy my brain by observing 90 percent of the time and listening 10, the conversations can be so simple, takes a small load on my brain.
However, what is happening around me in invigorating cultural places is amazing; there can be hundreds and thousands of little interplays happening at one time. The markets are great to study somewhat the normal culture without blinders on, not the ones that sell any type of tourist items, the ones where you walk in the whole places stops to look, why is he here.
Time to go to the Internet, yesterday was Sunday, the morning was off for church, the whole city of Tokoradi seems to go to Church, the internet did not open up at noon as the man said, and I do not know if it ever opened.