Cove Benin Cove, Benin West Africa Sunday, September 17, 2006
I am now in the city of Cove, Benin, in the country of Benin of West Africa. I left thinking about Ketou, however decided to I needed bigger distance between hotels. Well, I said I wanted to go to Zagnanado, and for 2000 CFA they will take me to Zagnanado; however, it does not seem to be a city of sort, more of stop in the road. However, the city of Cove is bigger, and as best I can discover on a Sunday, it has a Cyber Café, maybe Cybar Café, or Internet Café in 90 percent of the planet.
I had one of my best trips in Africa so far, I am not sure, maybe a Peugeot Truck with many locals. Fun, interesting and with a great twist a fate, a man who spoke excellent English in the back translating or facilitating me chatting at the girls. One Musulman or Muslim girl made me give her a gift before I talked with her, or she would tell me here name. Therefore, I trade a pen for her name, and she instantly proceeded to tell me she was Musulmans. French for Islamic or Muslim, I told her I would be a she wished.
The real problem was I do not think she spoke French, more English really, however she was traveling independent to go to a market to sell a bunch of things. I am not sure what city it was, but larger, and not on the map so much. It could be Sagon, however discovering the name of cities quick, remembering them, spelling them is difficult.
Markets and cities are not always different, there may be a market, however no city, the days of the week changes markets also, one city may have one day for market. They also have the constant daily market, and there are regional type markets.
She has a cut or manufactured square stick in her mouth, they use this to scrap or brush their teeth. I think they also use a toothbrush, however, also at a morning habit you see them, after about noon they disappear. Works good to remove barnacles.
She worked me out of a pen; however, she then wanted a notepad, never stops… in Africa.
I was seeing or learning the culture here, in one place I read, about the, - Small Gift -
In addition, in Ghana they asked for a small gift, in the Philippines they always are asking for a small gift. I was trying to figure out the culture here, it is not a - I want to marry you - as Ivory Coast, Ghana, or Togo; I do not think I have had one proposal yet. Normally the first few minutes is something about take me to America, the Benin culture is more proper or different, or something who knows. Maybe they are in need a small gift before the propose to me, it was mentioned shortly after about going to America.
I do not give money or gifts to people that ask, however, there is an exception to every rule, and I wanted to know, if the gift actually opened the door. I do not know, I will have to try a gift again when I am in the same city with a person, see if it changes relationships.
Well, I am sure it does, it for sure will make them keep coming back to the well. One reason I never give anything in a place where I am living, even to the legless bums, the will put a Hobo marker on my forehead and I will get to walk around with bums.