Feeding Myself Ideas Cotonou Benin West Africa Thursday, September 14, 2006
I am here in West Africa, it is like starting my travels again, I feel like I am in Mexico again, starting, wondering how to travel the planet. Learning, discovering tricks and ways of traveling cheap and easy.
MEXICO I did not know it when I was in Mexico, however for sure after 75 countries, I know it. Mexico is a dangerous place to travel, one of the most corrupt on the planet, expensive third world nation. It has some of the best beaches on the planet, great food, pretty girls and the people will cheat you any chance they get. They will lie, rape, and kill if needed. It is the only place on the planet where I know people that was raped, people that was killed and I know people that paid bribes. I paid bribes in that country. The only country I have paid a bribe. In Mexico, they pull over buses into the brush, strip, and systematically rob the whole bus. The give you no service, never clean the toilet, and a toilet seat is something people talk about. The have service that never comes… What a great place.
What a GREAT place to learn to travel, after Mexico, my life has been easy. Iraq is very civilized compared to Mexico; however, West Africa is challenging Mexico. I have this feeling there are places here that will beat Mexico on the corruption and danger scales.
TRAVEL TIP IDEAS
I have lot of travel tip ideas while in Europe or now in Africa, traveling in both of these locations is extremely challenging. Europe is easy on a 100 dollar per day budget, but excessively much exercise for me. I hate Europe, I have to walk miles daily, annoying amounts of exercise, and nothing is convenient, except maybe paying money.
Africa is very convenient, however a few problem that do not exist on the planet. The dynamics of West Africa are fun. I have so many ideas on travel tips; I can write numerous helpful idea, tips, hints or explanations, I have an over-abundance of creative juice. The will and the desire, the bank of ideas was getting empty, I needed some idea currency inserted into my vault, so I can go on and write another 100 Travel tips newsletters, I am on letter 202 as of present.
It is a land where so many small problems exist for an independent traveler, which every day I need to solve a problem. What a great place to learn. What I learn here though, is a windfall when I apply in the easy places like Asia or Central America.
Africa is probably dangerous, about the same as Mexico, maybe Morocco, or any inner city boom box area in the USA is extremely dangerous. I suppose Trinidad or Tobago; many Caribbean islands have the same level of danger. A bunch of drunken Europeans in Europe.
99 Percent of Africa people will ask for money, they truly believe they have the right to take exorbitant amounts of money and not give anything in return. It is the only place I have ever had, full-grown adults, not in the least big poor, say, - give me money. -
This is the problem of Africa, how to travel Africa and not enable them to become bigger beggars than they all ready are. To say no, 24/7 is taxing and stressful, plus dangerous, they can be big, bad, mean, and pushy. I do think a woman can maybe travel here safer, or two women, one would be too much temptation to abuse.
Bullies, I have never seen many bullies, some in Caribbean, for sure in Mexico, at any border crossing on the planet. Any government official or police. However, normal people are not bullies, this is a new experience. Africa has an oversupply of bullies, I think the chief have always been bullies, like a king, they extract value from their people by force.
I suppose it is good, when the abused, becomes the abuser, which means there is progress. To be too afraid to be abusive is many locations on the planet, the poor person is positive; I must keep my mouth shut. Same here, but not to the white man, they know we are soft target, maybe… The clever level is very low here, not like India whoever clever is at an all time high. Clever levels are at the bottom in West Africa.