Wander Benin Cove Benin West Africa Monday, September 18, 2006
I am studying the maps, reading the guidebook, the information on Benin is scare, and limited, sketchy, pretty much just give me an idea of the major cities, not much else.
Today, I went to the large market, fascinating market here in Cove, Benin. If this and my truck ride here are any indicators of travel in this part of Africa, I could maybe wonder forever looking and looking and trying to understand. Modern culture may systemize cultures, primitive culture I see as simple, modern cultures as complex. The notion I have may be opposite. I just do not know, it may take many hours of planning, work to perform the simplest of task. I suppose I could comment on the three-hour wait for rice and fried egg in the hotel. This is a direct challenge Mexico for slow. They only have two charcoal cookers, every food is hand ground, mixed, created, there is nothing ready to go, true home made. Watching a girl grind onion, tomatoes, and peppers into a puree like substance on a stone was enlightening.
It is not a simple life; it is a life where you do what works. Using a food processor it ten times faster, but complicated to start. Here the system is simple, difficult to make maybe, however stays manual.
The Food processor in the Provincial Hotel in Cove Benin, they grind or puree Tomatoes, Onions, Pima, etc.
An endless stream of simple task wrapped in a complicated process to get from A to B. Making the sauce last night was similar to the spin of some expensive restaurant in New Orleans making sauces. Done perfect, with great care, full of movement learned from someone before them.
The task, what I watch, how I feel seeing how people live in a not time saving device world is fascinating, wonder where I will wander.