Boukombe Benin Tomorrow Natitingou Benin West Africa Friday, September 29, 2006
I am learning that leaving cities in Africa can be difficult for me; it is not the same as Thailand where I feel like a number. I am making friends, about three Chandras, couple of Delphis, Aeshedi, Sophi, Alice and other female name, most I cannot pronounce and for sure cannot spell.
The names repeat of women, however the men, they are missing, I am trying to introspect on why. I meet men; mostly they sit and drink in the hotel bars. There are many taxi drivers I am starting to figure out and recognize, they are all men. 95 percent of my interaction, except maybe in the management of hotels is with women. They sell the yogurt, they run the grocery, they sell the peanuts, and they run the whole market and I am amiss, what do the men do? They go to Mosque, set their mats in the streets, put there head down. The bunch in religious areas, taxi areas, bars, they group together sometimes talking, however they are not working.
The easy way to meet people is when you are doing commerce, purchasing or just window-shopping. There are plenty of excuses to open up a conversation.
I just thought, no this is not so simple, there is a walk path in front of the hotel or Auberge USA, and it leads to many homes. There is about 10 women for every man walking by, however the men are the ones driving all the motorcycles, it could be they return home on motorcycles and do not walk.
Religion Drinking Groups of Men, NOT working
These are dangerous groups to meet, the bully is prevalent, and they are obnoxious and of little value.
These are good groups: Taxi Drivers Students, yes I do meet students. The student, alone, is carrying some book bag of sorts.
Oh well, I do not care, the men of the world seem to be on the lazy too much side and not contributing much to society. Taking yes, giving no, this is normal in most 80 percent of the planet. Women just do not know it, but they have the power control switch of the planet, if they take it and use it.
Islamic Mosque is full of men, and the Catholic Church is full of women, I do not understand.
I am making friends here, however time to go; I think I need a fresh set of ethic people to brighten up my day. I am doing exceptionally well at learning how to adapt and enter the cultures here. The coast of West Africa is full of people trained and socialized to ask for money 24/7, up here in the north they have calmed down, I do not think they know or have as many foreigners. Who can say, maybe they do not watch TV as much and do not learn from the world. Ask, ask, give me, take and take, the United Nations doctrines of take from the rich and give to the poor.
I believe that Boukombe is a tourist city in a way, so is Natitingou and this is ok here. I am the only tourist, there are no tourist type temptations and the travelers or whoever stops that is white, never stays more than one day.
I am excited to go to Boukombe, I think or feel going toward Togo more as I am traveling west towards the Togo border will lead to more interesting types of cultures. I will only know as I know, the fear I had as I came north is I would go into an Islamic area where they suddenly separated all the men from the women, and kept the women hidden. I am trying to recall Niger last year, I met many men, but I also met some women, no I could not speak enough French to even say hello, I just got by, not really entering the cultures.
Cities are different from villages, in a village they are practical, all the wanna be and gotta do is gone. They need to work, they to not need to look like they are working, however they are drinking.
Pretentious get nothing done is normal, look busy, but really, give me a break, hard to find anyone but small children actually busy working, like the good workers of the family. Women are the boss, the children are the work staff, and the men, and they seem to stay out of the way. I do not know, I never see them with the working women, only if they are coming into look as if they are checking something.
Photos, I took 48 photos in the last 24 hours, this is a lot of photos. This is not a good sign, this means, I am still interested in looking at this city. The move though to the Auberge USA was a cultural bonanza, I have hit gold here, I can observe, interact, and socially become part of the typical fun to talk with part of Benin. I really cannot be bothered to talk with the elitist bunch, they seem like they missed the boat, was standing in the wrong line. I do enjoy some of the male student types, they are smart, trying to study their way out of the some unknown hole they think they are in.