Questioning My Sanity Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire West Africa Sunday, October 29, 2006
I am spending too much time alone; I am starting to lose the plot. I can feel myself not understanding what is today or tomorrow. It is I am watching a movie; I go out, buy, walk around and try to keep in touch, and however there is a real distance between my brain and my normal sense of reality. Talking French is like a noise, it is weird. I need to have some conversations in English with some persons who are real. The Hotel I am in, the Africa Dream is nice, however, it is French, there are some children, a wife, a husband, he is always gone to some restaurant, he speaks English, however still a little surreal.
I think and this is strange, the answer it to walk, to look, to say hello to people, there is a problem though. I just do not feel connected to the place anymore. The lady in the internet café asked me if I was OK, if I felt ok. She sees me every day, I say, Qui, but this is French, what can I say…
She is nice, the internet café is my only sense of companionship, I can go have a lackadaisical relation with some girl here, but even though I would be talking with a 25-year-old Cote d’Ivoire girl, it would still be an ever-present fourth grade conversation. I need a challenge to the brain, like a conversation on why Bush is good or Bad, I really do not want that conversation, but this is an example.
I cannot remember the last time I talked with a person in English, it was Sophi, maybe in Natitingou, Benin, and she is still on the fourth grade level of world understanding.
I suppose it would help to watch TV, I have not seen CNN or BBC the two big storytellers since the Galion Hotel in Lome, Togo.
Africa is bleak in this way, people come here to live, but they do not travel. I guess Ghana is a good choice, in Ghana I did meet people, sort of out on the edge volunteers, but they were good spirited, they just were a little glassy eyed to listen to too much.
I will be glad to fly to Thailand; there is always a person who speaks English in easy reach of a conversation. Strange, I do not need friendship as just a person to talk with, to know there are real people. The priorities of Africa are out in the left field, they only have an immediate need, no long-term goals, no sublimation of thought, it like a constant real time game. No future, no past, just now. Living in the now is nice, but there is value to long term plans.