Travel Pillow Natitingou Benin West Africa Thursday, September 28, 2006
I can deal with most beds; there is seldom in my world a bed so bad, that it is ridiculous, some in India, but who goes to India. The pillow though has after nine going on ten years finally started to annoy me. If I get annoyed enough, I start searching for solutions. This is not easy, a pillow is big, not something, I want to carry, or do I?
Yes, in the Galion Hotel in Lome, Togo, it has these small, soft, midget pillows. I am trying to remember where I first encountered the pillows. I have been in many hotels with many type of pillows. Amazing how the hotel just does not care, they will buy these rocks, lumps that sit in the bed and can be used to kill cockroaches because they are so hard.
In Lome they sold these pillows, soft, small, made to squeeze, I am not sure, the older pillow may be softer. I took apart the pillow in the Galion and gazed for a while at the pillow. Trying to learn how it was made.
I found the pillow to buy there, but I could not find the pillowcase. Yesterday in Natitingou, Benin, I found the pillowcase, or cases. Two for 600 Fran or about one dollar US. I kept trying to say, I only need one, but the young fun loving slap me if I do not take two forced me to take the two. She demanded I use a plastic bag; I could not put in my cargo pants pockets. It was fun, but I found the person to buy a pillowcase. Now, I can carry a pillowcase easy enough, now I can look for the pillow.
FOAM There is this normal business in Africa; it sells foam, the foam that would be inside a couch, or a funky cheap mattress, the foam of the cushion inside a couch. I am confused why there is this store everywhere, but they exist. It may be because West Africa is big on making furniture, and stuffed chairs are common. Nonetheless, I also found a man, speak more than two words of English, good manners and want to please. A rare person in West Africa. I have the whole team, the store with pillowcases and the store to make a pillow.
The man was slow on the soft idea, however I will buy the materials, and he sells them. I think I know exactly how to make an ultra soft roll up or fold over pillow.
Spending a lot of time in Hotel room means the pillow starts to make my neck hurt. A bad pillow and I want to leave the hotel, the proper bed and I am comfortable. The Auberge USA has a good combination, better than most. I want my own pillow though and think it is time to start carrying a super soft pillow.
I do think I can find down here, impossible to find, but layers of foam, can make a soft pillow.
My friend Justin has insomnia; he would walk around to all the hotels in a city of Ecuador and find the perfect bed. He could tell you every bed in the city and the pros and cons. I wonder if he thought also of the pillow, I am sure he did. Many travelers, on short-term will carry a pillow, I see the tourist with pillows all the time, like a pacifier for the kids.
I want to combine the U-shape, bus or plane pillow with the bed pillow, not so easy and takes up space, but I know it will eventually work.