I Can Think in Togo Lome, Togo West Africa Thursday, March 1, 2007
I am a recovering alcoholic, I passed the 20 year mark a week or two ago.
Many alcoholics drink to avoid thinking, they wish to drink to stop thinking about life, to avoid life. They wish to hide from the world, and climb into a bottle.
I find it strange now, however, I see the whole world trying to avoid thinking. I suppose thinking can be annoying, sometimes I am very bored. I have been a little bored here in Togo, as I learn to adjust to having free time. I hid in India and Nepal from the people, they just was too much in my face, I cannot stand the constant haranguing of my day.
I see too busy as the identifier of a person who is trying to avoid thinking, or keeping too busy. It is a very good way to avoid yourself or myself. I just keep too busy doing stupid things, sometimes smart.
Not all countries are the same, I have received some nasty emails from persons who wish or think I should be in love with all countries. It is sort of funny, really is just plain stupid, why does a person read a blog and then complain to the blogger. I deleted one the other day out of the newsletter system, I hope they never notice.
I have time to think in Lome, Togo, it is sort of a mix of issue, sometimes the streets are too busy, there are a lot of motorcycles or they call them motos here, they make a lot of noise. However, on the small sand roads between the hotels here, there is a peace and quiet that is greatly appreciated.
I can now think and enjoy life, it has been a long time since I could say this completely. I really enjoy the Philippines and Thailand, however, there is too may people. West Africa has about one-fifth the number of people or concentration of people. Yes, a city, is a city, however, I have found Africa pretty much deserted.
I have time, I have a thought to myself, I can dwell on an issue, I can think clearly without the clutter accumulating in my brain of too much of everything.
When I walk outside the hotel I am presently located in, I am instantly jumped on by about 5 people to buy this or that, they are learning, I just do not say a word, I do not answer them, I do not say anything, I just keep working. It is not natural for an Indiana Farm Boy to ignore people, it is city folk way of doing things. I try to remember, the next persons I met to say, Bonjour, or Ca Va or something, then I am back to being myself.
There is something to this, I am not sure how to identify it, but whenever, I walk around and there are people grabbing or wanting me to buy in a too forceful way, then I am in the wrong place. The hotel is not too much, it is only them waiting like the normal predators sales people they are, they demand to want to make money.
I was downtown Lome yesterday, in front of the Palm Beach Hotel and thought I was going to club a guy, he literally grabbed me or touched me. This is not common, a person doe not touch a person to sell, when they do they are wanting to get slapped side the head by me.
Togo has extremely low amounts of this type of behavior, India or Nepal has large amounts of this behavior. I can think here as the ratio of pushy venders has dropped considerably.
Tourist areas are the worst, transportation areas are bad, anywhere there is five star hotels and big centers of shops, many stalls, groups of mass people selling junk that nobody needs, then there is normally pushy salesperson.
I will leave the tourist area soon, this means I also leave some of the convenience like ok internet, the big grocery stores of West Africa.
However, I am a recovering alcoholic, I like to think, I like to be with myself alone and happy. I like to be with me, to think, to talk to people, to explore.
There needs to be some maxim or rules, one could be. - IF a person really wants to talk to you, then do not talk with them. -
A rule of travel, hehehe
On the other hand, when I am in the most remote, never seen a white man place on the planet, then everyone wants to talk with me, I can not win.
Africa, no tourist, what a great place to think. I am sure people wonder why alcoholics also go to places like this, or hectic places, or places like India or any under-developed country. They do so they can save all their money for drinking, and it is very difficult to get in trouble with the law, family, or social customs. It is easy to be a drunk, and nobody knows your name, there is zero commitments here, if you make a fool of yourself, you can move on down he road.
What makes life fun though is watching all the chaos, mixing, and the clashing of culture, lifestyles and ideas. Everyone is very serious sometimes, I find I get too serious, it is one of the identifiers of when I need to keep it simple stupid.