I Follow My Travel Rules Kpalime, Togo West Africa Sunday, April 1, 2007
I have a cell phone, it is a Quad Band V555 Motorola, it has Bluetooth that allows me to create a wireless connection between the phone and the computer.
I make very few phone calls with the phone, in fact, I almost never make a phone call, I find making phone call in most countries annoying and a waste of time. The phone call will cost X and the taxi will cost the same X, why call when I can go visit. Impossible to talk French or Mina over a phone, guaranteed to cause confusion.
I follow the rules.
I have a rule in my head about electrical wires, extension cords, power source of any cables that have to do with electronic equipment.
NO TRIP WIRES: The rule is something fuzzy like this: - I shall not be able to accidentally trip, pull, move or hook on the wire and pull the electronic device. -
NO FALL RULE: Part two of rule: - The computer, cell phone, fan, battery charger, shall not sit high and in a location where it can be pull off and fall on the concrete floor. -
A computer is hard for me to fix or replace. A cell phone would be confusing to replace, but easy to do. Battery chargers are very difficult to replace here in Africa, and a good one I think is hard to find that uses both 220-110 currents. (I use the Sony ones that come with he cameras)
One good jerk on the cord and these devices can be trash.
If I trip over the cord to my computer and it is sitting on the table, I can pull the computer off, it falls on the concrete floor and it is trashed.
If I am charging the cell phone and it fall off the table, ledge or anything and land on the floor it is trash.
With this is mind, I often sit my computer on the floor or in the middle of the bed. The floor is dangerous also, I could step on it, or I can spill liquid into the computer.
Coming out of the shower is a problem, drinking any type of sodas, liquid, juices are a problem. I would venture to think, that maybe beer is the number one reason for destruction of laptop computers, then maybe dropping them.
It would be an interesting statistic to discover and hard to know what is the truth. There are truths that people refuse to admit easy.
How did you break you computer? - It just broke, I did not do anything? -
Do you know there is sticky fluid in the computer? Did you drink soda or beer around your computer?
- I am very careful, I never drank anything near my computer. -
The spilling of drinks or the dropping of a computer on the floor are accidents, however for some reason a person associates dropping something with being stupid.
If a person bumps me and I drop the computer, maybe I can say they are clumsy and stupid. But for me to just slip, drop my computer, somehow a person says to themselves, - I should not have slipped, I am stupid. -
Ridiculous and silly logic, and guaranteed this person will drop their computer.
I plan on getting bumped. I plan on the fact that I will trip over wires in my room. I know I will spill coffee. I know I will accidentally give a hard jerk on the cell phone charging wire.
OK, the bottom line is this, for me to connect to the internet, I need to place my cell phone in the window of the room. I put in an the ledge of the window. I also need to keep it plugged into the electricity because when on the internet, the cell phone uses more electricity than the charger is charging, it consumes more energy than I can push or cause enter into the phone.
There are variables, and the best place for my cell phone to sit is in the middle of the bed. It will not fall out. However, the best connection is when the cell phone is just outside the window of the room.
I almost pulled the cell phone down from the ledge, it almost fell on the floor. I almost broke my cell phone a couple of minutes ago, this is the problem. Rules are not meant to be broken, they are meant to be respected. I have a cord open that I can jerk and pull the cell phone to the floor. This violates both the No Trip Rule and the No Fall Rule.
I suppose I now have a third rule, FIND A SOLUTION RULE.
When a potentially costly problem almost happens, or whenever I do something that cost a lot of money, for example rent a room that is 20 dollars per night. Or in this situation, almost pull the cell phone onto the floor. I take a timeout. TIMEOUT RULE
I do a focus session, focusing on possible ways of solving the problem, I do not ignore, or hope this solves itself, I start to have a severe case of cognitive dissonance. I pose the question to myself, and then start to drive myself crazy until I solve the problem.
The answer here lies somehow in typing the wires higher and in somehow putting the cell phone in a bag that can be tired to the window. Window just are not good places for cell phones, nothing is good to grip onto and the additional problem, people walking by can see the phone and try to steal.
I know of four people who have had their cell phone stolen here in Africa, all Togo people, but it happens daily here. I do not like to have my cell phone sitting in the window.
Really the solution here is not as important as a well-define problem, I know me, I will solve the problem. Or my curious little brain will do just what it is doing, it will obsess, drive me crazy, sit around and say, how, how can I, what can I do, what is the solution. I will think, dwell and come up with ways to solve this problem.
I have this problem with the cost of Hotel rooms in West Africa. I have told myself, I am not paying more than 10 dollars per night rooms in some of the poorest countries on the planet. It just does not make sense, that the poorest countries on the planet have the most expensive rooms, something is dreadfully wrong. I believe there are always cheap rooms, the people of Togo, and West Africa do move from place to place, they need to sleep also, and I know the average person making 1-2 dollar per day cannot pay 20 dollars per night to stay in an Auberge or Hotel.
There must be a ration, but I think a person in the USA who earns 100 dollars per day should look for rooms that cost about 25 dollars in the USA, and on vacation for 2 weeks maybe around 100-125 per night is a good budget. A person should not go bankrupt in the name of a room.
I believe a person traveling the planet for years should have a budget of less than 10 dollars per night for rooms. If I pay more than this, I feel like I am being ripped off. There is almost no correlation between the quality of the hotel experience and the cost of the room.