Starting My Togo Acting Career
Starting My Togo Acting Career
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Sunday, May 6, 2007
I have started my acting career here in Togo, and I have no desire to be an Actor, zero.
Last night, I lay in bed and a man came to the door, I keep saying
- Qui -
I think this mean who, I try
- Qua -
Or what in French
Nothing works, the knocking is persistent, I have not found anybody to have manners here so I stand up, grab my towel, I was in African Air Conditioning or the way to stay cool with no AC.
I open the door, and some man raises his hand and walk in or barges on me, he is with two others. I stand my ground towel and all, my computer is right behind me, I need to protect my child.
Noise and more noise, I have no idea who this is and frankly he is so irritating I think about hitting him, he is about a head shorter than me and weighing in at about 50-70 pound less.
After a lot of screaming, I find out… why, there is a girl that is his wife who says I was with her.
There is a floozy girl that begged me for a pieece of my Wagassi cheese, then followed me into the Hotel. This happens daily, nothing strange about being followed by women. Then I sat in the restaurant area to talk with Comi, she stood right in front of me smiling, her belly was out, I asked her if she was pregnant, she says now, I go on to say,
La Pate Belly.
She is doing some type of mating stance in front of me.
Who knows, she looked about three months pregnant to me, and I am laughing, it is funny, she is all primal and speaks bad French, really I cannot remember, I did not talk enough, I do not remember he saying anything much, except to point her bell and pelvic area at me, like I said, a floozy.
I grew tired of the mindless chatter, and walked to my room, of course, as normal the girl follows. Everyone in the hotel see this, they love to gossip and watch, they do not work much, so they have to do something. I get to the room, go to open the door and she sort of nails me, tries to do the, I will come in the room and boom boom for a Cadeau game. She is funny one, her skirt and top are more or less see through and she is wearing only the bottom underwear. Like a set of clothes negligee night at the bar.
I walked in, and, did the spin and nudge, or block her out, and lock the door move.
The man is screaming:
This is the mans wife or girl, or prostitute, I never did understand, they will call a steady women a Femme or Women and this could mean marriage or something, I really cannot be bothered, like a soap opera to learn.
NOW back to the screaming man at my door.
I want the screaming man, I want him out of my room so I barge through him and his two partners, and walk to the restaurant, with just a towel wrapped around me, I am 51 years old, I wish I was 20, I look 41, the body is giving up the game. But I am still working strong.
Hollering and groups of hollering, more of this Jumping around like 2001 space odyssey and the monolith. I feel like I am in a now with Trailer Trash in the USA, and they are hollering at me on why they are not paying me rent. White Trash is bad and violent in the USA, when they do not have the money for rent.
I stop the man from hollering, by giving the man a stare to put in him in place, then I think, they do not understand reason. The whole room is making noise. This is when I started my acting career.
I started jumping, hollering, and screaming, I said every cuss word I could and made sure he understood, your wife is a prostitute, that is your problem. I said in French and English the word prostitute accentuated. When I started to jump and scream his two partner ran for the door and left.
I stop, then I did a Mel Gibson smile to the crowd look, with good facial expressions, then start to holler at the man again. I wish this part was not true, but if you want to intimidate a person, they need to know you are not afraid, turn your back on them, snub them.
I try to stop and allow quiet to rein, then he starts again, I hollered him down. Lesson two of my acting career. This time I wave my fist at him and pound down at his face, not hitting. This is when Comi the boy manager comes and tries to stop me, he more or less says there is no call for this. I said, why, he wants a fight, he has a fight.
(Never, never hit a person in another country, you will be in trouble, and there is no amount of talk that will convince the police you are protecting yourself. Fight back only, no starting the fight with blows. If you are in a empty area and nobody around, I am not sure…maybe give him what he wants and very hard. But do not allow the path or your safety in the logic of an obviously low on the justice pole of life country to be jeopardized, hard to understand when there is no law.)
I then hear the word largent or money in French, now the truth is surfacing, he wants money and is looking for an excuse.
I still have my towel on, I feel fat.
I go back to my room, I see him still outside down the hall, I think time to go again, this time I do most of the acting in English as I am tired and he is not understanding the words anyway, there is no way a person could understand me hollering in French, and he does not speak English, I am just trying to clear out my territory and drive the idiot who has a slut for a wife out the door.
I go back to the room.
A man comes down to my room and says, this man will leave if you beg pardon and give him some money. I think, yes, normal, it is easy to pay money to buy an annoying person to leave. I decide, there is reason. This is how a beggar works.
Still in my towel, it is blue, big and sort of beach towel.
I walk back out, first I learn the word I am sorry before I go out and walk up bend down to shake his hand, and say, I think,
- Desole -
I really am not sorry, so what if I say it wrong.
I then say,
- Combien. -
- 50,000 CFA -
This is three months wager for a nobody.
This straw is too much, my camels back is broken, this is it, no acting, I come unglued, I really went in his face, it took every bit of restraint I had to not hit him, I wanted to very bad. Amazing how much I can explode and not hit a man. This ends, I am tired of hollering.
I walked to the room and changed into my shorts, you would think I would feel vulnerable in a towel with no shoes, but I was getting more powerful not less, but he was obviously afraid, it is the nature of a bully to feel strong if the other become weak. I am starting to feel big.
This is too stupid, I wanted to sleep and go to the next city the next day.
I decided, time to leave Badou, I put on my shorts and packed my bags, took about 15 minute or more. Comi the manager comes down and what does he want, largent or money. He says why are you leaving, I say it is too stupid, he says it has stopped and the man has left.
I try to say, he is mad, he is weak, he knows he needs power, he will go see if he can find a group of men who want money. Give them some stupid, yet money reason, a good excuse to take advantage of the white men, I am in a bully, tyrant, warlord country, I learned how this works in Mexico, but Mexico is more dangerous than Togo.
In Mexico there is always another Gringo watching, I am alone here in Togo, if I disappear off the earth then, everyone wonders why I stop blogging and continues with their day, my mother call the USA embassy and cries until she stops, nothing happens and I am gone.
Happens all the time, I have the family or mothers write me in hope, you was in Ecuador, did you see this person.
Other travelers or tourist in a hotel is ok in situations like this, I am not sure which conversation is slower or more asleep, the NGO out to lunch bunch fantasy land group, or the never entered the game of life, sit around Togo bunch. Sleeping and in need of a soap opera to add excitement to their lives. They can argue and argue about anything. I have to stop the motos from stopping and talking about stupid crap, or arguing, I think they ask, am I getting enough money from the white man.
I packed, walked out the door, shook hand with Comi, said goodbye to he owner that came out of hiding, and left. Comi does not have many people treat him with a handshake, he was ok.
I grab a moto and try to get him to go to Zoubega or some other hard to spell city.
One finally comes out of nowhere as the others all broke down into chatter. I say,
- Zoubega -
- Qui -
Yes in French and I say 700 CFA, he is happy. I start talking on the bike, the man is good, he is smart, and I start the fight over a price to Atakpame, I have on shorts now, no towel.
He says, 7000, I say trop cher, I have learned, I cannot just say yes or he will think for 85 kilometers this white man would have paid more. I do a stall, wait for all the brain cells to think, then say, 5000, he say something about essence or Gas, I say, 4000, this always confuses them, but he is smart man, he says, 6500.. I do another pretend to think thing, I am good at negotiations, just a game, I sold about 80 pieces of real estate per year, or 2 per week, this is easy.
The bad part, a deal has to be fought over, he will not be happy unless we fight or discuss hard. Either I fight now, or fight after, the before is easier, and I have not struck a deal, he wants it to work out.
I say 6000 and he says yes.
Like a midnight run to Atakpame at 6:30 stupid at night, we arrive at about 8:30, I call a girl when I get to the room. Oops, I forgot, I had him stop at the market, drop me off, then destroyed the path to my room. Paid the man 6000 CFA, then waited, then said, 2000 more, you are good, etc, and he was good.
This driver was excellent, amazingly good, a pro in a world full of boys.
I walk down the street, flag down a moto taxi, hand him the front bag, and he drops it off the other side of the moto. I am amazed, the man before carried the bag, tied it down with rubber strap, went over every type of bump, dodged potholes and wove his way from Badou to Atakame on a road that meanders like a river. This man boy drops my bag in one second of management.
I get do the hotel and he is afraid to go down the hill.
I go to the room, I am happy, there is no direct path for police to come and extract money from me.
I am not worried about the angry man with he slut for a wife, I am worried about the Togo Police, the Police of he planet are more dangerous than an angry husband. The will come into the room, take everything, all they need is a moral high ground or any agreed upon excuse to use. The can track down how to get a bribe or payment ten times faster, no not true, they do nothing to prevent or stop crime, the spend all their time taking money.
What is great, a Fwee I as said by moto is a stop to pay money to Police before entering or leaving a city. A moto sort of goes through with no problem. A car, would need to stop, I am happy to go through on motos.
I have had about five women since I came here, try to use me to get their boyfriend jealous. I have spotted this and kept them all farther away from my room. I now know, the must be kept out of the hotel for me to be safe from stupid way of being used by women.
A man can keep his wife providing he has the steady money, the only way he can lose his wife is if a man comes along with more money. I have more money, and they all agree on this, so the want to tell their boyfriends I am after them. None of this is simple and clear, I think I should go and meet parents or someone, but the girls are always working two to three men, and he men are always working two to three women. Sort of like Mexico with a twist, and in French.
I find this is interesting that both are Catholic countries and men pay to have extra wives. I am wondering if this Cadeau of give a gift originates inside the Catholic, where does a gift of money come from. In the Philippine they have the Pasabalong gift.
The man wanted money, I truly believes he considers his wife a possession, I think he saw opportunity to extract money and be a bully. When his two partners in crime left, he did as bullies do, they back down.
What a stupid way to live some days, and I am not sure, where I mean me or them.
This was dangerous, I left, then erased the path, this is real, not fun and games, when in danger, be smart, macho is stupid, do not think, this is not the USA, you are never safe until the path is brushed away leading to you.
On the other hand, in the USA, he would come and pop a cap, I think the say, the USA is more dangerous. Here is was just hollering, the idea of me boxing as they say, really cause the manager of the hotel to worry, why would you hit the man. I said he needs it.
You think oh, poor people, I feel sorry for them, the casual violent methods of poorer countries are fed by people giving them money and food they do not work for, the do not respect the donors, they think, if this project is stupid, then I take. The United Nations a bunch of poor countries trying to vote for rich countries to give them money.
Togo is 143 on the HDI - Human Development Index of the United Nations. Niger is 177 and leads in last place. This is not an index of what is primitive or uncivilized.
Togo is fun, then parts are not fun, but all in all a great place.
I met a girls in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico that was stripped naked and put on the central floor of the police station in Playa. Mexico, Togo, about the same.
Tourism, illusions and delusions, then there is real life, authentic, real, and energize, I fell more real, more alive, I am in the world, I am part of the world, I am alive.
Danger, Togo Danger,West Africa Danger,Starting My Togo Acting Career