Losing Respect for West Africa
Losing Respect for West Africa
Bamako, Mali, West Africa
Monday, September 24, 2007
Respect is needed, self-respect, respect for others, it is not a want, it is a need, otherwise a person needs to spend 95 percent of their time checking and double checking because you do not trust the other person.
There are times when I meet people that are real jerks, however, they have special abilities, maybe they make one of the most beautiful guitars you ever seen. I respect the person differently, not about trust, but about merit, but I do respect them.
Made in Africa
Made in China
Made in USA
Made in Hong Kong
I search for pivotal ways of thinking, the one variable or question that demands I make a decision, the one perspective that just is incontrovertible.
The other day it occurred to me, a good test to know how developed a nation is, would be to know how many cell phone numbers are issued per 100,000 people. The problem here is there is no census, therefore all statistics are at best just guides and countries lie. Nevertheless, the number of cell phone numbers being used would alleviate the multiple economic streams of individuals. In addition, the governments could not hide because normally a government official owns the cell phone company and is making a windfall now.
Respect because of special skills and creative ability, the question I use is does the average person in the world see a label?
- Made in Africa -
People in West Africa beg continually for any white person or me to help them go to Europe or the USA. One person I know had an extremely persistent person, normally they are tremendously lazy, therefore, and this problem ends in minutes, as they want me to carry them, so the situation ends. However, one man went the extra step, I said,
- Do you want this person in the USA? -
It is similar to the European Union and Turkey, I just recently changed my opinion and now think, they should not become part of the European Union, they would not work together with the Union, the would pervert the Union. It would be like the USA joining with Mexico, however not a problem Canada.
I see no skills, I see no
- Made in Africa -
Labels or stamps in the USA.
I cannot think of one person in West Africa, who I can say,
- Yes, I will help them go to the USA; they would make a good citizen.-
I went to the American Embassy in the Philippines, or Thailand and got a good laugh,
- We are importing prostitutes. -
Men fall in love with prostitutes, marry them, and bring them to the USA. I only have about 50 percent problem with that, as I know the Philippine girls can be great workers, and you have to admire their spunk and drive, they talked a sap into marrying them.
Kita, Mali to Kayes, Mali, then to Dakar, Senegal Train.
I woke yesterday with the full intention of getting on the 12:30 train from Kita to Kayes, Mali. Then while typing away, journalizing, as some people would conceptualize.
- I do not want to go. -
There is ego, I said this, I said that, and I am 100 percent sure nobody cares whether I go to Dakar or to Thailand, or to Portugal or anywhere, I know in the end, travel needs to be outlandishly selfish or you will find yourself on some train to oblivion because you told someone you was going to do it.
I avoid Europe, why, because to enjoy Europe, I need to spend about 200 US per day, own a car, and drive around. Being that I can have just as much fun and even more for 15 dollars per day in Thailand or Peru, why spend money I do not have, as German a friend of mine from Colombia said, when you are old go to Europe.
I do not have to make the best of a bad decision… hehehe
I can just leave and quit a country or more correctly cultures.
I have now traveled west from Togo, Ghana, to Burkina Faso, to Mali and every day I study the Encarta Encyclopedia, I have read every chapter in the Roughguides.com West Africa guidebook, trying to convince myself to go farther. I know the religions, the way they earn money, the cost Hotel, I have read the guidebooks long enough I can feel the personalities of the writers in their words. I keep laughing, one use the word
- Outside is Hideous -
Then about the train, the writer said,
- Rife - with theft.
This is too much, and especially about the crime thing, if there is one redeeming quality about West Africa is it takes work to be robbed, they just do not steal; you just have to be stupid. I am not saying they are honest, they just are not petty criminals, they are not purse-snatchers for the most part, and they do not stick their hands in my backpack.
I know the Caribbean, and if I go back, it will be either to a resort, or on a sailboat.
I know Paris, I am not going to Paris unless I have 500 US per day I do not mine flushing in the toilet.
I know Europe; I will travel around in Europe when I find a way to buy car insurance and plates for a van or motor home.
I have spent about one year of my life now in West Africa, and I finally have to give up, the guidebooks are not written for backpackers using public transportation, a.k.a. the Bus.
If I go North, I go to Morocco a place like Venezuela, not on the list to return in this life, but in the way, hard to avoid.
All I can figure out about going to Dakar is there is probably some Euro-Trash there or some drink-a-pint for breakfast Brits, the sections in my guidebook is about twice as big when it comes to how to drink bear or eat Western Food, and the Hotels sections are written for tourist, not backpackers. I suppose I am curious to go The Gambia to see if there really are European women there to buy men.
Ok, Africa is a breeze, safe, easy, the road are great, to travel by public transportation is a pain, and to find acceptable Hotel is too much work to be fun, I need a car or motorcycle.
Therefore, I give up, I accept the guidebook, and I will avoid the African people and take the cream off the top when I return. I will buy a nice Air Conditioned Van and enter from Morocco. I will make sure I am traveling with a Five Star Hotel travel mentality, and stop thinking it is possible to backpack West Africa.
Alternatively, I can wait just about 5-10 years and the idiots that rule will decide to buy better Buses. The roads are almost perfect, flat, easy, and nice, but Africa needs AC buses, the people are abusive, they will pack as many people as possible for money in a car or bus.
Another test of a country is,
- How many emails do you have of the locals? -
Another and simpler test of how good is a country for tourism is,
- How many tourists do you see? -
I can count on one hand the number of tourist in West Africa I have met, I meet many cannot-save-themselves Volunteers, dysfunctional reveling in the power of giving like the movie Schindler’s List when the guy talks the Nazi in to pardoning people is power. Eventually the Nazi did not get it, and either do the Volunteers, NGO etc. I am a recovering alcoholic and 100 percent sure, you cannot help a person that does not want to help themselves, and highly dysfunctional to try to help a person just too lazy to move.
I am doing some crazy things presently; I am carrying now 10 English books, and Three Cans of Vegetable. I realized my hands were tingling because the 40 Kilos of backpack weight is starting to cause nerve damage. I need to the books to avoid Africa, and I need the canned vegetables because the food sucks. I wanted to buy a box of Grape Juice in Bobo, Burkina Faso and they wanted three US dollars and I was going to buy, then I realized I did not trust that it was fresh, I need to spend two week there until I found the one store that is ok.
I did not eat yesterday, this is off my rockers crazy, as the Brits say,
- I could not be bothered. -
It just takes too much work to find food that is acceptable, plus in either Burkina Faso or Mali they started to smoke cigarettes and spit. Mali people spit continuously and I have yet to see them take a shower, I watch. Togo, Benin, Ghana people are always standing around with tons of bubbles on them, it is easy to find a shower, I think they have adapted this Morocco, Arab, I do not shower thing, and I think it will get worst if I go towards Dakar. I ride on buses, I do not have a 4-wheel drive, I smell them, I see them up close and personal, they culture has changed; they are pigs in Mali, compared to Togo or even Ghana, where they are clean. Now the teeth are stained with smoke, and they take huge logs and clean their teeth.
A person wrote me and said, Dakar just like Europe, that did not help, the last place I want to be is in Africa just like Europe, if I want to go to see Europe, I will go to Europe, and to be truthful, I do not like Europe, has to be the worst value for the travel dollars on the planet, they somehow want me to believe it is ok. The USA is half the price to live than Europe. I remember Sophi in Paris, 160,000 US for an apartment that in the USA all your friend would be saying to you, are you crazy, you sleep in the living room, and you dry your clothes by hanging them all over the furniture, and you drive around for one hour per day looking for a place to park you car, get a life, give up.
I am not sure, but I think the Brits pay a lot for beer, I keep thinking that Africa is probably heaven for their alcoholic propensity. Like the book, Are You Experienced, and everyone is talking in India on why people come or travel in India and finally a man screams,
- The Dope is Cheap. -
I would think to stay drunk and slowly drink yourself into a stupor is at least half the price in Africa and even less.
Every country normally has this subject, this topic that travelers talk about, and finally I get curious and want to go see for myself, and I have readers write and say, go see this, I do not meet any travelers to tell me of any places to see, and I cannot find any reason to continue. I do think the Forts of Ghana are great, and interesting to here them pervert and make up history.
Why come to Africa?
Therefore, I can say I was here. This truthfully is the worst reason on the planet to travel, like bragging to an audience that does not care, and will continually start to talk about AIDS. I have not see one sign ever of AIDS in Africa, I just see another country, like any other country, nothing is decimated, this place is place is just a welfare child and working to be on becoming third generation welfare family.
When I am tying away and I cannot think of anything good to say, then time so find a different culture, to say country is only going to cause you a traveler problem, I need to find a substantial change in cultures.
The big problem in the world for travel is winter; it truly limits the number of countries to visit enjoyable as a backpacker.
I have the sum of a few wants to be happy,
- Internet -
- Food -
YES IN CHRISTIAN AREAS - Nice women to share dinner with. -
- Good Books to read. -
- Something of interest to Photograph -
- A good value Hotel room. -
- People that laugh and are nice -
- Some clear and obvious tourist attraction. -
YES - Safe -
- I do not want to complain. -
- Conversation with interesting people. -
The two easy to agree with is that in Christian Africa there are girls to talk with, and Africa is for the most part very safe. Safe is SOP for most countries, however hard to be robbed here.
The other things on the list are tiresome and difficult to find, a continually scramble to find, and generally I fail. Acceptance of this is crazy, when I know I can change it.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
One taxing on the spirit problem with travel is we see many unpleasant things, and as I have learned in a very brutal ways, I get, and all people get in life exactly what they deserve, no more, no less. When a person in a bad situation reaches for help, there is always the hand reaching to help pull them into the boat. There will always be loser and winners and it is up to me, to decide my future. I am 100 percent responsible for my success and failure.Losing Respect for West Africa