Benin Travel Stories, Page 14

Benin ATM or Bank Machine

Benin ATM or Bank Machine
Cotonou, Benin West Africa
Friday, September 15, 2006

There is ATM or Bank Machines in Cotonou, Benin, Socie Financia bank or something like that. It is within walking distance of the Concorde or Crillion hotels. I was able to take out, 200,000 CFA, it says it wants VISA.

ATM- Automatic Teller Machine
Cashpoint
Hole in the Wall - England
Cajero Automatico - Spanish

http://www.hobotraveler.com/money.php

This is one of them guide type, made for google.com pages that need to be made, so someone can search and find the knowledge easier.

I will add all the French words soon, guichet automatique or something, cachette, annoying to learn to spell.


Benin ATM or Bank Machine


Intellectual Arrogance

Intellectual Arrogance
Cotonou Benin West Africa
Friday, September 15, 2006

I have been collecting information regularly for about 10 years while traveling. I have always collected information; keeping organized has always been the problem. I admire James Michener greatly; he collected, assimilated, analyzed, and explained so much in a story, without the use of a computer. Tom Clancy is the same, but more capable in the world of computers.

I am 100 percent sure, my opinions are wrong.
I am 100 percent sure, my opinions are correct.

I am 100 percent, sure, the opinion I hold today will evolve and change, not dramatically, however for sure they will change. This is why I am 100 percent wrong on my opinions.

However, as I hold today, I am 100 percent correct, and must, need, and will hold to the intellectual arrogance that I am correct and others are wrong. What is good about me is I do always, consistently accept, know, and say often I am wrong, or these are my opinions.

When I read any writings of a person, I look for the passive tone, the acceptance that it is possible they are wrong. The Lonely Planet is great in this, they are not saying, always we are correct, except on not-needed, not helpful, anti-USA or anti-Big Business comments. Then they are just plain racist in a behind the back gentleman’s agreement.
It is financial demagoguery, trendy, anti this and anti that to make money.

I do extremely specific things in my blogs, making of pages to earn money, however almost zero influence on the opinions expressed. I make the blog to be found by people when they search in Google.com. The titles, the methods, the redundancy is done specifically so a person searching on one specific top will find the page.

To write controversial or to report what I know people want to read about is morally and ethically appalling to me. To travel to a foreign land, to spend ungodly amounts of money to arrive, then to say what they read in a book, think is true, or what they know people want to hear. All poor people are disenfranchised helps victims and not just plain lazy, or that Bob Marley is a good example for children. This person is racist against White people and promoted drug use… Although he does have some good lyrics sometimes and the melody is nice sometimes, but overall a bad man.

ICONOCLAST

- Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger. -
Attributed to Abbie Hoffman (1936 - 1989)
U.S. political activist. (2)

INTROSPECTION
- 19th century Germany psychologist Wilhelm Max Wundt claimed that all psychology begins with introspection.-

I would say then the intellectual arrogance is needed, the self-esteem, the master of a few concepts, the age, the experiences is needed to culminate to where a person says, I am right, all others are wrong.

Nevertheless, I am 100 percent aware, I could be wrong.

Then and only then can a person observe cultures.

This link will not work, unless I happen to remember to make it work today, I doubt I will remember, but with the new time delayed blogging, there is hope… Hehehe

http://www.hobotraveler.com/cu_how-to-study-culture.shtml

I am writing a tip, a long explanation, an extremely confused page where I go from confusion to clarity on how to study cultures. Anthropologist write books, professors teach classes, groups go and do formal studies of cultures. I on the other hand find little value in the Anthropologist I have met while traveling. They are all children, age about 20-25 ,not capable of studying culture, too busy learning how to be an adult or survive to be both introspective and observing at the same time.

Intellectual Arrogance


Cotonou Benin Boredom

Cotonou Benin Boredom
Cotonou Benin West Africa
Friday, September 15, 2006

I do not like to move, more likely, I do not like to pack. I like my travelers nest, and the Hotel Crillon here in Cotonou, Benin is a wonderful deal at 6500 CFA, twice the price of any other under-developed country outside of Africa, but a good deal for West Africa. It has this porch front with chair, where I can observe the people walking by, and a great pastime in life, people watching.

Boredom is good, I think an overwhelmed mind is cluttered and incapable of being happy. The free flow of thought, not forced thoughts is generally, what I seek. To focus on a subject, WORK, that I have no desire to do, is stressful. I am fortunate that I am now capable of focusing almost 90 percent of my energy in any manner I wish.

I must leave Cotonou, my desire to use the internet is slowing my travels, and I am staying in bigger cities, cultural aberrations, not of interest to anyone but a person who wishes to grow drink. A city strives to become modern, or to become a Ghetto, I like Ghettos, but difficult places, and people are not generally happy in Ghettos, but they do choose to live in squalor so what can I say, I guess they deserve it.

The left the small village to live in the city, where life is more exciting, and now they live in the Ghetto of life.


Cotonou Benin Boredom


Africa Healthy Eating Diarrhea

Africa Healthy Eating Diarrhea
Cotonou, Benin West Africa
Friday, September 15, 2006

I ate nothing, well almost nothing yesterday; I ate one piece of one-dollar cake bread. I have no idea what is was, I was hoping for Banana Bread which is common in areas where they grow bananas, however no luck.

Estimation, if I went to the toilet four times for about 10 hours, then I flushed it 40 times.

Healthy eating is killing me, there is a very tender balance between eating healthy and getting constant diarrhea.

DIARRHEA:
frequent and excessive bowel movements: frequent and excessive discharging of the bowels producing abnormally thin watery feces, usually as a symptom of gastrointestinal upset or infection. (2)

Ooops, it not over, coffee is always on a fast tract, or is the word track; I drink my daily morning coffee and make a trip, normal routine.

Routine bowel movements are the secret to good bus trips, collective taxi trips, or 5-35 hour transportation of any kind. Most transportation on the planet does not have a toilet included, if you are always using transportation that does, then you are on well-used path.

TYPE II DIARRHEA
http://www.hobotraveler.com/newsletterhobo064.php

I have what I call Type II Diarrhea; it is not from bad food, bad water, or some type of small bug, virus, or other infestations of my body. It is because I ate the wrong foods, not the wrong foods, the wrong combinations of foods and quantities.

I ate on Wednesday:
1. VEG - One jar of Gherkin Pickets, middle size.
2. PRO - Two small bags of Peanuts.
3. MILK -Two-Five glassed of concentrated NIDO milk.
4. VEG - Can of Kidney beans.
5. MILK - Two ice yogurt snacks, a bar of yogurt.
6. ENERGY -A bag of fake or copy Snicker bars, about 10 small things.

Hmm, where is the Fruit? Ok, I screwed up on the fruit, but a jar of pickles does not mix well with peanuts, and for sure, the kidney beans did something.

I think the breads take the heat off the vegetables and the fruits, I on the other hand have an almost impossible problem to solve, or for sure an expensive one. I shall not or should not eat a whole jar of pickles, or a hole can of kidney beans. It is too much, out of balance, more than the body can probably consume efficiently. It is expensive because this food must either be eaten or flushed down the toilet.

PEOPLE ARE STARVING IN AFRICA
Crap, just not true, they would not eat it even if I tried to share it, for one thing, it is not common food for them they would turn up their nose and pass. A beggar may in one in five cases take the food, but they really are working for money, not for food. I always try to give extra food to the beggars. I eat something, it is too much, and I give the leftover to the oversupply of either lazy or maimed person on the planet, sometime too old, drunk, or blind.

Giving away food is difficult work, I can give away bags of rice, they can easily sell, but to give away one helping is difficult.

HEALTHY
The problem is my preoccupation, plus an inordinate amount of free time to dwell or search for healthy foods. I spend at least one-two hours per day trying to find food to eat, which is nutritious. I am still in a quandary as to whether my Multi-vitamin loading works, can I exchange my lack of Fruits with a vitamin. Is it he same, I am sure a veggie will say now, but a chemical is a chemical, I just think the vitamins are washed or in the tract to fast, they are not absorbed well; I am eating capsules a lot though.

I will eat only half cans of food, or less, use my toilet as a garbage disposal and be more careful with the peanuts. I really should give up eating peanuts, a minor addiction. Protein is over-rated and so are milk products.

Funny note, and collaborated by a soldier in East Timor, Cheese is the way to bind a person up, a Soldier will I guess, eat a can of cheese before they go out on reconnoiter of whatnot, this slows the bowels, and maybe even helps the body absorb more nutrients.

I cannot leave until the body stops getting rid waste, it is dangerous, complicated, and embarrassing to travel with diarrhea, and I need a window of eight hours of no movement to be able to travel in Africa or for me…

I am extremely type A, Alpha Male, I will stop a whole bus, get off, and fight the dingalings to get my point across. I must go, luckily has only happened about three times in nine years of travel. I am not going to poop my pants, to be gentle with people, they sacrifice not me.

On a really no need to know basis, I have noticed, the women here do not squat to urinate, they pull up their dresses, then stand, spread and somehow point where they want to urinate, the number one, not two. Not normal on the planet, normally they just squat, what is natural is what I try to learn. I want to know where the human civility has overridden what is natural. Spitting, coughing up phlegm is normal, I believe a person should tactfully learn how to spit and clear they body by coughing in the morning, blowing the nose with a tissue is not normal, with one finger is normal. Keeping the body full of fluids that should be naturally excreted in the sinus, nose, lungs, or wherever this mucous and stuff accumulates is unhealthy I believe.

However, to eat peppers, spicy foods, that would eat the color off a copper penny are not good. Acid is what causes them to spit, over secretion of mucous to protect the linings of the throat and such.

I am good to go, my body is clean, great way to lose a pound of weight, just eat the wrong combinations off foods.

The pollution of Contonou made me nauseous I was not able to walk or the fumes of the motorcycles would make me sick, one of the most polluted streets in the world in my experience.


Africa Healthy Eating Diarrhea


Feeding Myself Ideas

Feeding Myself Ideas
Cotonou Benin West Africa
Thursday, September 14, 2006

I am here in West Africa, it is like starting my travels again, I feel like I am in Mexico again, starting, wondering how to travel the planet. Learning, discovering tricks and ways of traveling cheap and easy.

MEXICO
I did not know it when I was in Mexico, however for sure after 75 countries, I know it. Mexico is a dangerous place to travel, one of the most corrupt on the planet, expensive third world nation. It has some of the best beaches on the planet, great food, pretty girls and the people will cheat you any chance they get. They will lie, rape, and kill if needed. It is the only place on the planet where I know people that was raped, people that was killed and I know people that paid bribes. I paid bribes in that country. The only country I have paid a bribe. In Mexico, they pull over buses into the brush, strip, and systematically rob the whole bus. The give you no service, never clean the toilet, and a toilet seat is something people talk about. The have service that never comes… What a great place.

What a GREAT place to learn to travel, after Mexico, my life has been easy. Iraq is very civilized compared to Mexico; however, West Africa is challenging Mexico. I have this feeling there are places here that will beat Mexico on the corruption and danger scales.

TRAVEL TIP IDEAS

I have lot of travel tip ideas while in Europe or now in Africa, traveling in both of these locations is extremely challenging. Europe is easy on a 100 dollar per day budget, but excessively much exercise for me. I hate Europe, I have to walk miles daily, annoying amounts of exercise, and nothing is convenient, except maybe paying money.

Africa is very convenient, however a few problem that do not exist on the planet. The dynamics of West Africa are fun. I have so many ideas on travel tips; I can write numerous helpful idea, tips, hints or explanations, I have an over-abundance of creative juice. The will and the desire, the bank of ideas was getting empty, I needed some idea currency inserted into my vault, so I can go on and write another 100 Travel tips newsletters, I am on letter 202 as of present.

It is a land where so many small problems exist for an independent traveler, which every day I need to solve a problem. What a great place to learn. What I learn here though, is a windfall when I apply in the easy places like Asia or Central America.

Africa is probably dangerous, about the same as Mexico, maybe Morocco, or any inner city boom box area in the USA is extremely dangerous. I suppose Trinidad or Tobago; many Caribbean islands have the same level of danger. A bunch of drunken Europeans in Europe.


99 Percent of Africa people will ask for money, they truly believe they have the right to take exorbitant amounts of money and not give anything in return. It is the only place I have ever had, full-grown adults, not in the least big poor, say,
- give me money. -

This is the problem of Africa, how to travel Africa and not enable them to become bigger beggars than they all ready are. To say no, 24/7 is taxing and stressful, plus dangerous, they can be big, bad, mean, and pushy. I do think a woman can maybe travel here safer, or two women, one would be too much temptation to abuse.

Bullies, I have never seen many bullies, some in Caribbean, for sure in Mexico, at any border crossing on the planet. Any government official or police. However, normal people are not bullies, this is a new experience. Africa has an oversupply of bullies, I think the chief have always been bullies, like a king, they extract value from their people by force.

I suppose it is good, when the abused, becomes the abuser, which means there is progress. To be too afraid to be abusive is many locations on the planet, the poor person is positive; I must keep my mouth shut. Same here, but not to the white man, they know we are soft target, maybe… The clever level is very low here, not like India whoever clever is at an all time high. Clever levels are at the bottom in West Africa.


Feeding Myself Ideas


Two Economies of West Africa

Two Economies of West Africa
Cotonou Benin West Africa
Thursday, September 14, 2006

100 Franc, which is the going price of many items I purchase in West Africa or Benin. This is 20 Cents U.S.

100 FRANC
I can go on a motorcycle taxi for 100 Franc, buy two bags of peanuts, four bags of cold water, a bag of cookies, and a big bread baguette with butter on it.

I think Fran, because I never hear a C on the end of Franc, maybe I do not know how to correctly pronounce in French.

2000
I can go into a Lebanese restaurant hard to find one owned by an Africa person…

There is the difference, there are Africa street restaurants, and however the quality of food, the appearance, the whole demeanor is confusing. There is a street restaurant outside the sitting area here of the Hotel Crillon, they serve what I think is rice and maybe goat or mutton, hard to say, I do not speak French well enough to inquire well.

A girl could travel so much better in Africa than a man. All the workers in the Hotel are men; they thrive on power, to ask a question is to ask to be treated with disrespect. The minute I start to talk, treat them as a friend, they go from respect to disrespect. A female here would I believe be catered too, answered, helped in many ways. The women will help me, however the Hotel, primary place of safer information is ran by men. Women do the work of the country however.

A street restaurant I will find out, but I suspect I can get a locals plate or meal for about 200 Francs. The price for the exclusive McDonalds type Steer Place across the way from here is minimal 2700 or about 6-7 US Dollars.

THE LAND OF MERCEDES AND SUV
The normal person takes a Moto or Zim here, a small motorcycle, for 100-200 Fran, easy, quick and incredibly efficient. The rich own a Mercedes or SUV, sometimes a normal small car. The separation is vast between these two classes.

CLASS SYSTEM TRAVEL
The art of traveling in Africa cheap is to first know, there are two classes of travel. By default, a white man is first class, gouge the traveler class.

The more I accept this, the more I remember, never let down my guard, there is always another angle of how they can gouge you, and then I can travel here cheap. I unfortunately earn more money than the average backpacker now, the need to go super cheap is not with me anymore. I on the other hand would get very angry if I was on my five dollars a day, super budget price of many years of my travel. I think that absolute cheapest a person can travel in West Africa is for 10 U.S. Dollars per day, I think it possible, on a slow, walk around to many hotels or take a moto, cheap, and find the cheap hotel. They are not in the guidebooks.

The resistance to finding local type living quarters would be extreme, as nobody would believe you would accept backpacker standards worldwide when the locals are snobs. The locals do not travel, and if they do, I think they believe they must pay a lot to be ok. Same as in the USA, a person can find a great room in the USA for around 24 US dollars if they scrounge around for a Motel, however the person are convinced 80 is the going price, and minimal is 45, too lazy to save big money.

100-1000 Franc
200-2000 Franc or CFA.

I am going to remember, when the price is a mille or over 200, I am entering exclusive fare pricing. When I go into the Lebanese Super Marche, the big great, grocery stores in the larger cities. The normal local is not in there, they are maybe at the normal open-air markets. I can buy for about two dollars good food for the day; I can then cooking my room.

Rice, Eggs, Bread, and a can of Vegetable, pick up an orange in the street for 100 Francs.


Two Economies of West Africa


BENCHMARK Natitingou Benin West Africa

BENCHMARK Natitingou Benin West Africa

This is a marker to let the world know where I am at presently. I am unable to blog well here in Natitingou Benin West Africa so I am just saying, I am great. I will add many post in between, I think I have 100 plus pages...

The internet is slow, and slower, I am not able to do much, I will go north now and in about 10 days reach Niger.

All is great.

Andy of HoboTraveler.com in northern Benin, city of Natitingou Benin West Africa.

BENCHMARK Natitingou Benin West Africa


BENCHMARK Savalou Benin West Africa

BENCHMARK Savalou Benin West Africa

This is a holder. I have many post that I will enter later after I have an OK connection.

I am on a very silly connection in Savalou Benin. I may not have a connection for the next 10 days because of going north to Niger through the offroad part. It is close to Dassa Zoume. The connection has that very difficult and extremely stupid and controlling management program called CyberCafePro that stops all use of the computer and keeps Africa from playing or learning.

BENCHMARK Savalou Benin West Africa