I am a moral person, which is a nice thing to say about myself, but what doe this mean? A moral person feels a sense of duty to behave right, and not wrong, maybe good and not bad. Whenever I write about any location, I worry that maybe I am encouraging you to go have problems, this is never my intentions.
I have personal reservation about the saying,
"Live and let live."
It is implies I am suppose to look the other way when somebody is doing something I consider bad. I do not look the other way, I will say my opinion, however, am I going to actively go and stop people from doing bad? Only when it upgrades to first class evil, then I will step in and try to stop evil, this is the responsibility of all humans.
Ghana is not evil, Ghana is great for me, but does a moral man recommend tourist travel to Ghana as a "Tourist Destination." What is the tour? Where are they going to tour? Is there any Tourist Attractions here that deserves you sacrificing a couple weeks of your life?
My answer is NO; it is only a country to visit after you have visited maybe 50 others. Ghana is where you can make a decision to travel after Asia, India, Thailand, Japan, Central and South America.
Tourist should never fail, they should always enjoy their trip, for me to recommend that novice tourist to travel to Ghana or West Africa is encourage tourist to do something that could turn out horrible. After a tourist has visited 50 countries, they have learned to enjoy strange diversity, poverty and difficult situations.
Ho, Ghana West Africa --- Thursday, February 3, 2011
Travel Writing and Travel Writers Suck
I write and travel, there is no escaping, I just cannot escape being defined loosely as a Travel Writer, but morally I do not feel good being group with travel writers.
"Travel Writers will write about anything that makes them look good, and earns money."
"Travel Writers live in Resorts for free; recommend places they would never visit if they had to pay with their own money."
I am in the wrong place, the wrong country, the absolutely worst place on the planet to find advertisers for my site.
Why come to Ghana?
I am lying here in bed in the Tarso Hotel in Ho, Ghana, I am alone, but I am not lonely. Maybe on a clear day you can see forever, maybe on clear day you will know, understand and accept your future. How can we find a clear day, the good path, the light at the end of the tunnel in a world that is almost exponentially becoming more confusing?
We need to walk until we have escaped the confusion of our normal lives, you will know when you have reached the place, because almost nothing reminds you of Home. There is nothing about the place that is home, there is no way Ho, Ghana is my "Home Away from Home."
When you come to a place that is truly not home, you will know your own home and be grateful, because you climbed out of the valley of confusion onto a mountain, From this mountain you can see clearly and nothing will ever be the same again.
Traveling to place where you see no other Travelers will teach you:
To be alone, but not lonely.
To learn how to find happiness when you are unhappy.
To accept love from people when offered.
To leave people, and know you never left, you are still with them.
To have real friendship with a person you met five minutes ago.
To want people in your life, but never be needy.
To stop looking for the ultimate answer that will solve all problems.
To stop trying to escape, because you have escaped.
To know the path away from confusion is the clear path, and know you are on it.
Travel is to fall in love with the simple things in life, and to walk down a path until your friends stop following, and accept they believe you are crazy for leaving their world. You friends will believe you are crazy, and you will believe they are crazy for staying.
A little voice in all humans keeps saying,
"Escape, escape, escape."
That little voice has stopped in my head because I have escaped, and now I am found.
Should you come to a remote place like Ghana? Yes, when you are ready to climb out of your box. However, please remember, when you arrive at the end of the earth, there be dragons. These dragons will burn away the past, scorch away old memories and you can create a new person out of the ashes, and this is painful.
Is Ghana West Africa a Tourist Destination
There are people, who say,
"Just stop worrying."
My personal favorite and the one I hear constantly,
"Stop thinking so much."
(I think, hmm, let me find the switch that I can adjust.)
In addition, sometimes I answer,
"Yes, and if I knew how to do that, I would do it and not have a problem."
I am thinking in the back of my mind, and maybe soon I can stop listening to this dribble.
There is always a new reader of my Blog, who says,
"Fix your grammar errors."
I try to explain, but the simplicity of the answer evades many people, and I try to allow them to think… please assume I want to remove grammar errors.
Then if I want to, then Ok, I am ready to do it, I am ready to remove my Grammar errors, this is the problem, if I knew how to remove all my grammar errors, then I would do it. Telling me to remove grammar errors does not mean I have the knowledge or skills. I do not believe it is possible for me to learn grammar, I am horrible slow.
Ho, Ghana West Africa --- Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I Do Not Want to Tell You, but I Will
There is no adventure here to read about in this section, this is an outline of a normal trip in Africa, to call it adventure is to romanticize normal life in Africa.
I write this Blog about what I am thinking about, more as a diary, sometimes I remind myself to make it a travelogue. The step by step what happened after the fact, so I can explain the "Adventurous" details of my trip. There was no adventure yesterday, just normal grueling movement from Elubo, Ghana to Ho, Ghana by a series of uncomfortable moves.
I read and hear people complaining about Airplanes, I am not sympathetic; there are seldom problems on planes worth a good rant.
I could rant about the long list of stupid that happens daily here in Africa, I mean, there is a never-ending list of small things that could be highlighted. If I wanted, I could make these hardships into some romanticized challenge, and explain how I conquered my fears, fought the good fight, poetic justice, and wrap it up in a pile of words like Adventure.
The truth is, travel is simple, and you just grin and bare it, and wait for it to end. An Airplane ride has so little to complain about, I think people complain more, they are so bored, and they are looking for a fight.
Waiting for the trip to end is Travel.
What elevated my frustrations on the trip from Elubo to Ho?
1. Saying goodbye to Bah, knowing I care, and not sure what to do.
2. Paying 14 Cedis for a Ticket to Cape Coast, and then learning it is a ticket to Accra.
3. Having the man demand 2 Cedis for my bag, the Ghana bag people are always obnoxiously rude, I sternly said, "can you have manners, is it possible?"
4. A man sits down in the middle seat, he stinks, body odor, there are three men in the van who stink, and I chose a window seat so I can have wind in my face the whole trip.
5. Nobody in the van speak more than two words of English, a truly slow bunch yesterday.
6. The men stop and piss, and one woman stops and pisses, of course I always am forced to watch, it is right outside the van door.
7. They do not stop in Cape Coast; I would have needed to force the driver to pay attention to me, the passenger that purchased a Cape Coast ticket.
8. If I pass Cape Coast, there is no acceptable Hotel until I arrive in Ho; we passed Cape Coast at about 1:00 pm so I went to Ho.
Africans are Optimistic
I asked, how long from Elubo to Accra? 5-6 Hours, it took 7.5
I asked, how long from Accra to Ho, my good friend Ivy says, two hours.
I was told the trip would take 8 Hours, and then if I leave at eight, I would arrive at around four in the afternoon. I arrived at 12 hours later, four hours after what they would say, there is no reason to ever listen to the locals explain a trip.
9. Driver from Accra to Ho had road rage, he screams, honks his horn, tailgates every car he is close to, passes with two cars coming head on. He does not turn on his lights then he flashes his bright lights at car from behind, then head on. He is a f###King nut.
I must grin and bare it, this I the price I agreed to pay to come here.
The Non Introspective Life of Africa
I love children, they are simple, they are direct, they are transparent, and when I talk with children life is simple. This is Africa to me, simplicity, seldom are the people around contemplating their navels and coming up with incredibly long list or reasons why, or why not. They do not make action lists, then go down the list checking off items to be sure they are completed.
They do what can be done in the next half hour, there is no future after that, they are living the
"One day at a time."
"One moment at a time."
It is truly "ignorance is bliss" and truly, I am sure, if there is no introspection, then life is better.
In the Tropical countries on the planet, life is extremely simple, they do not need to plan ahead, there is no need to be on time, they do not stockpile or preserve food, there is always food. There is no reason to become highly focused, there are no big worries, many small worries, but seldom a problem that takes days of work or concentration to solve.
Lynn a reader, made a comment about doing something and zoning out, this is a good term or phrase. Often the art of travel is being able to find a sweet spot where I can zone out and enjoy life free of conflicts.
I know how I zone out.
1. Read a book
2. Watch a movie
3. Walk around looking at how the locals work.
5. Typing my Blog post
6. Working on my web sites.
I am sad about my Cote d’Ivoire Girlfriend, Bah is a wonderful and beautiful woman, however 100 percent African. When I am away from her, I think of her, when I am with her there are times of pure enjoyment. African women like to preen, she gave me a pedicure a couple of days ago, for about one hour I was relaxed and enjoyed life with her, maybe I zone out inside the relationship.
Men on the planet seldom talk with women, when they want to talk, they go talk with men. Bah had no reason to talk with me, this was not her priority, she wanted to share space and time with me, and to feel protected by me, she wanted me to Marry her and make a baby.
When she was with me, she did not need to fight for anything, no need to think of money, no need to worry, I suppose marriage is meant to seal the security and end worries. Like a child, she is in the room with many small demands, there was no way for me to zone out and just have my own world.
Five Star Hotel Vacations
6000 US Dollars per month rent, if I was willing to pay 6000 dollars per month, I could always have a place to zone out. I could afford to stay in a Five Star Hotel or Resort and when I was tired, I would go back to a comfortable room, relax and shut the world out.
This is the easy way of travel, spend thousands of dollars to have a calm place to zone out and relax. The simpler way is to not travel, however, the truth is this, travel is uncomfortable, and when I am comfortable, I am not traveling.
This is why I recommend people go live in places for three months, the first two weeks will be hell, and then after that, you adjust, learn a routine, and know which idiots to avoid. However, do not come to Africa, start out slow, and go to Thailand or Guatemala.
If I can be happy in an eight-dollar Hotel in Ghana, then I am truly capable of being happy. Today I am happy in a 12 Cedi room called the Tarso Hotel in Ho, Ghana, sort of the calm after the storm.
I am in Ho, Ghana Wondering Why Africans are Optimistic
Another try, and again it did not work...
I am rather desperate today; I need to use some extreme measures in an attempt to escape frustration. The thought of flying to the USA, Thailand, or the Philippines has become a real possibility, I am emotionally fried. Donald Lee made the comment on the prior post recommending I "H.A.L.T." this is good advice. And because I am Hungry - Angry - Lonely - Tired, I need to "Halt." Generally when a person Halts, they are already in a place that is good, and they have made themselves crazy by doing too much, and they just stop.
I care very much about Bah, I truly feel she is a good person, loving and caring in many ways, however she is still a girl from the Ivory Coast at heart. She has no desire to become American or live in the USA, she loves being African.
We will probably meet again in a few months, if there was not a small war in Ivory Coast, I could go live in the Grand Bassam close to her and not need to live with her. We are not meant to live together and travel, we have not negotiated, adapted, and accepted each other sufficiently to share the same room 24 / 7.
I will travel today to Cape Coast, then probably Accra, Africa is annoying, there is always the need for a Visa hanging over my head in Africa, with no guarantee they give me one or for how long.
I Need my Hotel Room to be the USA
I am separating from Bah today, I am going travel to somewhere and Halt. It does not matter how much I care of feel for her, when she is in my room, I must live with the African culture. When there are two distinct cultures in a room, there is culture shock or cultural clash, I have had many discussions with women over the years, and have said many times,
"This Hotel room is the USA, outside is your country."
Elubo, Ghana West Africa --- Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The wikipedia page on Culture Shock is good, it explains culture shock, however, just because I know and understand something, does not mean can I avoid the feelings or frustrations.
1. Honeymoon Phase
- romantic, wonderful and new.
2. Negotiation Phase
- differences become apparent anxiety feelings of frustration and anger.
3. Adjustment Phase
- grows accustomed to the new culture and develops routines
4. Mastery Phase
- participate fully and comfortably culture.
5. Reverse Culture Shock --- Going Home
Returning to one's home culture
The above stages of cultural shock all assume you are not moving, and that the variables to accept or adapt too, do not change from day to day. I am in the Negotiation Phase with Bah, and I am defeated, she has beaten me, her African culture has me so frustrated and angry, I must leave.
Ways of Adapting Outside are not Acceptable Inside a Hotel Room
I am good, I am in the mastery level of dealing with West African culture outside my room, I know how to become casual friends, talk peacefully, and how to keep the truly unacceptable people away from me. However, inside the room, I cannot and will not use the same tactics against a person I care about. When I am outside the room, if I sever acquaintances from my life, I do not lose, normally I enhance my life. Generally, life is like this, if you remove all the bad from your life, what is left over is great; I can do this while roaming around West Africa or the World.
Trust me, as much as Bah annoys me, I am annoying her also, I am not accepting her culture and becoming African. She wants me to eat Fufu, she wants me to eat Fish with her, she wants me to share, and I refuse to share many African things with her. She does not eat Western Food, and I will not eat African Food, this means it is hard to eat in the same restaurant. We normally go buy her food, then we buy something for me, and we return to the room, but I am hungry, the food in West Africa is difficult.
When she is not around, I can work my way to the food I want fast, with her, she wants me to settle and accept, I end up hungry. African culture is a blunt object, there is no subtle, slow or understanding, there is no patience, they say brutishly when buying,
"Do you want it?"
There is no soft sell, sales pitch, it is primitive and brutish, and being a bully is effective way of people management.
Alpha Male or Alpha Female
Africa is about domination, either I dominate another person, or they will dominate me, there is seldom mutual respect. It is territorial, I can do this with ease, not a problem, and I can dominate most people outside the room.
An Alpha Female inside the room is my problem, how to convince a person to stop. I will use the food situation, because it is easy to relate too, and understand. She continually wants me to eat Fufu; hardly a day goes by where she does not say,
"Eat the Fufu."
I do not do this, I do not become a bully or brute even though I know it works with friends, I do this with Africans outside the room ---- What do you do when the question or prompt never ends? You must scream or attack the idea into a person head, you must ram it done their throats.
"Stop, I am not going to eat Fufu."
Assimilation into Cultures
There is nothing warm and cuddly when a culture is trying to assimilate into their culture, there is a balance to found or else they will ostracize me from the culture. I am strong, but presently I feel as if all of Africa is ganging up on me, I have two choices,
1. Attack back
I am going to leave, I learned a long time ago, that attacking back is not love, it is some sort of dysfunctional and co-dependent hooks that create emotional scars. She does not intuitively stop when she is pushing; the only way to stop her is to strike back emotionally. There is nothing strange or odd about Bah, she is a normal African person who has spent the last 24 years of her life dealing with situations in this manner.
Screaming is Normal, talking Soft is Not
I am not going to scream and holler at her to get her attention, and I refuse to allow her to scream or holler at me as a normal way of talking. It does not matter if I love her, care for her, or if she loves me or wants me, this is a cultural difference.
I am willing and enjoy getting up close and personal with people outside the room, and dominating the locals. They are easy, they are not too sharp, it is just two bulls knocking head to them, while I have a large computer in my head, that plans and is premeditated, I do not react, I plan.
If I were talking to my Mother in Indiana, I would say,
"Mom, I am tired of Bah snapping at me."
This is the normal way African talk with each other, they snap at each other, when I find myself snapping at another person, I go to my room and stop talking with them. We have reached an impasse, she truly does not understand that she is snapping at me, she believes this is normal talk, I am leaving, my nerves and brain is overwhelmed, it is overheating from attempts to find solutions, and she does not see a problem.
I am not a person to snap at, I will leave you in a heartbeat, I do not need people, and I only want them in my life. I have many friends, the relationships are not needy, they are respectful, and we exchange idea and compare notes.
I am going to find a place where I can use Skype.com to call all my English-speaking friends and talk for hours without end, at 2 cents per minute, I can always afford this. I suspect I will end up in the Tarso Hotel in Ho, Ghana, it is peaceful, and I am able to have the USA in my room, and Africa is way outside.
My Ghana Visa ends on February 24, I must leave Ghana by that date, I cannot renew it, or get a new one in Lome, I will leave Ghana for sure by that date.
Desperate Moves in Ghana to Find Happiness
I am living on the third floor of the Hotel Cocoville in Elubo, Ghana, the room has Air Conditioning and a nice balcony. As I was standing next to Bah, looking at the river yesterday, I said,
"This is beautiful."
I searched a little trying to discover the name of the river, and I have to accept that I do not care to work that hard to discover the name of the river.
My friend Wade, the owner and writer for VagabondJourney.com says slowly, often and without a push or shove,
Elubo, Ghana West Africa --- Monday, January 31, 2011
I Search for Intuitively Easy Paths to Follow
Bah and I walked down to the river later in the day, on the way down the path to the river she says,
"Stop, go slow, there is trash."
She did not use those words, she speaks French most of the time, but this is what she meant, she wanted to either stop or go slower, there was too much trash on the path. It was her idea to walk down the path; I looked up at her and said,
"What did you expect, something beautiful?"
We worked our way slowly down a ravine full of old wood charcoal, trash, more or less a natural ravine that leads from the city to the river. Trash and garbage has an uncanny ability to find water, it is as if water is a natural place to dump the garbage of the world.
This is a video from the movie American Beauty below, where the young man and woman were admiring a piece of trash swirling and floating in the air. I am thinking about this scene in the movie, because if you watch it slowly, you say to yourself,
"Go slowly, do not disturb the moment or it will end."
In a way, I did not want Bah to remind me that in reality, we are sleeping in a trashed out hotel, with trash everywhere, and an extremely beautiful river in front. I want to exclude from my thoughts the thoughts of trash, and look at the majestic river passing by the Hotel.
The Hotel Cocoville is a magnificent Hotel located directly on a beautiful river; this place was built as a Hotel. It has an area for a restaurant, a large reception area, every room has a balcony. It is truly a wonderful building; a person can walk up to the roof, look around and see for miles. The children and families playing all day in the river is relaxing, they swim, wash clothes, and generally take their time, they have no responsibilities that makes them stressed.
I was looking down at the courtyard yesterday, I said to Bah,
"If they had a swimming pool there, it would be great."
Walk Slow or the Dream will Disappear
A reader wrote me the other day very angry and spiteful, saying that I was bad because I wrote about making money, this destroy his romantic view of Hobo Travel, therefore he was unsubscribing.
What is this "Romantic" view of travel? I want to ease you into another term, I will explain it before I write it, so you walk slowly into the meaning and implications. We make choice, some good, some bad, and in the end, we search for self-stimulation. We want to become happy because of stimulation of our senses.
We want to feel good, this can be called Mental Masturbation, as we massage our brains to feel good. Some people cannot stop, they continually live in a dreamy sense of masturbation, doing it repeatedly, never ending search for more feelings.
Readers come to this this site expecting to read stereotypical and cliché information about travel, they want mental masturbation that is romantic travel. When they are not able to masturbate, they are angry.
I had another friend say the other day,
"Andy, you are living the dream."
Yes, maybe I am, and maybe I am not, I really do not know what that means. I think it was a compliment, saying to me,
"Andy you are doing what you want to do, when, where and how, on your own terms."
The Hotel Cocoville is Dump
I am in a wonderful dump, some magnificent hotel that has had no maintenance done for at least 20 years. The owner or owners are slumlords; the owner does just the minimum to extract the most amounts of cash, for the least amount of work.
Yet, I am living the dream, I can run, I can escape, I can complain, however I am here for one reason in this Hotel, because I want to be here. Moreover, I am in no hurry, I am walking slowly; I will only leave when there is an obvious good reason. I asked Bah,
"Do you want to go to Cape Coast and stay in the Sammo Hotel?"
She said something like,
"Cape Coast is noisy, full of horns, and busy, this is a small village and is calm and relaxing."
Convincing Bah to Cook for Fun
She does not have anything to do, so I am trying to convince her to cook, she is like a prisoners in a jail, they all volunteer to work as trustee, to keep busy and not think of why they are in jail.
It is stressful for me to live with another person, I am happy by myself, I can do the proper mental masturbation needed anywhere on the planet to be happy. However, Bah is restless; there is too much time in the day, and nothing simple for her to do.
I asked Bah to bring some books to read, she brought two magazines and a Bible in French, not what I wanted.
I am presently reading this book, by Wilbur Smith.
"How many books do you read per month?"
"I do not know, maybe 1-4, depending on what is happening in my life."
I am reading about the Nile, Egypt, that whole area of the world from the time perspective of a when they were building the Pyramids. This man Taita, talks in first person and explains the adventurous story of love, intrigue, war and death, all wrapped in a semi-historical package.
Presently in the first Book in a three part series called "River God," Taita a slave to his mistress Lostris. He is working to keep her happy, she is getting pregnant by the Pharaoh, but is truly in love with Tanus the male hero of the book. Taita is in danger of being killed by the father of Lostris, as everyone fights for control of the Egyptian lands.
I am reading along in this Historical Adventure Soap Opera, I am happy and content. Bah picks up her bible, starts to read in a subvocalization manner. I am happy, this last for 15 minutes, she puts down the book and wants to find something to think about that is enjoyable.
Rising Stress and Tension
I am clear a couple of points in life,
"I am responsible for my happiness."
"I cannot make you happy."
(Oops, and I cannot make readers happy.)
I live in a world of very forceful people. Bah is getting annoyed at the locals, as we walk along the road, children and adults scream,
More or less, a never-ending and continuous screaming at me,
Abroni means White Man in the Ashante language of Ghana. She said, it has to bother you, I say no, only the adults sometimes, because they say it with mockery. The children are children, and the adults are just large and mean children. Well, she is becoming angry, she is tired of being a constant center of attention, she is shy, timid, and does not want people looking at her, unless she wants it. I said to her,
"Everyone is always looking at me, this is normal."
I think she believe I can stop it, this unrealistic view of life is stressful for me, I cannot change her, and she is wanting to change something that is not changeable.
I am frustrated with her and this Bible crap, why is it so difficult for people to understand the Bible. The Bible is a book to help guide and assist people in enjoying life, it is a guidebook, and it is read for guidance. It is not entertainment, it is work to understand, and it is challenging and trying to think about.
I worry about people who bring Bibles on Vacation and not a few fun books.
I have accepted people need to stay busy, cooking, cleaning, running errands, and buying things or they will go crazy. This is the mental masturbation that can heard, spoken, and acted out when people say,
"I am too busy."
I am living the dream; however, I know freedom is not mentally healthy for most people. My stress levels are rising daily as Bah pushes and shoves for something to occupy her free time. I think the idea of "Walking Slow" said by Wade truly applies here. I need to slow things down to a stop because Bah is trying to Walk Fast. She wants to push and shove, to force something great to happen.
Nothing great is going to happen today, and that is just fine with me.
Rising Stress, and I am Trying to Walk Slow in Elubo Ghana
I am now in Elubo, Ghana one of the African "Wild Wild West" border towns. I am with Bah my Cote d’Ivoire girl. She is going to travel with me for another few weeks, and today I was happy. Why? Because we went walking down the road, semi looking for food, and semi-bored, trying to keep busy. While walking on the main road towards Takoradi, Ghana, after maybe two miles, she said,
"Let us turn left."
I look left, I see some hills, mud, mud huts, clutter, trees, but there is no road. Well, I am extremely happy, she did this before, she wants to explore this village of Elubo, up close, personal and friendly she wants to walk where there is no clear path, she is an explorer, an essential ingredient of a Hobo Traveler like me… Yes, I be Hobo.
We turned left, right into the front yards, back yard, and side yards of the people of Elubo, Ghana. Most of Africa is wide open, free range walking, you have implied permission to walk across my lawn, and by the way, there is never a lawn, but if there was, you have permission. Many times, you run into a clotheslines, walk through groups of people cooking, pounding Fufu and generally sitting around doing what people do.
Nomad Wandering and wondering whether I am mad
Bah likes to wander around looking at anything, she does not need to know where she is going, she is happy just going, she is a nomad. She does not understand the word Hobo, so she is saying to me,
"You want me to be a Nomad."
My friend Max, the owner of "GoNomad.com" has to be happy, he is sitting somewhere in the USA saying to himself,
"Yes, Bah, Nomad is better than Hobo."
My French is better than Bah’s English, and I have yet to explain Hobo in French, or English, my Hobo is not working, it is already over with, she has already branded me as Nomad, sometimes she says,
"I’m not a Nomad."
"You are a Nomad."
…. Ooops, I am thinking to myself, wrong word, wrong word, I be Hobo.
Bah likes to explore, and she see me as a Nomad Traveler.
Bah loves to cook, this time though, I am going to do my best to "Brand" this cooking correctly. I will say, do you want to be a Hobo Cook?
She agreed, this is Hobo Cooking, but she has yet to use the words in a sentence
Elubo, Ghana West Africa --- Sunday, January 30, 2011
Google cares what you call my site?
I am advising readers and webmasters, you are invited to write articles and such on HoboTraveler.com. Well, a couple of people took me up on this offer. I assumed they understood SEO, and they did not, if you want to make good titles and extract some Google Juice, and the writers have permission to do so. Well, nope, they did not understand, how can I give them their pay, this is the pay for writing the articles.
When you put a link on your site to my site, the title you give the link, then resounds, resonates, and passes juice to my site, and Google says, so you think this site is about "TITLE." Therefore, we will call the page it lands on that, it will have rank for those words. It is not what I think about my page, it is what other sites say or think about my page, it is how they define me that is important to Google.com.
I want to have my Mobile Office page come up in the first three search results, than I need incoming links that are called "Mobile Office," from other sites.
People sell text links, there is money to be made in links with the proper titles, there are many sites where this is the only way they earn money.
Many Many Bad People in Africa
This is what Bah told me, because she wants me to stop saying hello to many people. The reality is, I only say hello to approximately 25 percent of the people I encounter. She has a belief system that says, I can command you what to do, and she commands me. It is both entertaining and annoying at the same time, she is angrily serious, and so I must validate her feelings.
She warns me,
"There are many bad people in Africa."
I am thinking, yes, there are and I have been to 15 of the countries, and you have never made it farther than a few hundred miles from home.
I have observed this greeting situation now for 12 plus years, and maybe one day I can break it down to the various types of people.
Types of Greetings Behavior
1. People who look dazed and stupid, if you talk to them, they appear to be asleep.
2. People who only say hello to people they know.
3. People who only reply after spoken too directly.
4. People who are willing to ignore good people and bad people.
5. People who cannot ignore bad people or good people, this is truly a problem.
6. People who do not ignore greetings from locals, but ignore greetings from other foreigners.
There is a rather unique case of cultural differences here, she is strong willed African, and will command, and I softly say no, (Andy culture) I will do, as I want, I know I am uncontrollable by commands. Now what is funny, she gives me funky commands, do not walk on the highway, you can be hit. This is half-true, so I obey, but only if the place to walk off the road that are acceptable.
Slave Owner Mentality in Africa
I said without thinking yesterday,
"African culture is about having slaves."
"You give me commands as if I had no choice, as if I am your slave."
She looked at me, knowing and accepting that she does this, and realizing this is something she needs to be careful doing. She is 100 percent aware I will just walk away and she will never see me again. I said to her,
"We are negotiating."
I was a professional negotiator when I sold Real Estate, in my former career. I would help in negotiating between groups of people who had no clarity and were willing to abuse the other people with no remorse. People buying or selling real estate are incredibly selfish, and want the agent, arbitrator or mediator to make unreasonable demands. We started with absurdity and worked our way into compromise and acceptable positions.
However, it is always enjoyable to watch people make a spontaneous, greedy, selfish, self-centered and almost psychopathic request. I say to myself,
"Oops, this person is willing to gas a few Jew, with no emotional problems, I will mark that down in my book."
Slave Situations in Africa that exist because the slave wants a master
A woman is slave to a man or husband.
A man is slave to the chief of the village or his boss.
Friends make slave relationships of other friends.
American Ghetto movies have the same mentality, you can also see it in the Russian Mafia movies. And there is this boss man, who has the right to tell others what to do. Yes, it is also in the Italian Mafia culture movies, but more subtle, and only with greater respect.
This is fun stuff to think about, but is also a real situation, Bah and I must have a meeting of the minds, and we need to accept each other, she will put a few ultimatums on me, and I will put ones on her.
One of hers is Andy; you will brush your teeth after you drink coffee
One of mine, Andy’s: After Bah finishes eating fish and other something-African in the room, she will take the bag out of the room and dispose.
I can refuse these small commands, but they are reasonable, and I will compromise. She has the option, too many refusals and we have no respect for each other.
Ability to be Nice
She stopped to help a women put a heavy washbasin full of products on the head of a woman yesterday. Often woman cannot lift what they carry onto their heads, they need help loading and unloading. This was good; she does not consider herself a chief daughter or slave master above doing common things.
Chiefs are the number one problem with Africa, they corrupt the culture, and stops it from entering a modern world.
Ghana Children Dancing
There is an instant change in Bah’s mood when she walks into a neighborhood of normal people, she says hello, and becomes jovial. While in the obnoxious clutter of city traffic she is closed, we encountered these children dancing. I started dancing and prompted them to do more and more, then recorded this video.
Subscribe to Greeting Blog
Yep, we have a Greeting Blog; we now have about 200 different Blogs related to how to travel, which is the same as saying, how to live life. However, it has been my observation that business people need to read about manners and how to greet people, this is a lacking in business people that is strange.
I had my friend Jeff many years ago talking about a local politician in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he said,
"The guy is very personable and friendly."
I was annoyed with my friend Jeff; I thought he knew many politicians.
"This is how you know you are talking to a politician, when you remove your hand, it feels as if some great type of energy past to you."
Again and again I have came back to this idea of giving good energy to others, in reality, I suspect Bah believes I have some limited supply of good energy, and she does not want me sharing the energy with others so she can have it. Truly good energy is unlimited, as long as you recharge your batteries in correct ways.
If you are in business, you need to learn to say Hello and know when not to say Hello.
Nomad Cooking Nomad Exploration
I know American Citizens do not care about India, but you should, what is happening in India will eventually happen in the USA. (Moreover, World). The governments, banks, and taxation systems will force you to pay taxes on Internet Money.
Suddenly today, India workers are contacting me, they are angry, confused, and worried the government of India or Paypal.com is going to keep or take their money from them. HoboTraveler.com is a global employer; I regularly pay employees in India monthly salaries. We switched payments to Xoom.com in February of 2010 because problem of the first problems with Paypal.com.
"Paypal India Update:From comment on Hobo Blog Post
With effect from 1 March 2011
1) Any balance in and all future payments into your PayPal account may not be used to buy goods or services and must be transferred to your bank account in India within 7 days from the receipt of confirmation from the buyer in respect of the goods or services.
2) Export-related payments for goods and services into your PayPal account may not exceed US$500 per transaction."
Leaving Takoradi 30 Minutes after Sunrise
If the bus or van leaves when full, then what times it best to leave the room? I do not like to wait for a van to load, from my experience, if you leave the hotel room shortly after sunrise you will normally catch the first van leaving the city.
What time is sunrise in Takoradi, I typed in "Sunrise Takoradi Ghana" in Google.com and got the answer, what a great toy.
6:22 am is sunrise, therefore I need to be out of the room before 7:00 am, eating a large breakfast guarantees you will have transportation problems. If you must eat a large breakfast than you need to take schedule buses, except, I do not believe there are scheduled buses to Elubo, Ghana.
What happens is this, people do not have alarm clocks here, and they do not stay up all night here, they more or less sleep and rise with the sun. Ok, it is like this, the sun comes shining into your window; you wake, pack and you leave the room. This takes roughly 30 minutes for the average person in an underdeveloped country. If you are going to take a shower outside with a bucket, it is best when the sun is coming up, there are no lights over out-door showers.
I do not like Schedule buses; they seldom leave before 10:00 am because the staff of anything formal refuses to work until they are forced each day. I want to arrive in Elubo roughly around 11 am; this may well be the optimum time to arrive in any hotel on the planet.
The staff again will not start to clean the rooms until about 10:00 am; the people living in the Hotel rooms will normally be out by noon. Somewhere around noon or before a good hotel will have the rooms mostly cleaned and ready to go, the best room in the hotel are not going to be available until last. I often sit around waiting for a specific room to open up, knowing the exact location of a room is important if I plan to stay a few days.
I had to carry water from the end of the hall to my room in the Cocoville Hotel last time; luckily, my room was close to the faucet. This is the first times I have ever needed to arrange a room close the source of water, so that could carry water to my room.
Takoradi, Ghana West Africa --- Friday, January 28, 2011
List of Titles to Capitalize
This is a long story I will tell in short style, our website can auto capitalize words. It will capitalize all the words in a title, but I am thinking, if we can give the computers a list of words to not capitalize, then we only have to deal with the first and last word, which I have learned is supposed to be capitalized.
Well, I am doing research, trying to learn the rules that could be applied to make all the titles automatically capitalized at an optimal level. There is no way a computer can do the job perfect, but we can come real close.
We are hiring data entry people from India or the Philippines, they will have many problems with English titles, this is mostly to help them, and indirectly I help myself.
Do you want to have a Travel Blog? This is the wrong question, the correct question is,
"do you want to be a writer?"
My Writing Blog, note that on this Blog is would be extremely valuable to have guest writers explain how to write, and take me out of the picture.
Shampoo is Difficult to Buy in Africa
Well, sometimes in Black Africa it is difficult to buy shampoo; I had to walk around yesterday for close to one-half hour to buy a bottle of shampoo. The boys here usually have short hair and the girls wear wigs or hair extensions and only shower their head once every couple of weeks. Generally, people to do not need shampoo, I am never clear what the boy do, and I truly do not want to know, better to stay away from this type of learning and observations.
Webmasters Conference Call
Once per month I attend a conference call with roughly 11 owners of large independently owned travel sites. I have been making this call now for almost one and half years, it is very beneficial to listen to owners of large sites explain how they manage their sites.
This is not an open group, it is by invitation only, and the big requirement is the owner of the site must be self-employed, earning all his or her income from Internet sites. This is not the want to earn money on the Internet group, this is the ones that do.
I will be telling the names of the sites soon, many well-known ones, because we are going to give away an around the world plane ticket for two people. It will be an extremely valuable trip to for the lucky couple or people who wins. We have worked on this for about one year, arranging sponsors and coordinating how we are going to put banners and stuff on hour sites.
Statistics of the 11 sites:
4 million Monthly Unique Visitors
31,500 e-mail newsletter subscribers
22,400 Twitter followers
12,200 Facebook fans
6,200 Blog RSS subscribers
Rituals of Voodoo in Ghana
Voodoo is a formal word for something that is normally pointed at Togo; however, Ghana keeps showing me their Voodoo mentality.
Vodun or Voodoo on Wiki
I had two truly stupid people who work for my present Hotel scream at me yesterday. Why? Because I stopped out in front and started to take a photo of the front of the Hotel. There is nothing more valuable than word-of-mouth advertising, and taking a photo is the pivotal need to help it work on the Internet.
By accident, I explained this to one of the main employees of the Amenla, my normal Hotel in Takoradi, and he said,
"You did not ask permission?"
"What is wrong with you Ghana people?"
"You should pay white people when they take photos of the Hotel."
"There is nothing more valuable for a Hotel than to have clients photograph the stupid thing."
I could rant about this for a long time, Ghana is a horrible place to take photos compared to Togo, Benin, or Cote d’Ivoire, the people are a royal pain the butt.
Well, he then said,
"You do know, we are afraid you will take a photo and do a ritual."
I looked at him,
"You have to be able to adjust your brain, what is wrong with you? You surely do not think that White people are going to curse you hotel."
This is the problem, the Ghana people apply one almost voodoo rule to all photos, and one rule to all people, and in reality, and it is groupthink. This country becomes almost dangerous for normal tourist to walk around in and take photos. This is why guided trips to Ghana may be needed for 90 percent of the naïve tourist, the guide can protect you so you can take normal tourist photos.
I just looked at the two men who were threatening to take my camera, and said with my eyes,
"You take one step closer, and I beat the shit out of you, and I will enjoy it."
They stopped, but this is not prime time tourist behavior, I am one of National Geographics Top 10 Adventure Travel Bloggers, and I am not a normal tourist. --- Adventure Folks--- because I enjoy going to some dangerous places like Iraq, etc.
(Note; I am thinking about making a one-day dash across Cote d’Ivoire to Liberia.)
I am always amazed at the primitive thoughts that come out of people dressed in formal work clothing, they can be wearing a tie and be thinking like a person on a donkey.
My Adventure Blog.
People reading about Africa have almost the same mentality, there is a desire to think and say, all people in Africa are poor, that somehow this place is dry desert. There are stereotypical views that I read in comments that are just as primitive or underdeveloped and naïve. It is annoying to write about Africa, the readers think I can go on Safari and see Giraffes and Elephants, yes in East Africa. This continent is huge, I think roughly 52 countries, and Europe is s dinky place on the map.
The West Africans ate all the big animals…. hehehe
Stereotyping of thoughts about Africa is considered acceptable, and it is, but sometimes it just tells me how little people really know about anything global. Africa generally is a poor place in comparison to the USA, but it is not poor in comparison to South America or Central America, it is about the same. However, it is drier here, and the dust makes it feel dirtier, but it truly is not, dirt is natural, this is not garbage.
The unnatural crap truly makes me feel like I am in an unsanitary country, for example in India, there is little trash in piles that can surround you. I took photos of children walking on trash in the water in Manila Bay Philippines
Manila Bay Philippines --- Click here for more photos of Manila Bay like this.
The problems in life revolve around cities, it is the cities that cause water, sewer, and social problems, you put too many people in one place, and you have problems. I am only worried about population density, and this is in Africa is maybe Nigeria and South Africa, I am not sure, but my guess is these two country are places are could have the same type of problems as maybe Manila.
New York City has severe problems in areas; Miami is more dangerous than Africa on any given day of the year. What is always possible on the planet is to rent a car, and accidentally drive right into a neighborhood that is dangerous. Hard to do in Africa, but easy to do in the USA, there are few guns here, only in the hands of the police.
--- Ergo the reason for the right to bear arms in the USA, a long time ago, the USA had the same police and military problem as Africa.
Ok time to pack for Elubo
Food.. I miss food
I was just thinking about Pizza at Greenwich Restaurant in the Philippines, it is tough in Africa to eat food that is acceptable to me. I am not going to eat typical Philippines food, it reminds me of Africa food, but Asia always has a way to stop into my own culture to eat, Africa has a way for me to step in to French food, but I am in an Anglophone country…. Ooops.
Why did I put that Greenwich link? Maybe the company finds it, and could decide to advertise on my site.
Leaving Takoradi 30 Minutes after Sunrise
Normal English Books for Sale in Takoradi Ghana
Perpetual Travelers have two choices, they can read books, or then can become alcoholics; there are very few other simple options to stay busy that work in any country.
If you want to buy and read a John Grisham book in West Africa, then finding one of these writers’ books is close to impossible. I am excited to find this spot on the sidewalk of Takoradi, Ghana to buy books. There are so few peaceful ways for me to entertain myself in West Africa, and it is easy to lose the plot. You can find Christian and self-help books in Ghana; however, it is horribly difficult to find a normal fun book to read. The other bookstore is in central Accra at I think called the Methodist bookstore, these two places are to buy USED books, not new books. The cost of used books on the planet averages around three dollars.
You can buy books at this on-the-sidewalk sales location; it is located next to the Post Office om Takoradi, that is on the road that circles the large city market.
Takoradi, Ghana West Africa --- Thursday, January 27, 2011
I have a 500 Meg Hard Drive; I copied 250 movies from Torrents while I was in Guatemala and brought with me, this gave me about three months worth of stop-from-going-crazy diversion. I also have about 100 E-books, and if I wanted I could buy more from Amazon.com, those Amazon books cost about 12 dollars, which is 10 dollars more than I feel I need to pay for reading books.
Note, selling hard drives with about 200-500 movies to Expats is one way to finance you travels.
I do not consider a Hotel proper until it has about 100-200 used books in English in a library.
Bah Bah Black Sheep
Bah is coming from Cote d’Ivoire tomorrow, formerly known as Cynthia. She introduced herself as Cynthia; it is going to take work to change my brain. Bah is her village name or the local language name. I do not like it when they give people new French, English or Christian names, even though Cynthia is here legal name, she is now Bah.
My mother named me ‘Andy Lee Graham," my name is NOT Andrew, and it would be disrespectful to my Mother and Father to call myself, "Andrew." There are people who try to leave their roots, try to forget what made them what they are today.
Well, I am proud to travel with Bah, she is worth every frustration.
Video I Showed Bah
21 Million views, this should maybe tell me what type of videos to make, something about music and something about play.
Women are Not the Enemy
I love women, I adore women, and I want to put them on a pedestal high enough to look up their dress.
--- Up the dress part was stolen form Steve Martin the comedian.
My male friends often speak in a tone of,
"Girls do this."
I sometimes say,
"So do men."
Love is the best thing ever invented, I will still blame Eve for giving Adam the apple, but so be it, life goes on. I am never sure why men or women makes long list of rules. I was in the van the other day listening to Ghana educated students state all the things required of a boyfriend or girlfriend, I interrupted the truly bad Ghana English and said,
"I think we need one rule, you do not screw other people."
After that, I am sure the girl or boy will mess up continuously, and this is normal.
West Africa is the champion of religious rules being introduced into a relationship. These comments help me to gain traction, I turn and walk away, I will say,
"I am going to date you, not your Preacher."
"Plus, I do not think he can read."
"He makes it up as he goes."
I have never married, and I attribute it to this main reason, I have been hurt many times. Each time I was hurt, I made another rule, well after 55 years the list is too long, no women can make it past the list of rules book. Every women, every girl, every kind person will surely violate one of my ever growing list of rules.
My only hope for marriage is to have one rule, and learn to look the other way, forget and forgive as fast as possible. I should never be in the micromanagement business of relationships. I need to stop the rules thing, I need to throw away my list of rules.
I believe Facebook is popular for one reason; it is a way for men and women to meet, to find love and intimacy in a safe way. I do not get on Facebook often, but I do believe the goal of seeking love and intimacy as number one priority for humans.
(Note, this may be their only form of steady monetization, dating sites, I do not believe the site monetizes properly.)
I have thought about this for years, 12 years and 10 months to be exact. Ever since I started to travel, I have realized that travelers; both men and women hook up a lot. I mean continuously, after shopping, and drinking then comes Love. --- or the S --- E --- X thing as a HUGE reason why people travel, I like cultures and how people work as a reason to travel, but I am the weird one out,
2. Beer and Booze
Tourist Attractions, Beaches and other destinations are just excuses to go Shop, Drink and find love relations and to talk these people into doing other things.
I have a new love Blog, the USA is bloody simple for nice girls, yes, you can meet some nutty controlling women in the USA, but it is close to impossible to meet a "Working Woman." Outside the USA, it feels like that is the first person who comes close to me is wanting me to buy.
Well, I know there are many men in the USA who have given up on American Women, and this is both good and bad. Whatever the reasons, I do not care, but if you are out and about looking for love overseas, and you want normal heterosexual love, you may want to follow along on the new love Blog I have made.
Note, we have 200 new Blogs, not only love, click on the index of Hobo and drill down to your category and choose one, I write on all 200 and am soliciting writers to help.
From my experience and observation, the men who leave the USA looking for women need to learn how to avoid the bad girls. It is weird, desperate men will bite on the first piece of bait put near them, and the next thing you know, they marry a bar girl. One in 1000 girls is a bar girl on the planet, there is no reason to import them to the USA or Europe.
Therefore, how to avoid all the bad girls is a big topic on the love Blog, then after ways to find nice girls like Bah.
Example of a type of post I could write, here in Ghana, many beautiful and gorgeous girls instantly talk about taking them to the USA. Gong, this is a sure sign you are talking to the wrong girl, it is ok for them to want to go the USA, but not in the first sentence.
Instant talk about give me Money and Travel to the USA are instant reason to think twice about your new friendship, try to not look at her, keep the brain working. For many men, they may have their first girlfriend overseas, this is an intoxicating experience, take care.
Many people assume Bah wants to go the USA, this is truly sad way of viewing he world, like the word is in love with the USA. I do not think she wants to live in the USA; I think she wants to live in Ivory Coast. Well, she never brings up the USA, so you can see; it is not a prevalent issue, I am not sure. She has invited me, even demanded I come visit her mother in Ivory Coast, I said it is dangerous right now, and can she wait… hehehe
Men use money and a trip to the USA to juice the wheels, and guess what, it is a simple way to buy a girl, but you do not need to buy, there are nice girls who want you nerds, even a nerd can find love overseas.
Please, I beg you this is only a guide, a way to meet nice girls, no secret agendas. Well, sorry girls, I am not going to write to help you women find men, maybe some women can write post and I will be happy to publish on the page for you.
Please be adult and normal, mature enough to respect that family is important, that your family, parents, and sisters and brothers all started with a small flirt, a smile and a sense of acceptance. I am intolerant of all you crazies that exist on the internet, this is only for people who like normal and nice women similar to me, and I do not care about the rest of you, go find your own way.
Let me think, I have only a 90 percent chance Bah shows up in Elubo, but that is good enough odds for me to travel across the country of Ghana. I am always amazed when people when people strive to have a relationship that is guaranteed, it is not possible. You can take them hostage, marry them and they will still escape. Note, realize I did a lot of work, if you are lazy, you will only get what you deserve in life.
There is a girl for all nerds on planet earth, I am sure.
Normal English Books for Sale in Takoradi Ghana