Ghana Travel Stories, Page 8

Living in the Sammo Hotel in Cape Coast Ghana

After only one night in Takoradi, Ghana, we packed up and took a 2-3 hour van ride to Cape Coast. We need to take a taxi to and from Hotels, it is strange, but 95 percent of the time in Ghana, I pay two Cedis for a taxi, you could use this number as the default cost of taxi, unless you was in Accra the capital of Ghana.

Cynthia must have smacked me five times on the way to Cape Coast, every time I would put my arm out the window, she would give me a hit. She finally explained,
"Do you want your arm cut off?"
If you were reading the other day, I explained on the trip from Mampong to Takoradi trip the van passed another car and did a small sideswipe that broke the side mirror. Again if my arm would have been far enough out the window at this time, it could have been cut off.

I was in a taxi that was sideswiped by a bus in Basrah Iraq, I went and reviewed the old Blog post, no mention of the accident, one of my memories that never were told.
Blog from Basrah
Basrah Iraq Newsletter

I have been in many cars that that have bumped each other, they just keep driving and normally do not stop. The bottom line is this, the locals are fully aware of, and the tourist need to know. There are people that lose their arms by hanging them out van or bus windows.

Cape Coast, Ghana West Africa --- Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Sammo Hotel in Cape Coast
I slept in the Sammo Hotel in August of 2009; therefore, this is a return visit to this great Backpacker Hotel in Cape Coast.
Blog Post of Prior Cape Coast Hotel Trip

I would estimate that I wish to avoid close to 9 out of 10 backpackers or tourist, there is the 10 percent though that is enjoyable. Cynthia and me went to the top of the Hotel and ate Fried Rice and she had Jolop rice, while we there two black American and a white American were sitting there ignoring us and avoiding eye contact, Therefore, when they stood up to leave, I introduced Cynthia and myself. I sort of lead in with,
"Cynthia is from Cote d’Ivoire, and I do not think she has every met a Black American."

Nothing connected, although the two Blacks who are extremely white compared to Cynthia were polite, and the man even spoke a little French were cordial, there as a separation, which was not possible to jump. It is extremely rare to see Black Americans in Africa, and I was hoping for Cynthia to have a chance to glimpse a world totally separated from her own. It did not happen other than she said,
"They are very white."
(The two black people.)

I questioned myself; it is not possible to ask Black people from the USA if they are black, the color issue is big. While Cindy constantly tell me,
"You are white, I am black."
It is refreshing to talk about the difference without a filter of anger between us, or any reason to walk on eggshells to avoid an argument. Racism is rare in Cote d’Ivoire, about 1 in 50 Ghanaians has a burr up his or her butt, and I have almost never experienced any racism against whites in Togo. Ghana is a small problem child, the Anglophone has a small anti-white problem growing here, and Togo and Cote d’Ivoire is it difficult to find. Truly, this is easy to avoid in Ghana, just avoid anyone with too much education, which is quite easy to do. This anti-white thing is more a fashion or trend that is erupting in Ghana now, I do not think there are any valid reasons, it is prejudice, and prejudice is by definition illogical.

Yes, Blacks are prejudice again Whites, and this is a huge problem in the USA, but not a problem in Africa. White in America live in fear, while anti-white racism is open, but then again, I do not live in America.

Prejudice Define:
A prejudice is a prejudgment, an assumption made about someone or something before having adequate knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy.

Have you used the word prejudice? Have you ever read the definitions of Prejudice and Bigot?

Cynthia said,
"You are prejudice."
I said yes,
"I do not like American Girls."
I am not prejudice, I have a list of reason, but the truth is, I like American girls, but tend to avoid certain type that behave with an attitude prior to talking.

I advised Cynthia
"Please feel the people, make a decision, is this person good or bad."
"If bad, do not continue, trust your feelings and instincts, do not allow these people to enter our world."
(That puts a bend in the river… hehehe)

Jonas from Sweden
Later in the day, a man was standing at the balcony of the Sammo Hotel in Cape Coast taking photos for a long time. I finally went over to see if I should be taking a photo. Because I entered his personal space, I felt compelled to say hello and introduce myself. He was Jonas from Sweden, extremely intelligent and calm, on a two-week tour of Ghana, he has a guide, I saw him with a woman later, and that was one of the other 90 percent that is not so friendly.

Well, we talked for about an hour about the world, a mature and balance man of about 23 years old and a credit to his country. We exchanged emails, he wrote down his name, it was different and he said his family migrated to Sweden form Iran. It was an interesting and intriguing question in my mind about the nature versus nurture dilemma.

Anger to Control Me
I have not been around anyone that pouts or scolds in a long time, Cynthia is overly jealous and starts to pout quickly. An interesting and horrible thing to do, at first I paid attention, now I realize I must be clear with her.
"If you pout, I will let you do it alone."

Trying to control by using anger is intriguing to me, and I have negotiated too many business deals and arbitrated sales of "Real Estate." I know the moment temper rises; there is a person on the other end who wants to use anger and not reason or logic to win the discussion. Pulling away from the table is the only reasonable way to stop anger from entering the negotiations.

It is enjoyable to see Cynthia full of passion and anger, but this is not a good path to start. Being she is about nine on a scale of 10 of beauty, I am sure she has learned to open many a door with just a smile, truly beauty is a hindrance to learning.

I am rather a handsome man that is slowly having this ability go into hiding, it is annoying that I cannot just smile and get my way anymore, I have to truly work harder, there is nothing beneficial about aging. Beauty can grease the wheels of a sound and reasonable statement, the same as little Alpha Male domination, I know my skill sets and use them in a pre-meditated fashion with full situational awareness.

Meeting Travelers in Sammo Hotel
There are a few Hotels on the planet that people should live in not matter how much money they have, or how silly their fears and preconceptions are, and the Sammo Hotel is one.

1. La Espana in Lima Peru.
2. Platypus Hostel in Bogota, Colombia

There are Hotels that are the center of the Backpacker or Tourist Universe, these Hotels can be so educational, that to not enter and live in one for a week is to deny yourself one of the most beneficial travel experiences possible. There an inbreeding of tourist knowledge in Africa, impossible to just come here and talk without having a skewed impression. However, by coming to the Sammo Hotel in Cape Coast, you can find a cross section of travelers that will teach you about West Africa from many angles and perceptions.

Tourists say, "I am not a Backpacker." That is prejudice, not a reasonable statement. The word backpacker is just the type of luggage, we are all tourist. It is superiority complex that says you cannot live with the cheaper budget traveler, a personal and emotional problem. There are times when I need to live in Five Star Hotel, there are times when the Five Star group needs to stay in the Backpacker Hotels.

Living in the Sammo Hotel in Cape Coast Ghana

Travel to Cape Coast Today and Learning Attie Culture of Ivory Coast

We are going to travel to Cape Coast, Ghana today, and stay hopefully stay for a few days, I am hoping the Sammo Guest House is has remained a Backpacker hangout since the last time I was there four years ago. This is the only Backpacker Hotel I have ever found in this area of West Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mail, Burkina Faso, Togo, and Benin, then again, there are few true Backpackers here in West Africa.

Moreover, Cape Coast is maybe the one and only pure Tourist Attraction of West Africa or Ghana. President Obama came here to visit the fort, the sad part is the biggest Tourist Attractions of Africa were built by white slave traders and colonizers, and not the black African.

The Arabic people of Egypt up in the north of Africa created and constructed a lot, while most of Africa is purely a local cultural experience. East Africa has many animals, while in West Africa they ate them all, is is not east advise tourist what to do here, this is not normal tourism. There really is not much if you do not like local cultures, and the tribal stuff is quickly leaving, nothing much truly tribal here. (Tribal stuff is dirty and uncomfortable, not what 99 percent of tourist want to do, they want to splurge and go first class, contra-productive to understanding Africa.)

Takoradi, Ghana West Africa --- Monday, January 3, 2011


Cynthia is from the Attie Language or Culture of Cote d’Ivoire
My true enjoyment in West Africa is comparing and contrasting the language groups, which as far as I am concerned defines and separates cultures. If a group of people speaks the same language, they are the same culture in my opinion. The worst belief any person can have in Africa is to believe the people speak English or French, yes they study these language, however few people are sitting around talking English or French in their family conversations.

Therefore, because I knew Cynthia has an underlying language or culture that supersedes the French she speaks, and her going to University in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire I asked her,
"What tribe are you?"

Hmm, a great way to go no political correct in West Africa, while they will quickly say,
"I am Attie."
"I am Ashante"
"I am Ewe."
"I am Fanti"

Cynthia is Attie with an accent on the e.

Etc, they do not like you to use the word tribe so much, not a big problem, but I feel and believe the locals think in Language groups more than tribes. There is not much tribal loyalty, and they are more than willing to move into another area where their tribe is not dominating. A true or pure tribe is defined because they exclude other tribes from entering or intermarriage.

When the slave business was booming, my interpretation is this; the chief of one tribe would send his people to capture people from other tribes. They would then take these captured people to a fort set up by the Whites and sell them, this was a huge business in Africa for maybe 500-1000 years.

Three events caused huge changes in Africa.

1. The coming of the Banana from Indonesia, which caused a population explosion.

2. The end of Slavery, which caused an economic shift, slavery was a dominating business of the people of Africa for hundreds of years, and hard to say they have yet to recover or find new avocations.

3. The end of colonization, which was mostly in the 1960’s. Again, Africa has been economically spirally down and down, trying to reach out and find something that defines the business in Africa.

I feel Africa needs to have a label,
"Make in Africa." or "Made in Ghana," on something, in many ways the products produced in a country defines the country.

Cacao in West Africa, maybe Petro, and Agriculture products define most of Africa.

Attie Language or Culture
It becomes easier to understand the Attie culture of Ivory Coast with Cynthia because she is outside her own culture presently and trying to tell me she is not from Ghana. Often a person can define what they are not better than what they are.

Location of the people in Cote d’Ivoire that speak Attie, more or less, generally the Attie group is from an area to the north of Abidjan.

I had to research on the French part of Wikipedia because the English part did not have any information.
Attie on Wikipedia France

Note, I just did a test question,
"Are you from the Attie Tribe?"
Cynthia say,

Oops, she then asked,
"What is Tribal?"
We are talking in a combination of French and English, I did a search for Tribal on French Wikipedia and now her answer is:
"Yes, I am from Attie Tribe."
Tribal on French Wiki

Almost all culture have the default answer of "No," as I have observed the planet earth, people are quick to say no, or get angry if and when a person makes any defining statement. However, if I ask a culture to define their culture, they seldom have a clue how to define their culture. Therefore I have to say defining words, and they will get frustrated and say yes or no, and start to clarify what they are not, revealing what they are.

She does not understand freedom, rights or justice, as of now, they are just words to be said by Africans, mostly to shame or control others. The food she eats, the language she speaks define her as the Attie culture, the words she recognizes from other language tells me how often or much she mixes with other cultures.

She has been laughing, the children of Takoradi call me
"Abroni" often and continuously, this is White man in the Ashante language, maybe also in Fanti.

When I was in Cote d’Ivoire they called me BonFrere or BonFlare, which again means white man, and in Elubo, I could hear both words because the culture was mixed. I know when I change cultures because the children call me a different name for white man.

It is very tiring to be called Abroni all day, all night and with every sentence said to me by the Ghana people for the Ashanti tribe. They just never stop, the adults call me Abroni with no attempt to learn my name, or define me a human, more or less, and I am the White Man that they talk about in third person with the groups that is surrounding them.

I introduce myself as "Andy", they seldom know to answer with their name.

Generally, their English is horrible in a group, there is no way for the whole groups to speak in English, to have three people talk English with me is not going to happen often and only with the upper educated groups. Normally the whites gravitate and seek the groups of educated, and then transfer their opinions of the educated sector across the whole culture, which is incredibly stupid. Surrounding yourself with one group of people is not a country or culture, the sample has to come from all levels of education and economic backgrounds.

Cynthia is obviously in the upper economic and education levels, she tends to separate herself from the lower levels, in colloquial English, I would say she is somewhat snobbish. All people are normally snobbish, trying to not associate with anything the do not like.

First Class Travel is this, it woks because people want to avoid the lower classes.

I lived in the Cocoville Hotel in Elubo, no running water, sort of a ghetto of who knows what culture, a mix of both Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana a melting pot. If you have read comments, you know that people say,
"Elubo sucks."

This is because Elubo is down and becames "too normal." or "too real." tourist, NGO’s, Volunteers steer away from real and look for places like Cape Coast or place with trees, beaches or other Whites so they can be snobbish and separate. Nothing works better as a business in Africa, than a Hotel ran by Americans.

We will today travel to Cape Coast, the epicenter of tourism for West Africa, and this will allow Cynthia to be a tourist, she can look at White people and laugh, all us whites with our long nose and hair legs, I keep telling her,
"Only the ugly white girls come to Africa, there are prettier ones."

If you study my travels in West Africa, you could see, I avoid the bigger cities where the whites tend to congregate, I do not enjoy talking with the whites in Africa, the younger ones that hang out in the Sammo Hotel in Cape Coast are good, and I have this urge to slap the white here. They are so full of idealist crap, wanna explain what they read, not what they see. They want to be something when they are nothing, that I have this urge to slap them and say,
"You are nothing, accept it, and stop being pretentious, tell me what you observed, not what you read, the guidebook bore me."

If there is one thing that is sure on the planet, there are few special people, and for sure, I am not one them, look how I type, I talk to myself… hehehe

Blague is French for Joke, it sounds like "Blog."

Travel to Cape Coast Today and Learning Attie Culture of Ivory Coast

The Imported Ivorian Chocolate

My friend Cynthia arrived, (I gambled correctly) it feels like a door to emotions was suddenly opened, and I am not sure whether to keep the door open or close it. I forgot her color, she is truly and ebony colored women, with a sparkle in her eye, and a bounce in her walk.
"Imported Fine Ivorian Chocolate."
(Ivory Coast is a big producer of Cocoa.)

View of the river from roof of the Cocoville Hotel in Elubo, I recorded a video below to view.

Cynthia is an Ivorian, who is now in Ghana, often when the situation become crazy around the Hotel she says,
As if, Ghana is a step below Ivory Coast. I told her, this is not my way, I say,

T.I.A. This is Africa.
--- I do not want to change it, that is the job of Africa, if they are inclined.

When I say to myself, "This is Africa," I am affirming that Africa is different from the USA or other continents and I need to accept it as it is, and not try to change. When I talk about the USA and their too busy to be a friend attitude, I say,
"This is America."

It is impossible to not compare one country to another country, and it is impossible to not make the judgment that is a thought, is this is better or worst? The generalizations, although generally can be true of false are just guides, while specific comparisons with explanations help people to make decisions.

For example, the transportation is better in Ghana than in Togo because there is a van system, and I believe the Ghana government stops the overloading, while in Togo the drivers will often pack in as many as can be squeezed, like stuffing ten people in a Telephone Booth. Ivory Coast has about the same transportation, as Ghana, however a lot more station wagons than Ghana, while Ghana uses many vans called "Tro Tros."

Alternatively, I can say the generalization, the transportation in Ghana is better than Togo and you are forced to rely on my opinion, without an explanation.

Elubo, Ghana West Africa --- Sunday, January 2, 2011


In short English, that is understood by non-English speakers, I said to Cynthia,
I felt a little shame at having her live in the Cocoville Hotel, there was no better option than the CocoVille Hotel, for me just another experience, but not one she did not need or want.

She crossed from Noe, into Elubo, and I flag a taxi to take us the 100 yards to the Hotel for a buck. I have this every present thought that all the nice buildings were constructed in Africa between 1950 and 1970. Our home for one night, the Cocoville Hotel in Elubu was a one time a magnificent Hotel for Africa. It is on the river, has four floors and there is not a bad view from any of the rooms. I had a balcony, the room was properly designed, although small, it would have maximized Hotel income, and allowed a guest to enjoy the river, restaurant and peace.

That was 40 years ago, that is not the Cocoville Hotel today.

I was describing my image of the hotel in 1960 or 1970, I do not think there has been much maintenance work done since, and most of the rooms for two people, now the room have between 2 and 5 people. Many are almost permanent residence, I am sure they pay less than me, I am paying 10 dollar per night, but I pay "White Man Tax."

There is no running water in the showers, although I do have a toilet, I needed to walk to the end of the haul and fill up a bucket, both for shower and for the toilet. No toilet paper, no towel, nothing but a room with a lock, with a beautiful balcony overlooking a river.

The Overpopulated Cocoville Hotel
Population Density is what causes problems in life, not the people. Personally, I do not want to know how the average person behaves in private. I have seen too much by accident, however there is this idea of people around the planet,
"I like my music, therefore you do too, and I will turn it up loud."

Image of Cocoville Hotel
Try to envision a ghetto in the USA, with all black people hanging clothing on the balcony, with every apartment playing music; this is the movie called the Cocoville Hotel in Elubo.

On the other hand, if you know the apartment complex at the bottom the Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, it is about the same, clothes and people all hung out to dry.

Now, I want you to also imagine the building decided to put on dance show for the New Year, with music so loud the walls rattle, and you need to holler to talk, this was the first night in Ghana for Cynthia, not easy to get her to stop saying,

The proper name for the Cocoville Hotel is, Cocoville Dance Bar and Church, because here is also a full church on the premises, complete with hell and brimstone.

Video from Roof of Cocoville River Area

This is two of the family of six living next door to my hotel room; they are from Nigeria, and left Cote d’Ivoire because of the gunfire in the Deux Plateaux area of Abidjan. I pressed, and pushed for some clarity on why they left, but there was none to found. I think the fear rose, and they departed, not truly a game plan.

Cynthia told me she has heard a lot of gunfire, and said the United Nations "Blue Hats" were killing people.
Blue Helmets

Cynthia is a Gbagboý supporter, the person the world is angry with in Ivory Coast. I tend to believe people take sides with personalities, and they listen leaders regardless of truth. If they like the story, they do not care if he or she obeys the law or constitution, and they just follow along.

Obama has made some "King" like opinions, for example, his administration has said that I now have universal health plan. I am suppose to listen and agree, in reality, it appears, or I believe I am going to be forced to buy health insurance, that was not a universal health plan like I hear from the Europeans and I wanted, I wanted it provide as part of the benefits of paying taxes to the USA. I am supposed to believe the king, this is sort of the way leaders in Africa explain ideas and want you to fall in line, the USA tortures a president, the people of Africa cannot disagree easily, it can be dangerous.

The other King like idea of Obama is the decision for the tolerance of Marijuana laws, effectively telling the public to go smoke, do not worry if it is on the books as illegal; we are not going to prosecute.
Note, this is in a way illegal, to encourage people to break laws…

Well, the leader of Cote d’Ivoire says, this is my opinion and the public is not capable of understanding the constitution. I said to her,
"Somebody needs to kill him."
"Someone needs to protect the constitution."
She goes
I said,
"Gbagboý is on a one way road to become a pauper in jail, he need to understand world opinion can destroy him for the rest of his life."
She starts to tell me about Alassane Ouattara being a bad guy, I said,
"They both are jerks, but the one won, and the constitution needs upheld or it is joke."

I know the constitution of most Africa countries are joke, and I know most leaders are a joke, but there has to be progress. Cote d’Ivoire is more important than Ghana, Togo, Benin, Niger, Mali, it status is right there with Nigeria and Senegal. If a lead country drops the ball, the other will follow along. Oh well, T.I.A., not my problem Africa must solve the problems of Africa, the United Nations is a weak and dribble force and too PC.

I met this group or family prior to Cynthia arriving, they are a fun group, and I waved at them from the top of the roof.

Three sisters, the big one is the youngest in the middle, the one on the left is the middle age, and the one on the right is oldest at 18.

This happy girl is 16 years old and has a baby. The whole family lives to the side of the Hotel and daily they walk to the river to wash clothes and bath. There is something about having baby that makes a girl become women, or maybe more practical. I have watched this family from my Hotel balcony for three days; they walk to the river in front of the hotel often. While the two older girls are more discreet, this one of the baby seems to always lose her clothes. I think there is a time when a woman thinks she is finished trying to attract men and is now just living and taking care of her children.

After marriage, women think of the family and become practical.

We left Elubo, and are now in Takoradi, I am not sure Cynthia likes to travel, she tells me,
"You travel everyday."
I keep telling her,
"No, I travel to a nice spot."
We are planning to go to Cape Coast tomorrow to see the Slave fort, I have seen it before. It is the same fort that Obama seen when he came here.

Travel is a good way to lose a girlfriend or wife, nomad, hoboes and traveler are not consider stable or upstanding citizens.

The Imported Ivorian Chocolate

2011 Happy and Grateful, and is Thinking Making me Cynical

I am truly grateful for being unbelievably rich, I am so rich it is nuts, everyone around me is poor, and I have endless wealth. If I had more money, I would by a new towel, mine is worn out, I have not idea why I purchased this ugly green towel, but I know it was cheap.

Why am I so darn rich?
What would I do if I had a million dollars?
"I would buy a new towel."

For this, I am grateful; I am free from want, except for wanting to get rid of the green towel that is intricate and personal part of my daily life. I am extremely rich in time, I have an abundance of time to think about my towel.

Elubo, Ghana West Africa --- Saturday, January 1, 2011


Thinking about African Girls with No Clothes
How rich is Andy Graham of
What is my the benefit of my lifestyle?

This is what I did yesterday:

1. Reading a book by Wilbur Smith called "Warlock." maybe 150 pages read.

2. I sat all day hoping some gorgeous, intelligent, chocolate girl from Cote d’Ivoire that speaks French would arrive. She did not, but now she says today, who cares, I am still in the game, I am hard pressed to know, which is better, anticipation or the real thing.

3. What did I spend the day thinking about mostly?

The meek and mild, politically correct photo, not the ones that are possible.

African girls with no clothes.
I sat around on my balcony, looking at women washing their clothes and bathing in the river in front of my hotel room. It goes all the way from a wet t-shirt contest to black bubble butts with beads splashing water on their bodies with no clothes.

I truly try to ignore the old women; there is always the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I am always toying around with photography, trying to explain and tell a story with photos. As of the last couple of years, I also try to this with videos. However, there is a problem, I live in the real world, where people walk around naked, and my readers do not always understand. and censors real life, but encourages lies, go figure?

I Lost Most of You
There is only so much room at the top, and maybe life is grades on a curve. Nonetheless, why did I lose most of you, because you do not have time for thought. I believe generally, the majority of readers and people on the planet can only deal with reading something simple:

A comment on Facebook or a 155 character tweet, there is truly brilliance in Facebook knowing that people cannot read or focus.

I AM CYNICAL, or I am a realist, or I just do not care, and say what comes to my mind. Not important, I am writing and you have no choice, either read along, or click, I recommend you not take yourself or me too serious, this is all for fun.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

I live inside that little BLUE triangle, and for that, I am grateful. I spent yesterday deliberating about the morality of taking photos of naked girls, boys, and old women. There is also a secondary moral issue that African are always harping on about photos.

Two Moral points:

1. I am talking photos and getting rich with their photo, the truth is there is almost no market for photos of Africa so this is crap and not a moral problem for me.
(Gong, not true.)

2. The Africa say,
"You are taking photo and laughing at us."
(--- Some truth.)

Hmm, there is some truth to that, but I also take photos of fat Americans, I take photos of Euro Trash, I am equal opportunity cynical person that takes photos. There is nothing more humorous than to laugh at just how stupid the world is, but there is a bigger issue.

I morally believe shame is a GREAT thing, I mean; shame got me to stop drinking, and become a good boy and allowed me to work hard and be here in Africa today. Well, when something is stupid is happening, taking photos slows it down. Newspapers are always denigrating and trying to make the President look like an idiot, this makes him work harder. Therefore, the fun and laughing at them versus helping Africa to compare their life to the rest of the world is a moral issue for me.

Now, girls with no clothes, it is hot here, I go through three shirts per day because of sweat, I wash my clothes daily and I am proud of the West Africans. They wash daily, very well, note, the East African stink, because it is cold at 1300 meters above sea level.

However, the West Africa are constantly taking baths, and because of the water situation here in Elubo, Ghana they wash their clothes in the river.

The girls washing story goes like this:
And well, why I am washing the clothes, why not get naked and take a bath. This is very functional, very sound, logical and practical, when clothing interferes with life, then maybe time to dump the clothes.

I am not National Geographic
I do not wrap my writing up in some glossy cliché crap, and try to act as if there is no rush to seeing women walking around with only their beads. I am also human, and even looking at babes gets boring, and I need to go read my Wilbur Smith book.

Cynical, it is hard to have respect and feel the world is with the program, my friend Mira told me, you are not part of the USA anymore, you went on by, and you blow the minds of the average American with your views. Hmm, thanks Mira, there is no hope of every being part of the group, I am abnormal.

So here, I am, lying in bed, it is now 2011, it is 3:40 am, I woke up at 1:00 AM and a preacher was screaming into a microphone.
"Jesus give me power."

I though to myself, I took a photo of that "Power" thing.

There is always the inferred, or explicitly promise being made around the world. The government is going to help you, God is going to save you, Buddha is the way, there are many dreams being sold.

Obama is a big topic in Africa, I personally like the Obama Girl shirts, but there is also Obama Rice. Obama is on underwear, bars, churches, many people in Africa want to be associate with Obama, this is good, I am happy they have a good hero, he did go to Harvard, that make me look stupid.

I sit around and deliberate, muse, think, is it right or morally correct to make people believe. I know I sell travel dreams, but people normally can see that travel is a dream, and they separate them. However, the idea of selling power, or change. A local asked, will Obama get reelected, a very astute question, from people who understand dictatorships and clueless on democracy.

I told the guy, I am not sure, what Obama has done is sold a dream of power to poor people, he has oversold and under-delivered. I am a realist, I know he has no control over unemployment, but he made himself a demi-God, he made the people believe, so he is in danger, a poor person wants to be saved, with zero work.

So, what did you think about yesterday? I said you, not me.
--- (For about 500-1000 per month, you can be here.)

The bottom line, I am so rich in time, I live inside that little blue triangle of Maslow, and it allows me to be honest, cynical, irreverent and free.

Maslow’s List of Human Needs or Motivations

I enjoy thinking, and I enjoy the enigmatic art of making others think. There is a joy in shaking belief systems that are the ego defense mechanism of humans. I know I am playing inside the brains of people. However, please think for one moment, if I drive you crazy, what about me, there are times when I drive myself crazy, I have to live with me. My mind is like a bad neighborhood, you do not want to enter alone.

Time is all we have, the time we give to people, the time we invest in truly listening to others. I sat with a young man last night, dressed in a suit, while I ate my egg sandwich. He explain to me that the girl that was cooking the sandwich was his mother. She is truly a beautiful girl or women, then you look down and you see this hard wood crutch next to her leg, she has a atrophied leg.

Three girls who talk to much, asked me the night before,
"Can you help her? (Girl with Crutch?)

This poses the question, shall I think about me, or shall I think about her? I am extremely grateful my Mother and Father gave me this great life, I am extreme grateful the USA gave me the freedom to believe anything is possible.

Now I am up in the blue triangle, and I had to ask myself,
"Can I help this girl with a crutch?"

I purchased two egg sandwiches, said thank you to the girl, and told here how good the eggs were cooked. I then shook the hand of the little man, her young son, and said goodbye. Please understand, the girl with the crutch has pride, she did not ask for help, the three girls who talked too much were beggars.

It is truly difficult to see who is rich in life, we all see the world from a different angle, but can you put on the breaks long enough to listen?

I am very grateful: The electricity went off in the Hotel and shut up the obnoxious preacher who was wailing about power has to stop selling vibration and noise, it is mesmerizing and hypnotic to listen to this type of talk.

Cynthia is not here
I have said all along, there is only a 30 percent chance this girl will show up, that is 1 in 3 for you bad at math folks. Well, she did not show up yet, she said Friday, and now she says Saturday morning. I am frustrated; I must set boundaries in on a continent where every rule is broken. Today is New Years day, and any way I do it; it is horrible day for travel. I have resigned myself that I will stay another day and night here and leave on January 2.

Cynthia is a good person, she is not a bad person, if she does not show up, it is because she is just part of the big picture of Africa, it is normal behavior, saying what we are going to do and not doing it. I am grateful, I told her I would meet here at the border, I am here and waiting, if she shows up, she will trust America.

Everyone I know is irresponsible, and everyone is a big word, it probably includes me, I am weighing this girl by her intentions, and she will be judge by her actions.

So go out and make a long list of New Years Resolution, with full knowledge you will break them all, or just be honest this year.

2011 Happy and Grateful, and is Thinking Making me Cynical

10 Ways to Identify People Incapable of Budget Travel

"A fool and his money are soon parted."
- Thomas Tusser

This Cote d’Ivoire girl is coming today to visit and travel a week or two with me in Ghana. I am afraid of three things, and one is a showstopper.

1. Age, maybe she wants to do young things like turn up the music, when I want to read a book, not truly a big problem, but it is reality.

2. Education, it is easy to have a two-hour conversation, when you spend 24 hours, seven days a week together, huge differences in world knowledge and education can cause problems. This is not normally a problem with girls from underdeveloped nations; they do not feel a need to compete the way an American or European girl is compelled.

3. Money --- The showstopper, by this I mean, when there are arguments over money, soon there is a parting of the ways. The show stops and everyone goes home…

Takoradi, Ghana West Africa --- Thursday, December 30, 2010


I happened to read today an article titled:
"10 Things we Overpay For?"

I read the list:

Afternoon Snacks
Bottled Water
A caffeine fix
Favorite tunes
A night at the movies
Fresh flowers
Fruits and veggies
Credit-card fees
ATM fees
Fax and mail service

This is really a list of 10 ways to identify people incapable of Budget Travel

I thought to myself, why doe this writer says "we," I do not overpay for these items. I know, he does not want hate mail, he or she knows, if he acts like we are all in this together, the readers will not get angry, this is a writer ploy to be coy.

Here is a fun story showing me getting a "Caffeine Fix."
Airport Coffee
RSS Feed to Save Money on Travel

What the list is really saying to me.
I am quite sure, that all of us overspend on one or two of the items on the list. However, there are people regularly overspend on five or more of the items on the list. This is a simple list and a person can observe friend, family, business associates and lovers. If the person regularly overspends on these items, it unlikely this person can save money or stay in a travel budget.

I am intrigued when a reader wants me to spend money to live in an expensive hotel, I think to myself, that is over budget. I do not think treat myself, I just think, that is over budget and off limits, a true budget is a line in the sand that cannot be crossed, it is not very flexible, or it is not a budget it is a silly mind game. There is something greedy, needy and worrisome about people who overspend, they worry me, are they ok?

I overspend when I have no choice, when I am in a tourist trap and cannot escape. The splurge mentality is an addiction, always splurging, never saving, it is the American way. When do people stop spending, when the money is gone, that is the normal travel budget. I am a perpetual traveler, and on endless vacation because I live within my means.

Solution to a Girl Spending my Money Problem
I will give X amount of money to the girl per day, this will be her money to spend as she likes, if she spends it foolishly, then it is her choice. I will give her an allowance, if she saves the money and uses it wisely, I will know there is no need for an allowance, if she spends it foolishly, then we are not going to be friends for long.

"A fool and his money are soon parted."
"I soon part from people who spend money like a fool."

I do not keep a strict budget, I have strict top limits, I spend under 15 dollar per day for rooms, food is about five dollars per day, or one to two dollars per meal, I seldom drink soft drinks, I gave up drinking sugar water when I was 16 years old, I only drink soft drinks to be sociable.

Most people want to save money, if you want to save money on travel, you can follow specific travel tips by RSS feed.
RSS Feed to Save Money on Travel

There is a belief in Africa, that white people do not care how much money they spend, that money is not important. It is more prevalent here, than in South America or Asia. I am extremely wealthy compared to the average African person, I never forget this, and for that, I am grateful, I was a lucky sperm.

However, where did they get the opinion that whites do not care about money? Well, it is possible they have been watching all the United Nations, Project Workers, and save the world NGO’s and Missionaries. These groups did not earn the money; they are spending other people money as if it was a never-ending source, coming from fools. Oops…

A dollar saved, is worth three dollars earned, it is ten times easier to save a dollar, than to earn three.

10 think from my friend Ray
Original 10 things article

Most people want to save money, if you want to save money on travel, you can follow specific travel tips by RSS feed.
RSS Feed to Save Money on Travel

10 Ways to Identify People Incapable of Budget Travel

I will Travel to Elubo Ghana Today

I am in Takoradi, Ghana in the Amenla Hotel, rooms start at 14 GH for the shared shower, and I have one with a shower for 20 Cedis. This is about 13 dollars USA, not a bad room, it has a television not that that is important in Ghana, I have yet to have any stations worth watching, this reminds me of Brazil, always a television, but nothing relevant to a foreigner to watch.

This is the Amenla Hotel, extremely convenient, however the Modsen or something like that at the head of the street next to the STC bus is the popular one with Backpackers. The Lonely planet recommend two Hotels, I have yet to see: You 84 Hotel & Restaurant and Zenith Hotel.

The Modsen has more street noise, and they have the bedroom surrounded by concrete which is hotter for more money. However, with two people white folk and opt for AC and pay less than me as a couple, if going Dutch. Truly the architect was drunk, they put the toilets at the wall area that is normally for windows for air.

Takoradi, Ghana West Africa --- Thursday, December 30, 2010


I feel like a Giant around the White Travelers
I have seen more travelers, or NGO has and Project workers touring around in Takoradi than any city so far, Ho, Mampong, and Koforidua were vacant of foreigners compared to here. I walked into the Modsen Hotel, (Spelling?) and there was a young couple, I keep thinking to myself,
"Is there ever an independent traveler anymore?"
"I never meet a lone traveler."

The girl is sitting on the plastic couch, the boy comes up the reception guy that is friendly and showing me all the badly designed rooms in the Hotel. The little white, shy guy does not make eye contact, I look at the girl, she makes a slight contact, smiles and averts.

I say,
"Hello white people."

No response, maybe they are Euros, who knows, and who cares, talking to wimps has about the same social value as talking to Ghana people who do not speak English well. I am always on the look out for a good energy restoring English conversation, with a touch of intelligence, some mental challenge, and the warmth of personality. I wish I could tell you what type of intimate conversations is needed, it would be good to know, how to recharge my emotional batteries. Generally, if I stop moving, it I stop the word "Travel," then the battery will recharge because the number of problems to solve subsides, my cognitive dissonance takes a break.

I feel like a giant, both physically and mentally around many of the white people I meet in Ghana, in Togo, the expats are about the same as me, except for the Peace Corps kids. They for sure feel small to me; I guess there are small personalities on the planet.

I was amused, 95 percent of the time at 6 foot, I am taller than the Ghana men are, however that 1 in 20 is about the same height, and there is the 1 in 50 that is 6’3" or 6’5". Well, one of the 6’5" men walked by me yesterday, made eye contact, and I felt the power, the confidence he had because he was bigger than me, it truly felt good to meet a person bigger than me. I do not like feeling big or more, or able to dominate.

When two people meet, if they are mentally and emotional equals, the larger, taller one will win the arguments, by pure domination of size. This is the variable that Americans in a politically correct, too stupid-for-rational-man way, think; there is this truly delusional belief that all people are equal. Equal rights, is not the same as equal.

I am not the same as you, but you do deserve 100 percent equality in respect, tolerance and standing in line. I do not deserve to go first class, just because I am bigger, smarter or richer. This first class mentality, with other classes below is the major problem on the planet; it causes people to treat others as inferiors.

Yes, I feel like a giant with the other white people in Ghana, but I say please, thank you, hello and try my best to not scare them by shear force of personality. The art of life it to somehow wash away the differences, so I am on the same level, if only just for a moment, to find that intimate meeting of the minds.

Elubo Ghana Border Crossing
I am excited to go meet Cynthia from Cote d’Ivoire tomorrow, I know I only have about a 30 percent chance she will show up, but there is hope. She is planning to come to Noe, she will call me, and I will go the Ghana immigration side and wait for her to cross. We should be able to stay in communication by cell phone, hmm; I could change back to the Orange SIM card, so we are both on the same county Telecom.

If you search in for "Elubo Ghana Hotel," there will be from one to three pages of that show up, because I stayed in the Osamadi Hotel on about August 10, 2006, maybe about five years ago.

Elubo Photos 2006
Elubo Blog Post 2006

Fun to read these old Blog posts, which was when I was truly doing just a Travelogue, and kept information short and simple. There is no way to give readers the big picture, I try to write in a way to frame the stories, but the truth is, readers assume that all Blog post are the first, I have been to Ghana about three times, and this is the third time I will go to Elubo, Ghana.

I am not looking forward to the Hotel situation I stayed in the Osamidi Hotel in Elubo before, I guess I paid about eight dollars, and on a Global, valuation of Hotels is was worth three. Now, the entire 10-15 dollar hotels in Ghana are truly five-dollar hotels with Global Valuation, very low quality for money paid here in Ghana. The 50 Dollar hotels are just 15-dollar hotels in Thailand, however the foreigners do not have the global understanding, most are just comparing to the USA or Europe, and think if about the same, this is ok, does not matter that labor here is 10 dollars per day, and Europe or America is at 10 dollars per hour.

I have done about one-two hours of Hotel searching for Elubo, there is another Hotel called the King James, I am hoping there is one Hotel in Elubo with a feeling of clean. Cynthia will be coming from Abijan, she will travel about 4 hours, arrive at the border, if she leave early, she will arrive around 11;00 am, if she does not, than possible 2-4 pm. Nonetheless, she may or may not arrive, and if she does, does she want to go another three hours back to Takoradi?

New Years Eve
I am truly baffled, what is she thinking, she is not weighing the drunk factors of New Years Eve, all over the planet, and the world gets drunk on New Years Eve. Ghana or Africans are not big drinker, imagine that, Blacks do not drink much in Africa, does not fit the American stereotypes. However, they do not, in the Latino world, alcohol is a danger, and not truly, a problem in West Africa, I almost never run into sloppy drunks, trying to be arrogant wanting money.

However, New Years Eve is New Years Eve, and I hide on Holidays in my Hotel room and watch a movie or read a book, unless I have friends, just a time to find problems, or they find me.

What is Motivating Her?
Cynthia is from Cote d’Ivoire, she is studying English, we have talked only a few times, she is nice, intelligent and above average in functional abilities for West Africa. Cote d’Ivoire culture and people are generally more sophisticated than Ghana people are, they just speak French, and that makes the white travelers diminish Cote d’Ivoire. I consider Cote d’Ivoire as more modern than Ghana, however dirtier, the government has been in turmoil for close to 10-20 years, this probably make infrastructure problem.

Is she coming to Ghana to escape turmoil?
Is she coming to Ghana to see me?
Is she coming to Ghana on a 10-day vacation from School?

I will debate with myself whether to put a photo of here up, I normally black hole any truly close friends photos, unless they approve. My life will go on, her life will go on, and couples split, there is no reason to keep a long-term record of failed mates or companionship. I truly think non-married couples whom Blog continuously together as a couple should try to realize, life changes, and anger can last forever.

On the other hand, love is maybe the best reason to come to West Africa, this area of the planet has nice girls. While Thailand and the Philippines normally associate with girls and men are just two brothel countries, seldom does a man meet a non-working girl. More or less the men clean up the women, deny they met them in a bar, and try to wash the bargirl off them.

West Africa close the coast is Christian, open to cross cultures and this is great, only the black / white problem. Not a problem here in Africa, but if I married a black girl from Africa, she would have to be very mature and hard if she came to the USA. I believe she could and would listen to tons of American Blacks trying to gossip and cause problems. I wish another 100 years would pass in the USA, and maybe the African American in the USA would get the burr out of their butts.

It is truly enlightening to travel in West Africa, these people do not see whites as the enemy like the USA, and they see us as helpful. Pretend you have a large club or church in the USA, and suddenly a generous and extremely rich person joins the club, there could be lots of extra cash on the table, because of the generosity of the rich person.

This is how I feel here, the people always know, if I wanted I could add more money to the pot than normal. On the other hand, a few can get extremely greedy and become horrible if they want, but this is an extreme minority. Takoradi is aggressive towards whites, it is obvious they have learned how to high pressure and scare the whites out of money here. Strangely the women in Takoradi are extremely forward and friendly, but the people are aggressive Many women have been coming up to me here, but I am abused in the market. I cannot take photo without a big argument.

I do hope Cynthia comes across the border tomorrow.

One of the most painful thing of traveling is the constant let down by locals. The world in general is irresponsible, there is no way to depend on people, there is no social responsibility to me, they know they will never see me again, so they do not care, none of their friends will look down on them for being a liar.

Moreover, there is little mental process that happens in the minds of people from underdeveloped countries. When they say tomorrow they will do something, they are not trained, or have not learned, this means I have to do something today, to get ready for tomorrow.

The make a commitment, but do not think of all the implications of that commitment. I think of the word sublimation, does an American save money for the future, what percentage of people stockpile money, what percentage can work today, with the goal of benefiting more in the future?

It is easy to be great, think about the future more than today, but live one day at a time.

I will Travel to Elubo Ghana Today

I made it Takoradi Ghana in Nine Hours from Mampong

I guestimate it would take 9.2 hours to get to Elubo, I am still 3-4 hours away and I have already used 9.5 hours getting to Takoradi.

I left Mampong at 7:30, arrived in Takoradi at five in the afternoon, the four hours of waiting at the bus station in Kumasi is what causes the delay. The bus stop is interesting; there is a never-ending supply of activity.

Takoradi, Ghana West Africa --- Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Leaving Mampong
I did not get an early start because the electricity was off; I needed to wait until the sun rose to pack. However, the Video City Hotel at 10-15 Cedis, about 8-10 Dollars is truly great. I paid Apia the reception guy one Cedi to carry my back the 150 yards to the Tro Tro Station. (Vans). A taxi is only two Cedis, about 75 cents USD.

It has taken me 10 years to finally just pay people to carry things; it took me 10 years before my Macho, I-do-not-pay-for-help exterior came off. Hard to say what happened, but having Sciatica in my spine makes me know that 75 cents is worth the money. I am still stronger than most people around me, but one wrong twist and my left leg has shooting pain for days. It is getting better all the time, but needs another two years. I have a ripped muscle in the lower back.

The cost from Mampong to Kumasi was 1.5 Cedis or One US Dollar. I have been learning to buy the front two seats, double the price and pay two dollars and you can control a couple of essential problems. One is air, I can always have fresh air, the second is smells, West Africans shower good, but that occasional stinker can cause hours of emotional pain with body odor. I can take photos easier through the front passenger window. The down side is this seat is the most dangerous, the drivers usually have the music up, and I get to watch the constant tailgating by the driver.

While I am writing about it, I purchased the front seat of the Van ride from Kumasi to Takoradi, the man passed another car and sideswiped with the mirrors.

This van mirror folded back to the van when the driver hit another car, I had to push it back into place. The lower small mirror is now broken, generally the Ghana Tro Tro are always following too close trying to pass because the normal road between cities is only two lanes. If I owned a car, there would be the same problem, but in reverse, they would be tailgating the car I would drive, so there is no way to stop this problem. The most dangerous activity traveling is being in any car, the safest is a train, followed by being in the back of a full size bus.

There are signs on the Ghana coastal road that tells you how many people were killed.

I often ask myself why I do not feel scared, sitting in the front seat of a van while in a line of cars passing with head-on traffic coming, then hitting another car is a recipe for a 10 car accident. The drive was going about 75 mile per hour when he could, then would constantly need to slow down for slower car, then pass with nerves of steel or no brain, one of the two.

I feel my life is complete, if I die, I die, no reason to worry. I am not sure how I feel about this, worry and fear is something done by people who listen to other people. I listen to my own advice first; I rely on my own opinion and only slightly care what other say. Generally, to be afraid, I would need to buy into the fears of the world. I think the world is petty; therefore, I do not listen to the opinions of the world. I will listen to one person, who I know and can weigh with better accuracy.

Dorothy Video
I want to show this video before I forget, Dorothy a very intelligent eight-year-old girl in Mampong made a request, "Please bring some white children to Ghana."
Empathizing with her, I thought, she is right, the world is so afraid of Africa; there is almost no average people here in Ghana. Generally, only the project workers or NGO’s trying to save the world and cannot save himself or herself, there is a skewed representation of people here in Ghana. The American Black close to refuse to come to Africa like it is an insult to remember or be associated with Africa, I ask many Black American to come, and the answer is normally,

Walk from Mampong Van to Takoradi Van
The Mampong drive told me I needed to go to the next bus station to catch a van to Takoradi, he said I needed to walk there was no van. I am not sure how far I walked; maybe three quarters of a mile, when I arrived my T-shirt was soaked with sweat.

The problem is this, there are maybe 300 to 500 vans loading, there is maybe 5-8 different van parks, each park is going to a different area. The Ghana people will help, but truly are not sure themselves where the vans are, and are more than willing to guess and point anywhere. It makes you want to slap people, giving me wrong directions is a horrible feeling, this is normal for most countries, no sense of truly help, just talk.

There does not seem to be any people working as supervision for the Kumasi Bus Station, so it is just wander around until a person finally finds the correct stop. I probably asked 50 people before I finally arrived. It is organized, but there is no way to understand the organized system until after you would come to the bus station maybe 10 times, so a zero benefit system for a tourist.

Help Me
This next video was funny to me; I was trying to walk in an area that was not wide enough for the width of my backpack. I got trapped in by cars, and needed to walk between two vendors areas, the one had underwear hanging up, I asked the lady to help, she said something like,
"You want me to help?"
I think the processing of thoughts is lost; there was an implied threat by me,
"I am going to walk through, either help or watch things fall."
I do not think anything fell, but I did not look back to check, and truthfully do not care, if a person will not help themselves, so be it.

Joseph owner of Video City Conversation
Joe the owner of Video City Hotel in Mampong lived in England for six years, and is truly a wealth of wisdom on explaining Ghana in an interesting and enlightening way, he said to me:
T.I.A. --- This Is Africa

He said also,
"Ghana makes many rules, laws and has no intention of enforcing."
"A policeman will stop an overloaded truck that is in danger of going over the side of a mountain corner and killing the driver. The fine the driver and send him on his way, with full knowledge the person can be killed. Great, they fined him, but they did not solve the problem."

Joseph traveled to many African countries, when you experience and suffer from silly situations long enough; you become clear of the contradictions. Making rules in a place where nobody obeys the rules is frustrating, I am not from Ghana, and it would take 50 years to understand what is acceptable, the easy way it to just ignore them. The Peace Corps people leave and try to never look back… The Ghana people, who immigrate to another country, look back and pretend it was perfect, never accepting there was a reason they left and living abroad. I cannot allow comments on videos because of the nasty things they write.

Joseph from Ghana said,
"Patronize me, lie to me, or I will get angry."

Note, this is mildly dangerous to write and show in real time, I have received many threats in the past. The best place to hide money is in a book. (Joe)

Your Not Allowed
I cut the next video recording off right before a man came up and said,
"Do not take videos, it is not allowed."

If in doubt about rules, make them up as you go, always works for me. Change happens when we see something we do not want other to see become public, the newspapers and television news is slowly cleaning up the planet, as people clean up their dirty laundry.

I think West Africa may have some of the cutest, warmest and friendliest children on the planet. This is how it works, I look around, I hold my hand out, and they will come and hold my hand. Sometime they are nervous, so I just look away, this boy was brave.

I took about five photos of him, they are on the photos. He just continued to put his small little hand on my large hand. They will often touch the hair on my legs and call me a monkey; Black Africans see hair as a monkey, so I am a monkey, fun stuff, but always pushing the Political Correct, too-stupid-for-words envelope. We have some great conversations; the only one where I get very strict is when they call me "Master." I stop this and say it is unacceptable under any condition; I am Mr. or Sir, never Master or Boss.

I spent four hours waiting for the Van to Takoradi to fill up, I think there is a South Market, and in hindsight, a taxi there would have been maybe a good idea.

Nothing to do, time to make another video, just trying to show the experience. The majority of travelers in Africa drive cars; they miss Africa, sort of like this,
"Go hang out with the rich folk and pretend the masses do not exist."

A long day and lot of typing today. I will hang out for another day in Takoradi before going to Elubo, I think all the hotels in Elubo are worst than camping.

I love Africa
Africa is alive, vibrant and a joy to travel, it is sad to me, that a place so safe can have some simple problem to solve and does not. I believe investments would be 10 times great in Africa if they would allow Visas on arrival. Then the backpackers would come, their parents would follow when they realized it was safe, some boy would marry a Ghana girl and invest.

Africa is changing fast, but we still have leaders like the present situation in Cote d’Ivoire. It to me is the best place for Backpackers on the planet, the only place that does not feel like a tourist trap, something natural and real, but it will not last more than another 5-10 years, then it will be sold to the tourist industry. (Congo, DRC?)

I made it Takoradi Ghana in Nine Hours from Mampong

I Must Stay Young to Travel the Planet

One of my best friends Walt told me 20 years ago,
‘"The problem with growing old is the machinery wears out."
"The mind is willing, but how do I convince my body?"

He was about 70 at the time, I was about 35, and I am starting to get it.

I am looking at roughly 9.2 hours of travel time; the big question is this,
"Can I go nine hours without using the toilet?"
--- The answer is "Yes," I am 55 years old.
--- But, what if the answer is was "No?"

I advise my friends,
"All those comments you hear about growing old is good, is a lie, there is absolutely no benefit to growing old. Yes you are wiser, but who gives a crap when the body does not obey."

Mampong, Ghana West Africa --- Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Wisdom with Nothing to Prove
Wisdom comes when we stop trying to prove we are stronger, smarter and more capable than other people are, and just accept what is really possible for us to achieve.

There is nothing more macho than travelers, they seldom plan a reasonable trip, and they regularly plan itineraries as if they were "Superboy" or Supergirl."

It is 5:23 AM here in Mampong, I must decide,
"Am I Superboy or Superman today?

It is not helping this decision that the electricity is off, and I am typing on my computer by battery, there is no way to limit, stop or decrease the frequency of unanticipated problems. No matter how much I plan, in the end, it is just moving forward until I arrive. When I am traveling between locations, there is always nagging question in my mind,
"If I say yes, and go to the next city, will this be a good decision."

How do really people travel?
While I am making a problem to be solve out of this trip to Elubo… generally the average traveler does not see this as a problem, they just go. If they arrive at 8:00 PM in the dark of night, in the center of Africa, they do not stop and ask themselves,
"Was I stupid, did I make a bad decision?"

Walt again told me some great advice, I am adding,
"There are two things that all people believe they are experts at, Sex and Real Estate. And there are two things that nobody is an expert at, Sex and Real Estate."

Well, Walt owns about 35 houses free and clear, and now a few commercial building, free and clear, no debt, he is wealthy, but lives simple.

I am going to add, "Travel." You ever read Travel Blogs or commentaries on Travel; you would think everyone is an expert. How can I know enough about Ghana to be an expert, it would take a 1000 years to explore all the small areas of this country. Many a man or woman says to himself or herself when they are signing the divorce papers,
"I did not know my wife as well as I thought."

"Everyone thinks they are an expert traveler, and there is nobody that is an expert traveler."

With 12 years of experience, I am still painfully aware; I can make a bad decision. Now, with the problems of aging, my machinery is prone to maintenance and repair problem. The list of possible problems is growing bigger daily.

I must take a travel bite that I am 100 percent sure is comfortable, or be willing to pay the price in pain in suffering for an uncomfortable trip. I am not good at pretending a truly miserable and horrible ordeal was something else. There are no ordeals, providing I take small travel bites.

Aagh, my battery is dead, work or no work stop or go, a constant small hassle.
5:43 am.

This little LG Cell Phone has a flashlight or a torch in the end; it cost me 20 bucks in Ivory Coast and is what I now use when there is no electricity.

5:58 I used my Cell Phone for a flashlight, changed my computer battery and 15-20 minutes later, I am back typing. There is a never-ending list of obstacles, it grows as fast as I solve them, the sun is now coming up, and in another 20 minutes, I can pack my bags by sunlight. I do not pack bags in the dark, that is way to uncomfortable for my short life, I will do that in a future life.

I must stay young
I do not fret or think, or put off my daily routine, I keep the routine even when everyone around me is chucking the routine. I wake up, I drink coffee, I type on the computer, I publish, I talk with Boy Genius in India over Yahoo Messenger, and my day is started.

Now, I must make the what if decision today, do I want to be Superboy or Superman, the truth is I cannot make the decision until I am face to face with the decisions. I will go to Kumasi, I will search for a Tro Tro to Takoradi, but if the Tro Tro to Obuasi or Dunkwa appears, then maybe I take one of those Tro Tros. (Vans)

Contrary to your legendary, mythical and romanticized usage of the word "Travel." The word travel is the word that sucks, the "Arrival" is the good part, and the landing in a great Hotel in the midst of too-many-problems-to-solve is the conquest.

Travel sucks, the process of moving is always uncomfortable, living in a great small Mom and Pops Hotel is heaven. Travel is the necessary movement between the place I want to leave and my future.

My body does not like jostling around in a van.
My body may need to use the toilet in Ghana, where they still shit in the bush.
My body has sciatica, one bad seat and I am in pain for hours.
My body does not like to carry a backpack weighing 50-60 pounds.
If I twist my body when loading the backpack, it could get strained, 20 years ago, this would never been a possible problem, now I must adapt.
I had Malaria a few weeks ago, my body is anemic, blood cells were killed, and I am at 70 percent of capacity for strength.
I am having small bolls on my armpit, strange and I am taking an antibiotic, I know I have malnutrition and need to pump up my vitamins, they cost 10 dollars a bottle here, triple the price of the USA.

6:30 AM, the sun has risen, and time to make many decisions.
I will make the best decision out of a long list of bad ones to choose from.

Going to work everyday, arriving in an office sounds sensible, but where is the emotional rush of being out of control, I am an addict, and I need the traveler rush. I will get busy living, or I will for sure get busy dying.

I Must Stay Young to Travel the Planet