Niger Travel Stories, Page 2

Amorphous

Amorphous
Grand Bassam Cote d’Ivoire West Africa
Friday, October 27, 2006

Information is Amorphous:
1. without shape: without any clear shape, form, or structure
2. not classifiable: not obviously belonging to any particular category or type

I make WebPages; they are supposed to be logical. People are annoyed, they want perfect navigation.

Well, life is not perfect…

I collect piles of information; I used to have huge folders in filing cabinets full of article, clipping, note on a subject.

Inside the folder, it would take hours to classify, categorize, and make a folder understandable. I needed specific categories.

Chicken and Egg
Structure or Information?

I want to collect information into databases.
- Malnutrition articles from the internet -
- All the borders crossings of the world -
I have 100’s of these…

Well, the malnutrition one has annoyed me; the problem is everyone wants a structure before I know one. I say, we have to discover all the categories, and they say tell me them. It is annoying; to get a person to collect information is taxing to the spirit.

We are making progress; I have finally convinced Andrew my techie from India that there is no way to know the categories until we collect a lot of information in a pile.

We now have a way to collect the Malnutrition information in a pile, I say pile because it is not organized, but there are enough guides to allow a person to enter information.

The value here is I am going to utilize 300 US Dollar a month workers in India or Bangladesh or some other cheap country. They are excited to enter data and make money; the problem is to give them a way, and a source of data. The internet will be our first, scouring the internet for Malnutrition tidbits and articles.

This is also self-funding, and sustainable, the idea is that there is never a reason to say, we ran out of money, totally feasible and self-funding research.

What does this have to do with travel, for me everything; I can research locations and collect abundant information completed with references to explain.

Planning a trip, you go out and collect a lot of information on the location. It is disorganized, and confusing, in the end, you buy a tour package because it is organized. I am going to unorganized places on the planet; I still need to be prepared.

Travel is Amorphous, true travelers, deal in a world without any clear shape, form, or structure. To wander into the unknown.


Amorphous


Grand Bassam Restaurant

Grand Bassam Restaurant
Grand Bassam Ivory Coast West Africa
Thursday, October 26, 2006

In the hope of finding a meal that was nutritious, moreover, one that I wanted to eat, I went to a small place on the other side of the inland waterway called,
- African Dream -

Pizza, I had pizza that was cooked, had cheese, and the chef cooked it the way I asked without tons of tomatoes and onions. It was great, my stomach has shrunk, and I was only able to finish half.

This is also a Hotel, which I am going to move into today, just for the better karma. It is owned by a former French TV producer, and photographer. He has his Caribbean wife and a couple of small children.

I am coming down the hill from this sickness, I need to somehow elevate my emotional status, and generally, a happy hotel will make this happen. Nonetheless, my conversation with the owner was sufficient reason to wish to talk more. Good conversation is a problem as I travel in Africa, there are no other tourists, and everyone speaks only French, I will enjoy this move.

Thus, I pack, and move on down the road, not far, just enough though to avoid the constant salt breeze. He has an airplane in the middle of the restaurant, and it flies.


Grand Bassam Restaurant


Damage Control

Damage Control
Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire West Africa
Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I am recovering from Malaria, I think, however, I have had to call my Parents, my friends, stabilize the people who work for me. Everyone is I think
- Afraid of dying -

I do not like feeling bad, I do not like the idea of dying, but I am not worried. I suppose I think I am invisible; it is not my time to die.

The fear I hear, feel, see in people about this is amazing. Many people on the planet get Malaria; it is part of life for many. I have the 15 US Dollars for the medicine; this would be overwhelming amount of money for many people.

I almost died in a motorcycle accident, and came close to doing it to myself. I do not see dying as a problem; I see it more as relaxation. I on the other hand know I try my best to be on good terms with all the Gods and keep my nose clean, not much guilt on my plate.

I am cleaning backpacks, counting money, calculating and planning an escape from Africa. Today is Wednesday; I need to make a pile of about 1000 US Dollars to fly out of here. I can only get, maybe if the ATM works 300 Dollars, I am trying to use my two other cards, but the one pin number is hiding from my brain. I have three ATM cards, but one is primary and the two back ups seldom are used. But they are there, and I can use them.

I may just go ahead and wire myself 1000, first I have to find a ticket, this mean in a weaken state, I need to travel about 25 miles from the Grand Bassam on the ocean to the biggie city of Abidjan.

A bush taxi is the fastest way and easiest, then fortunately the taxis in Abidjan have meters. I really am tired of fighting with taxis. I am very worried how to get a taxi from here to the airport, a very early flight and I may go sleep in the airport. The French lady, owner of the Wharf seems to have traveled somewhere, just the normal staff, good, but not on the A list when it comes to understanding a priority.

I am ready to Africa, I am tired of the constant aggressive people, and I need some passive genetics, Asia…. Africans can give orders, be a regular boss, pain in the butt, very pushy. Not a big problem, I am probable Alfa Male, Type A; they are not as assertive as I am. Most of travel is about being able to say no, no to beggars, no to touts, no to people who want my address. It goes on and on, the invasion of normal assumed privacy leaves on 80 percent of the planet.

I know where to go and hide in Bangkok, or the Philippines, in the USA I go crazy, nobody paying attention.


Damage Control


Ivory Coast Health

Ivory Coast Health
Ivory Coast West Africa
Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I am happy today; I could walk to the restroom without wobbling like an old man. I felt myself, or at least I know the self is coming back. I am tired of these feelings, I need some feeling of power, and I need to feel a little in control. I know I am never in control, but it feels good to be able to clean the room.

I was in air conditioned rooms, with screens on the windows, the rooms were sufficient for rooms. Hotels are hotels, they only protect you so far, and then the responsibility is mine. I am frustrated about mosquito nets, the design of mosquito nets is meant for one room, or the room needs designed for mosquito nets.

The world rather says, live with it, if there are bugs and mosquitoes in your room, you will leave in two days, therefore so what. Africa has motels, few people stay as I do for days, because I stay in a room, the ants, mosquitoes, etc slowly know I am here. An empty room is not a target, mosquitoes want blood I guess.

I have a mosquito net; however, there are limits in rooms. I often cannot find a way to attach to the walls. Four Walls and no hooks, pictures, hangings of any sort. I need to use an existing nail. The walls in the hotels of the world are 97 percent concrete.

I need a tent pole structure, but very light, this is not simple, I am going to discuss with Bhesh when I get back to Katmandu, Nepal about buying some poles with the rope inside. There is also ready to go mosquito net in Bangkok, however, it is very big, does not just fit in pack, maybe I can modify.

A mosquito net needs to set up in less than 5-10 minutes. In the end, I am still aware, mosquitoes are everywhere.


Ivory Coast Health


Leaving Niger

Leaving Niger
Abidjan Ivory Coast
Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I was trying to buy a plane ticket from Niamey, to almost anywhere. The price for a ticket to Thailand was some 1800 US Dollars. Still hoping to feel something good about Niger and Africa, I decided on Lome, Togo, an easy city to travel, and the Galion Hotel is good.

Visa - Ticket - Visa - Ticket

I played conservative and lost, I thought I would get the Visa, go on the Thursday flight and not the Saturday. I guess Americans can get 7 days at the airport in Lome, Togo. However, this was sketchy and question marks.

I do not know, about Friday I start to get very weak, I end up lying in bed all the time. My body starts to fall apart, every iota of something in my intestines is dropped, I clean and clean, it is not pretty.

I stir enough to go to the French Embassy, they want me to go to the Bank of Africa and have this voucher signed. With that, I am able to call them…. I do not speak French good enough for the telephone. Like a dead end, and to boot the man at the gate says I will not get the visa quick. I have until Thursday, it is maybe Monday.

I go to the SatGuru office and push the India boys to print out the 7-day thing off their computer, that says I can have a visa on arrival.

They tell me, you are from the USA, you can fly anywhere in Africa,
- NO PROBLEM -

The bullshit answer of the world. This is the deal, a travel agent does not see the pain at the end of the line, or deal with what he or she says,
- No Problem -

Travel Agents, not to trusted.

I spend two days in bed, while my bowels drop, on the last day I did not make it to the shared toilet. Splat, all over the entrance to the room.

I am packing, I have to pack one thing, lie down, pack this, lie down, and I am delirious. I leave the not so friendly lady Collete and think, good thing you are lazy, and you will not see that room.

I am flying from Niamey, Niger to Lome, Togo; I am running late, but after a fight with taxi, normal crap. I arrive and the plane is gone. It has left maybe one hour early.

Hard to find a taxi at the Niamey, Airport, I sat around and was going to go to the Mourey Hotel, next to SatGuru Travel Agency. The man was 25,000 CFA or about 50 US; it has three stars on it and is a dump. I think stars are dreams, nothing to do with quality. The place is convenient. I offer 20 for one of the worst hotels I have seen, because I can roll out of bed and go to Travel Agency.

I finally go to the Auberge Relax, spelled in French; the taxi driver is pushing the place.

15,900 CFA, with Air, Shower inside, not bad.
- THE AIR DOES NOT WORK -

I move up a flight, the room is ok,
- No toilet paper. -
- The light is huge fluorescent -
- The bed compress below my rear, I sleep in hole -
- Everyone is screaming, what about relax? -

There is no easy way to grab a taxi here; I need to walk about 400 yards or meters. This is killer, I am in delirium, and the temperature is about 105 F or maybe 37 C.

The girl comes in the room during the night and hunts for something. The other one only scream, the men were off their rockers. No sanity in this place.

My brain will not stop, it would start blogging away and computer was off. I had to tell myself, not real, ignore. I would focus on a light in the room to see reality. It would disappear and back to blogging, the brain wanted to think about these stupid overwhelming experiences and explain, it did not care what I thought.

I would say,
- Ignore -
- Ignore -
- Not real -

I have not taken the Malaria medicine, I started taking anti-biotic I carry for this type of situation.

Fight with a taxi, pay 20 dollar for 4-dollar fare, I go to the airport

I have not eaten for 4 days.



That is the path I was supposed to take, I kept asking, can’t I get off in Abidjan. The SatGuru guy says not possible

The planes all are about an hour late, this is Air Burkina, they are ok, but with a one-hour transit between flights in Ouaga, Burkina Faso, we missed, not even close.

Arguing and fighting, me sitting trying to not listen in the transit office, they do not know what to do. Finally a ticket from Ouaga to Abidjan, then to Lome.

They put me up free in the Hotel Touba, the room never got cold and they called me four times for dinner. I kept saying no, not easy, here to shower, as there was no hanging shower, it was a long hand held thing. No luck on shower, clothes are way gone, they knock on door at 6:00.
- Come down now -
IN French
Amazingly rude, screaming, why does everyone have to scream.
(Fourth Graders)

I go and check in, go through customs.
- I do not have an entry stamp, too stupid, now I have an exit stamp from Burkina Faso, I never entered, but I left.

Strange, but nice, they gave me a First Class upgrade, and some pleasant German girl sat next to me, a real intellectual jump, I only wished my brain would function. It was in granny gear.
I do not need a Visa for Ivory Coast, therefore Abidjan is great, I checked through customs, no problem, easy in Ivory Coast.

I know, I came on Emirates to Abidjan, I HOPE, I can leave. I am in my old room in the Wharf Hotel, on the Grand Bassam at the beach.

I have taken the Malaria cure, it helps to know the word is Paludisme, but forget that word they say something short, like Palu, it a problem, they shorten words, and how am I to know.


Leaving Niger


Abidjan Ivory Coast

Abidjan Ivory Coast
Abidjan Ivory Coast West Africa
Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Maybe I reenter the normal world, I have been in this delusional, must 100 prioritize, keep safe status for around eight days. I actually think it is possible to go to the internet café today. I am on familiar ground, I know the local transportation system, and therefore, I can move around easy.

I must have lost 5-10 pounds, as I have not eaten, only sparse, today I go for bananas, apples, or something cold, maybe I can find ice cream.

I should tell this story, but it feels like remembering a nightmare, hard to want to focus. The bottom line is I was so delusional that I would believe I was working on my computer for hours, yet the computer was in a bag. Somehow, in the middle of this, I need to cry for sanity, then apply for visas, and buy plane tickets. Then I returned to delusional world inside my room, which was also nuts.


Abidjan Ivory Coast


Abidjan Ivory Coast and Misery

Abidjan Ivory Coast
Abidjan Ivory Coast West Africa
Monday, October 23, 2006

Misery and more misery, the last 20 days of Niger has been a disaster. The trip to Zinder Niger to check out the malnutrition situation was good, mission accomplished. The escape from Niger was too stupid.

I am very weak, my brain is functioning at about one twentieth the normal speed. Finally, I have made it by accident to Abidjan, and a controlled situation.

Maybe, I have Malaria, at least I am taking the medicine for Malaria, how do I know if I have Malaria, this is the stupid part, I need to self-diagnose. Great method and many people just say, you have malaria, hard to find the reason. However, easier to take the cure, then to know the truth.

I have little energy to type.


Abidjan Ivory Coast


Niger Cold Sweats

Niger Cold Sweats
Niamey Niger West Africa
Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I am very weak, it is getting better, and however I am waiting to leave this country and now would be great.

I am trying to be careful on any water, or food I would enter into my body. I cannot eat unless I was a long way down the street; therefore, I have not eaten for three days.

In the end, I need to have whatever is in my body to stop, or my defense systems to win. Today it is better; however, I have this low-level headache, now I am worried now I will have caffeine withdrawal.

If nothing goes in, then nothing can cause problems. I may have eaten too much cheese and my whole system backed up. I have the money, yet I cannot buy protein, except for cheese at five dollars a piece,

I really want to leave Niger, in the end, I have about zero use for this hot, dusty, Islamic Niger country where it is dangerous to talk with the women and the men have this delusion concept that they are smart, very difficult to be smart when you cannot read.


Niger Cold Sweats