Togo Travel Stories, Page 19

Togo Food Biscuit Kolonto

Togo Food Biscuit Kolonto
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, June 11, 2007

25 CFA or about 5 Cents US per biscuit

The name for this food in the local language Ewe language of Lome, Togo is Kolonto, pronounced as you would pronounced French. Koh Lone Toh.

Interestingly the persons selling this corrected me when I said Ewe and they said Eva language.

This food is maybe made from wheat flour, however I have never seen wheat in Togo, maybe of corn or millet, hard to know. This food is more or less flours with water made into patties and baked, I think they add some licorice flavor or something, just a tinge. This is hard and stays fresh or ok to eat for days in these containers.

Lots of calories for a few cents.

Collecting information on language, culture, foods is like chasing rainbows, just when you think you are close it is further away. I read information written with too much force or authority, I do not want to portray confidence in this information. I am often very confused and it can take years to unravel the truth.

Who to trust, the educated people try to hide information and the one with no education cannot read or write. These simple street foods are often ignored as low class foods and not worthy to mention. This is a common food, easy to buy in Lome, Togo as you would walk around in neighborhoods, however, I do not see many Yebo walking around in neighborhoods.

In the USA or Indiana we say supper, this is a word in Indiana, a person teaching English should not avoid the real word, or the person traveling to Indiana will be surprised.

This is a normal food of Togo, normal is normal and special is special, culture is all things of a culture, not just special.

I read often about special foods of a country, I go to the country and never even see the food, I semi-believe what is obvious is the culture, and what is not obvious is history.

Togo Food, Food, Togo, Street Food,

Togo Food Biscuit Kolonto

Filing Emails

Filing Emails
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I am afraid for my nieces, nephew and friends; I want to protect them from the dark of night,

What I know, what I suspect, and what I do not know.
What I know if not of interest to me, I cannot be bothered.
What I suspect I understand or know is fodder for my muse.
What I do not know, this will be my downfall.

There is the dark of night, what lurks in the nuances is not known.

There is an annoying question asked in some cultures, for example, I go into a restaurant, and the waitress hands me a menu, then says,
- What do you want to eat? -
Hoovers over the table, stands looking at me as if I am stupid, slow and need to get a life, thinking, please tell me your order.

I want to say,
- Hello, sleeping brain, wake up and think, it is not possible for me to order because I do not know what on the menu, just because you hand it to me, does not mean I know it. -

Their reasoning is something like,
- I know it, so you know it. -

I am calling this class of person,
- Empathy impaired. -
They are incapable of feeling the perspective of another person, this is a self-centered personified.

I receive emails telling me I am stupid because I use bad grammar, this is the type of person I know I can sell the Brooklyn Bridge to, I really want them in my life, close up and personal I will make a fortune.

I was pick-pocketed on the subway in Madrid, Spain, a person says to me,
- How can an experienced traveler be robbed? -

Just recently, a reader writes me to say I am afraid of going crazy because I wrote about it. This is hilarious logic and just good fun to read, again the person who will buy the Brooklyn Bridge if I pitch it clearly.

I am not afraid of a barking dog, I am afraid of dogs that do not bark.

I am 100 percent positive one day I will be robbed of all my possessions one day, I just cannot do not know when.

Enough with the parables, maybe they are parables?

I see a murky future; I feel those in power, control, and of influence will soon be replaced by those who do know how to use a computer.

HG Well and a Halve and Halve Not world, those who live above ground and those who live below ground.

I would think anyone over 40 today, June 2007 is safe, their future is already decided, and therefore they are financially stable.

I could pole vault 11 feet, I wanted to pole value 15 feet, however, I could not run the 100-yard dash in 10 seconds, I was more of a13-14 second person, and I stopped pole vaulting.

When I have, friends say,
- The studied Computers in University. -

I will often say,
- So, what does that have to do with their ability to make a web page? -

There is close to zero correlation between studying computers and the real ability to use them, there are those who can, and there are those who cannot, and I suppose those who will not.

Selling is about making people feel safe.

Email is communications; I remember having a big executive from Frito Lay Company, one of them fly to New York, for two-hour appointments people, then onto Dulles for the next meeting pound ed on the table to me…


I recorded his phone calls to me, I new my survival was dependant upon how well I listened and could perform his orders.

I had a worker Steve who did too many drugs, he could not remember anything, and however he never forgot anything because he wrote everything down. Amazingly efficient man because he could not remember and he knew it, but better yet, accept it.

I just do not know where to start and where to finish, I am worried that one day all my family and friends will work in McDonalds.

I want them to stay in the queue, as the computer world will soon prove what they can do is different from what people perceive they can do. None of this matter much, I am not going to change people. However, in an effort to lead them to the water, I think I will start to write here in this area how to manage business or personal emails for a global world, if all was simple, what I just wrote would be 100 percent understood.

Filing Emails is not the solution, the solution is how to search for them, I assume you will not file the same as I file, we will not agree and that is human.

Filing Emails

Who is the Keeper of Trends

Who is the Keeper of Trends
Lome Togo West Africa
Monday, June 11, 2007

Nothing matters and what if it did?

Maybe a life saving comment for me, and the concept that keeps me from being too serious, and right up there with Life is Good.

What matters in life, what is important in life, yes everything is important, and then I am not sure, I think 1000 years in the future a person could disagree.

I am involved in a business greatly influenced by trends, fashion and whim of the masses. I want to plan for the future, I these sites evolve and exist into the future.

I sometimes feel I need a person, maybe a job position.
- The Keeper of the Trends. -

Oh well, the more I think about it, the only person I know for this fuzzy logic position is myself. I am the person who predicts the future.

I have been reviewing all the ways of tagging, labeling, bookmarks, favorites, etc an other trendy toys. There seems to be no limits to the growth of these fuzzy type of filing or categories.

Nothing matters, and if it does matter, either way we continue on the path so I follow my feet

Who is the Keeper of Trends

Travel Cords are Tangled

Travel Cords are Tangled
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, June 11, 2007

I have many electrical cords in my backpack, they become entangle and knotted, I search for simplicity.

I use one long extension cord, and I make all other cords short.

I have a 14-gauge special made extension cord that is lightweight but about 3 meters long, it will go across the room of most hotel rooms. A common problem is an electrical plug is high on the wall and I want to keep my electronics on the floor or lower.

I continually worry that I will put the computer on a shelf, then will trip over the cord pulling the computer off the shelf and destroying it. If possible, I sit electronics on the floor or in the middle of a bed.

Before I cut this great Sony AA Battery Charger cord off, Sony gave me enough cord to reach a high plug on the wall.

This is after I splice the cord; I am learning I need duct tape to cover the electrical tape. Normal electrical tape starts to separate in hot tropical areas. It is possible, I believe to just use duct tape, however difficult to find or purchase in the under-developed countries.

This uses less space and weight less. This is also a great way to change the male plug when a plug breaks or burns up.

Travel Cords are Tangled

Wanted Home to Rent in Lome Togo

Wanted Home to Rent in Lome Togo
Lome Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 10, 2007

I want to rent a home in Lome, Togo West Africa.

Map of Area

My experience of 14 years of being a Real Estate Broker in the state of Indiana, USA has made me afraid and cautious. I do not know the value of real estate until I know the real prices of home sold or rented in an area. The asking price is a guide only. I need to look at 3-10 homes before I can make a decision to rent or buy.

This phenomenon in the minds of expatriates induces them to agree that prices that I considered gouging are real.

I wish to rent a home, and then will offer it as boarding house or temporary home for travelers. I wish to rent the rooms for around 3000 CFA per day or about 6 US per night. This rental price number then forces me to back into the properly priced rental home and in my opinion semi-tells me the sales value of homes in the area.

A room for rent in this defined area will rent at the low of 5000 CFA per month for one room or Chambre in a Compound Home to as high as 30,000 CFA per DAY for a Hotel Room. I believe that 6-10 US is the fair asking price of any hotel room in the developing world. The prices of Hotel rooms in West Africa need a correction to be in concert with global rates and open West Africa to mass tourism.

To learn the fair price of a home to rent, one must first define the area. Homes outside this defined area are dramatically different and are not comparable homes. It is not good practice to use comparable rates of rent from an area farther than say two blocks away, it is misleading.

I first define the area, and then only look at homes in this area, all others are excluded, if I looked at only one home, then rented the home, I would not be able to understand value.

I therefore feel a need to know the asking rental price of many homes. I will not rent a home in any specified area until I have looked at and compared prices of many. I also must change agents to stop one agent from inflating the prices and keeping the inflated prices consistently high.

I speculate, I am not sure, please do not use this number, it is only a guide, however it appears presently a home in this area with three bedrooms and independent will rent around 150,000 CFA per month or about 300 US. This area is a tourist area, or expat area, I would believe in Togo the normal should be about one quarter of this price.

I have a friend in Atakpame, who rents room for 3000 CFA per month, a very nice room and the building is new.

Wanted Home to Rent in Lome Togo

Weasel Words

Weasel Words
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, June 10, 2007

"I realized that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity."
- Bill Watterson, Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat page 62 has become my conscious, my mentor, and what keeps me from straying from the truth, it has become my Philosophy, it is writing the rules of logic of modern man.

Philosophy as told to me is a clear and sustained effort to think clearly.

(I was a Philosophy Major in University and still to this day feel weak when someone asks, what is that?)

The new age:

To chunk down, extract, derives, argue, create rules, arbitrated the process of reasoning and logic, and requires critical reasoning. Congratulations, the string logic being used, the threads leading to the truth are a clear and sustained effort to think clearly.

Weasel Words


A weasel word is a word that is intended to, or has the effect of, softening the force of a potentially loaded or otherwise controversial statement. This phrase appears in Stewart Chaplin's short story Stained Glass Political Platform published in 1900 in The Century Magazine according to The Macmillan Dictionary of Contemporary Phrase and Fable : "Why, weasel words are words that suck the life out of the words next to them, just as a weasel sucks the egg and leaves the shell." Thus, weasel words suck the meaning out of a statement while seeming to keep the idea intact, and are particularly associated with political pronouncements. Weasel words are used euphemistically. The term invokes the image of a weasel being sneaky and well able to wiggle out of a tight spot. Weasel words work, ad nauseum, as in commercial lingo to glide over an uncomfortable fact (therefore "headcount reduction"" replaces "firing staff")[1]], or to create a sense of grandeur and inflated importance (and so "transitory staffing solution provider" substitutes for "temp agency"). Too many more examples of the widespread and indiscriminate usages of corporate jargon, inflicted scatter-shot on the unwary consumer, could be easily provided. Generally, weasel terms are statements that are misleading because they lack the normal substantiations of their truthfulness, as well as the background information against which these statements are made. Weasel terms are the equivalent of spin in the political sphere in British English.

Carl Wrighter identified weasel words in his book I Can Sell You Anything (1972). Earlier in his Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (1956), U.S. Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt described astronomer Dr. J. Allen Hynek's report on the death of Air Force Pilot Thomas Mantell in pursuit of a UFO as "a masterpiece in the art of 'weasel wording'."[2]

Weasel words are almost always intended to deceive or draw attention from something the speaker doesn't want emphasized, rather than being the inadvertent result of the speaker's or writer's poor but honest attempt at description.

Australian author Don Watson has collected two volumes (Death Sentence and Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words) documenting the increasing use of weasel words in government and corporate language. He maintains a website [3] encouraging people to identify and nominate examples of weasely language, which gives many examples of dissimulation through excessive verbosity. Watson was previously a speech writer for Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating.

Stop Quote

I am often sad and confused when the force of my words misleads and guides a person on a path of absolutes. These are opinions I write, nothing more, and strive to separate by story the wheat from the chaff. However when a reader grabs a word or phrase and runs helter skelter into the world, fighting for or against, I sometimes wish I had never typed into the computer. There is little known, and what is known most certainly will be debated, and clarified by rules of logic now being set forth by organizations such as with the humility and steadfast diligence to edit and correct that which was thought to be known yesterday, so tomorrow is closer…

I am in Lome, Togo West Africa and I can see the knowledge of the world is closer... I am not so far away, I am almost home.

Weasel Words

African Siesta Economy

African Siesta Economy
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 9, 2007

I believe the job of management is not to manage people, however to remove the obstacle that are stopping them from working.

I am in Togo, the Siesta Economy here, they stop work from Noon until three, this almost brings the country to a halt, for sure the economy is sleeping. Hot countries live life slowly and this is good and a benefit, however the will and minds of people slows down and the desire to work is close to full stop.

I think the only solution to have a contiguous work force that actually is effective and does work it to start at 4:00 AM and work only to 12 Noon and call it quits for the day.

The ones that will not come to work at 4:00 can live how they live and have all the financial gain it allows.

The other alternative is just to work from 8 to 12 and forget the rest of spinning their wheels time.

African Siesta Economy

Choosing a Translator

Choosing a Translator
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 9, 2007

STOP, please STOP

Hey, why are you adding ten sentences to my comment, I did no say that!

I despise having someone help me to buy something, I buy a horse and it looks like a camel.

I am trying to rent a house, whereby I can re-rent single for about 3000 CFA per room or 6 dollars US per day.

I have tried to use three people and one-half to talk.

1. German man who speaks English, and French.
2. Togo man who speaks some English, French and native language of Ewe.
3. Togo man who speaks Ewe and a little French.
4. Togo woman who speaks Ewe, French and some English.

All four will nod their head when they do not understand my English.

All four nod their heads yes when they do not understand my French.

Dysfunctional was once explained to me as two people who do not speak the same language walking around in a room. The two people talk and discuss many things, and never realize they do not speak the same language.

Dysfunctional does not function.

Meeting of the Minds

- Meeting of the minds (also referred to as mutual assent or consensus ad idem) is a phrase in contract law used to describe the intentions of the parties forming the contract. In particular, it refers to the situation where there is a common understanding in the formation of the contract. This condition is often considered a necessary requirement to the formation of a contract.

It is only when all parties involved are aware of the formation of a legal obligation is there a meeting of the minds. -
Stop Quote:

The can sure explain I words better than me… hehehe

Contract Law
This is saying. A contract is no good unless both parties understand what is in the contract. One way to do this is to demand the other person has an attorney with them, then when they say they do not understand, you say,
- Why did you pay the lawyer? -

Real Estate Brokers are mediators or arbitrators; their job is to create a legally enforceable contract between to people. Their job is also to explain why the property has the value, and why it will re-sell fast, after that there is a lot of personal noise and feely touchy things.

Meeting of the minds is needed and sometimes the other Broker, or clients have no mind, so how can they meet, and I want to say,
- Oh never mind, forget it. -

I want to know often if a translator understood my English, and I say,
- Explain to me what the word MIND means? -

If they get this, you are saying I am stupid look, then I know, yes, they are stupid, I need to know, I want to be positive, do you know the word before you enter me into a contract, you are me, you are my proxy, you are talking for me, and you do not know what the word is and refuse to tell me when you are stupid.

I say stupid; to me the stupid person will not say,
- I do not understand. -

I wish I had just 100 CFA for every time I say in a day,
- Pas Comprend. -
Je parler Anglais.

I do not say perfect, I am trying to test; I want to know if they are intuitively a zero. I want a person who can feel and understand me, and make the good choices; there is no way to translate perfect.

Unless we do the Vulcan Mind Meld, and as far as I know, this does not exist yet.

All I want is a meeting of the minds; I was that nice comfortable feeling of knowing in my heart, this person understands me. Therefore, I need to feel safe and comfortable with the person who is helping me to translate.

Choosing a translator is two things.
1. I talk to the translator.
2. The translator talks to the other person.
3. The person answers and the translator listen.
4. The translator tells me.

I try to think, I said 10 words, this person can use, I give permission to use 20, after that, they are putting words into my mouth, and are trying to talk for me, not translate.

I told the German man, do not talk, do not say anything, just stand there and say hello, next think I knew, the person I was meeting with was only talking to him and ignoring me, I thought, who is talking to whom. I got up and walked home, no meeting of my mind with the other mind; the translator is trying to rent a home.

My Togo friend, a fixer, the small boy as they Togo Rich men insult him and say, try to listen, but cannot culturally bring himself to say,
- I do not understand. -

He is very good, I can say,
- Explain to me the word rent. -

I do this one-minute manager thing, the one-minute goal setting. I was wanting to have a copy of the lease to read, I assumed it is in French, this was about five days ago, I have no lease to read, strange how one small item is a dysfunctional maze of meandering madness.

To choose a translator, I know I am doing well when the person speaks about the same number or words as I said. I will laugh when the person replies and the translator answers, not to clarify, but to answer for me, amazing sometimes the lack of care people have for the right of another person to speak for themselves.

It is better to not have a translator in about 90 percent of situations, I have had translators say yes, if I hear a Qui or Yes or some affirmation, I am worried, did this person just enter me into a verbal contract?

When I understand, I understand, and not before, when I have the meeting of the minds, when I feel comfortable that all people talking are on the same channel, and then maybe the translator is a translator.

I sometime think I should find listeners, listen to the conversation in my bad French and afterwards we will discuss whether the person understood or not. I know in the renting a home, I have the trump card, I will not give money until I know I understand, there is no amount of pressure possible that can force me to say yes to letting loose of the cash until I am sure I understand.

This is the goal of the translator to help me to understand, I have paid translators money and they got angry when I continued to say, I do not understand. I continue to say this until I do, and I will not nod my head and agree, I keep saying, I do not understand.

I think a highly intelligent person says, I could be wrong, I do not understand and a highly stupid person nods their head to say yes everything.

Walk up to a your translator, say something like,
- The moon is made of cheese. -

If the translator agrees, maybe you are dysfunctional…

Now, I wait, let us see who goes off topic first? Dysfunctional life is a Hobo Soup.

Hobby of mine is to listen to husbands and wives, then decide if they had a meeting of the minds…or just noise makers.

Real Estate, Translators, Translations, Languages

Choosing a Translator