Togo Travel Stories, Page 22

Visa to Ghana Embassy in Togo

Visa to Ghana Embassy in Togo
Lome Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 31, 2007

I went to the Ghana Embassy at 8:00 am when it opened, received a Visa to Ghana the next at 10:00 am. It is relatively easy, 12,000 CFA or about 25 US dollars for 30 days.

It was fun; I paid 400 CFA for a Motorcycle Taxi from the Hotel to the Ghana, Embassy. I am finally deciding, the most I have paid in Lome for a moto in the city is 600 CFA and the normal is fee 200 CFA providing I never ask the price before I get on the moto.

I needed four photos and one man had problems because of having a smaller photo, I am not sure, I was lucky to have two sizes of photos, I am carrying a lot of photos, however now I need a bigger size also to carry.

I took along an Hotel address to stay in Ghana, or the address of at Hotel, I am not sure, I think they needed it, but hard to say, I am not clear. I know the last time I entered, they needed a Hotel name and Address.

This was painless and interesting, some man from Australia, not too well dressed, wearing sunglasses or hanging his sunglasses on the back of his neck filled out the application in Green Ink. The one man came out and hollered at him, I gave him my black pen and thought; you do seem like a Green Ink type of person. The young man argued with the official man and I also thought, this is a great way to wait for a Visa for weeks.

The Sunglasses man was a volunteer, and I think every other white person in the room was a volunteer; we had time to talk because the made us wait for unknown reasons from about 8:00 am to 9:20 am when a man appeared.

I will never forget his words,
- No Visas today, I am already too tired. -

When I make an application for a Visa, I always allow close to five days of play time, I have discovered anywhere on the planet the application for a visa is a lottery on how the rules are enforced. If you are willing to wait, they will figure out how to give you a Visa.

I have three months to enter Ghana, after that, the Visa expires.

I repeated the too tired already to another person later and he said,
- Oh, he is not too tired, he is waiting to hear, I need it today. -
Then the man did this little hand gesture, I think it is the universal way of saying how to give a tip to the man. He did a twist of his hand, then goes submarine under the table.

I do not know, the man did look tired, the day before was a Fete or Holiday, this was the first day after a long holiday weekend, and for sure the man looked like he was dragging. I did not expect to get a visa the same day, so for me it was irrelevant. I truly believe a person should never plan to get a Visa in less than five days or they will be in a world of trouble. I never expect an rules or guidelines of an embassy to be obeyed, followed or to be professional, I am talking about all embassies on the planet, including the USA.

The Togo, Embassy to Ghana was nothing like the Ghana Embassy in Delhi, it was obvious here they were issuing Visas on a regular basis, and they were going to issue Visas. The Delhi, India Embassy serving the India people had this long list of onerous requirements and who knows which ones they would or would not enforce.

There are more than I would ever expect India people coming to Africa to work or live, I do not understand, they seem to come to manage a business, and there is less competition for workers or it is easier for them to find a job here in a way. Not really logical and common sense, but true there is more work here for people from India than in India.

No Visas today, I am already too tired... a great line.

Fun and games in the Embassy of Ghana.

Visa to Ghana Embassy in Togo

Nigeria Number One

Nigeria Number One
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

At 7:06 PM Togo time, Wednesday May 30, 2007 Nigeria became the Number One country to achieve getting shut down for being bad on the website.

This page was completed disabled and stopped due to some Nigerian peoples corrupt and criminal behavior.

They were using one Embassy page to pretend to be official of the Nigerian Embassy and endorse frauds they were perpetuating against mostly the Indian and Pakistan people. They would off jobs on a different site somewhere, and then say they were legitimate companies, then the India person somehow needed to send money to Nigeria for Visa Applications and such.

Congratulations Nigeria, the first and worst of

This is a sign of success for the site, the more problems you hare having on a site, the more people on the site…. Hehehe

We are debating what the terms are called; maybe they are spoofing the India people, or Phishing. They were pretending to be something to ensnare victims.

Here is a list of the Phishiest Countries.

We will re-evaluate the page and try to decide how to help travelers, go or not go to Nigeria.

Nigeria Number One

Togo Lizards

Togo Lizards
Lome Togo West Africa

I took these photos of Lizards in Atakpame, Togo.

This colorful one is a constant companion as I travel the country, bigger and easier to see, however very fast and will leave my territory quickly.

This is a little bug eater, more difficult to photograph and quick to hide, blends in easy with the tree limbs or wherever it sits. Fun to watch them eat pesky small insects. I was trying to catch a few to put in my room to eat them too small to see insects.

Togo Lizards

Architecture Tourism of Togo

Architecture Tourism of Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This is a photo I took from the back of a speeding motorcycle taxi on the way to see the Falls of Akloa or Cascade d Akloa near the city of Badou, Togo, it located directly west of Atakpame, Togo and is on the border of Ghana and Togo.

This is a photo I took in the village of Badou, Togo.

There are some small hills, maybe called mountains that create a natural border between Ghana and Togo; maybe it is called the Akwapim Togo Ranges. Badou is a border town, sort of on the top of the area and the first city on the Togo side.

I have been reading guidebooks and internet pages about Africa.

I do not like to read about places I am visiting, so I am not the best to comment here, I tend to just go look, however there seems to be many of the major topics of travel just over-looked, ignored or not recognized by all the travelers of Africa. There are some special buildings in West Africa.

I became curious, why on top of the hills, why did they build this colonial building here, why is it ignored by Togo, or tourist?

As a note or reference, the site is built around the reasons or informational topic needed while you travel. I have 150 specific topics I address or try to focus on the index of the main site, not the blog; the blog is an appendage to the site, as is the newsletter. The major site is separate, however these 150 topics are the 150 top questions or areas of interest as I define as relevant to travelers.

The blog is just an afterthought, a toy in a way.

However, to me, there is a need to have the world do a re-think on why they travel to places, there is more to do than Animals in Africa.

Here is a link to the index on Hobo of Architecture.

Here is where a person would submit information on the Architecture of interest in the country of Togo.

Architecture Tourism of Togo

Carpet Baggers and Scalawags of Africa

Carpet Baggers and Scalawags of Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hobo is an American word, the English, Aussie and most of the European world just cannot come to grips with the word, they feel obliged to say bum and not Hobo.

A Hobo is not a bum.

Therefore, the word Hobo is best understood by an American, then are more capable of understanding the underlying culture, myths, misuses and limits to the word, however a German just has a full stop in their head and cannot normally open their brain far enough to understand the USA culture, therefore the world Hobo is always translated by them as a Bum. However, they are not correct.

Carpet Bagger is most likely understood best by an American, and unfair to expect another culture such as Europe to understand the far-reaching implications of a being a Carpet Bagger.

Words are great, I am learning the French Culture, as expressed badly in the French of Africa, but there is the French Culture here, a channel of the culture. I learn French; I start to learn the Culture of France. I 100 percent accept I will never know the French Culture; I will just be peeking in the window.

The word or phrase Carpet Bagger is a term used by an American to explain an American historical time in the USA after the Civil War.

What a great word, I have am finding the clarity I need to not be angry at the NGO-ONG world of Africa. I have a frustration-based anger.

The NGO Non-Governmental Organizations and the ONG in French. Then the related Volunteer Organizations that make people thousands of dollars to Volunteer in Africa, a person can pay up to 5000 to 10,000 US dollars to volunteer in Ghana to get it…

NGO in English
ONG in French - Same Same

The Carpet Baggers are here in Africa, they have invaded, I hope this dark time in history passes quickly, I hope the world can slow the progress of these Carpet Baggers and Scalawags as the move around the planet creating social havoc with the world.

The News reports a problem.
The NGO advertise to collect the money.
They are in collusion; the Carpet Baggers are traveling the planet.

They are the NGO of the planet.

Here is a cutting edge example of a fight again the NGO. The are trying to make the second Holocoust in Israel.

Interesting thing about a Journal or Diary, when a person types in a diary or journal, there is a desire to explain some confusing or abstract thoughts in my head. Therefore as I type, I explain to myself something I do not understand, it is introspection and very good for the soul.

I start to explain and write, and then I realized, this typing is not needed, as I am already clear, the NGO are Carpet Baggers and Scalawags. I am finished…

I need to say thank you to and the new world of GPRS Internet Access for opening a new window to the knowledge of the planet. I do not need to sit around typing what is already known.

Thank You, Togo, How to Blog, NGO, Types-Of-Travel

Carpet Baggers and Scalawags of Africa

No Police in Togo is Good

No Police in Togo is Good
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I am always tempted to think Togo is dangerous; however, I almost never see a policeperson or any person in government authority. I think truly they are too busy working at the gates to the cities, collecting the tolls to enter or leave, and the normal business of taking from people.

Would Europe of the USA be safe if there was no police?

I would say effectively there is no police in Togo, they are off doing something, but it is not protecting the citizens of me from harm, thieves and the normal type of problems. So how do I feel, I feel very safe, especially during the daytime, at night there is a random mob violence started by mockery and bully tactics. However, during the day, no police to be found, I would say this place is super safe.

I do not hear about robberies or thefts, or anything really, just a some small bribes and such, normal run of the mills stuff.

I think my mother is 10 times safer here than in Mexico. Turn you back in Mexico and they steal you shoes, but then poverty is worst in Mexico than in Togo, there is not a need to steal, food is plentiful and easy to find. There are too many Police in Mexico, and they are more than willing to intimidate a bribe from me, or my mom.

Hmm is Mexico of Togo full of more bullies, I would say Togo has more viscous bullies, while Mexico has bullies that never leave. Mexico is worst, this type of bully is living with you; I guess I would rather be bullied very viscously one time in a week by a person than daily as in Mexico, and normally by some police person.

I have a window with a screen on it, climb down the edge, punch the screen and you can steal my computer, cell phone and other small things, and you have to work to cut open the bag. When I am most countries in Asia, Central America, Mexico, South America, I lock my computer in the bag when I leave the room. I do not do so in Togo, I think I feel safer, they are not going to enter my room and steal. They are not sneaky thieves, like say in Philippines.

Lome has I think about 10 major crazy bums and beggars; however, they do not beg, they are funny, they act as if I am going to hit them with a stick if they pushed too hard. I would like to hit the ones in India with a stick, one like a baseball bat.

The asking for a Cadeau or Gift is every present, this is what can be perceived as begging or poverty. I really think it is a form of testing, they want to know how stupid is this white man, will he just give me money as a gift, or can I scare him, bully a gift out of him.

I told a girl, remember, the white man is a very violent animal, we came and dominated Africa with just a few people, do not think because we are calm and more polite, we are not in reality the more dangerous animal. I have said many times, the reason the Germans, Americans and Europe enforces the laws so well, is because we are bad, worst than some of the poor countries. We needed to develop laws and use the police or we would kill each other.
So what would happen in the USA or Europe if one day the police just did not work?

This is daily in Togo, this is normal, and nothing happens, just another day in Togo.

I also dwell on the thought, that maybe the people in West Africa are too lazy to steal. I know for sure, they will not walk to bully me, I have to stop and take it, if I continue to walk when the call at me, they do not follow, that would require effort, they do seem to lazy to move some days.

Police are the most dangerous persons on the planet for travelers, so with no police here, I am safer.

No Police in Togo is Good

Iquitos Peru vs Lome Togo Africa

Iquitos Peru vs Lome Togo Africa
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Iquitos, Peru has been invading my mind and world lately; I spent a couple of months in this city and have a more than average number of email friends living there.

I was reading about Bird Watching… I know Bill, a good person.

Where to hang my hat or hats?

I think about finding places to hang my hat, I remember with fond memories Iquitos, Peru, however, I also remember the ever-present noise of the motorcycle tricycle taxis with no mufflers.

Conversations seems to be weighing higher and higher on my list of emotional needs, it is strange, I talk a lot here in Togo, however I am not getting the proper fix I need. I think maybe I have been in Africa now close to two months and maybe it is the need to speak French maybe it the lack of real down to earth conversations, there is some spark or something missing. I am not sure.

I feel a little lost and I know I have a tendency to complain when I am tired, lonely, or I just need to talk to English. There is an overwhelming amount of chatter talk, here however talk of substantial nature is difficult to find. Expats tend to drink too much, watch only sports, and sit on the corner of bars with small women next to them. I guess I am thinking of Asia, here in Africa they are robust and big in all ways, a woman and obviously a woman, but still on the corner of the bar.

I am going into Ghana soon, this will maybe be better, there are many English-speaking people in Ghana, and many Volunteers, and I do not think I can avoid speaking English in Ghana. I can go days and weeks here in Togo and never use an English word.

Hanging my hat, what is that, I think I wish to find that bar Cheers on TV, where everyone knows my name. I sometimes think this is Lome, then again I think is may be a false feeling as there are so many women saying hello to me or in someway talking, I think they are friends. African friends can be a little strange, hard to get a talking type of friendship, an intense physical friendship is easy, however to just talk, relax and enjoy is difficult.

Last night I stopped down to Belindas Place, a small Togo convenience stop that I have coined as Belinda Place because the tall 15-year-old girl who does all the work for the Mama is named Belinda.

The Expat man with me drank a lot of beer, the was closing, I got up and I paid for both of our drinks, then the Mama forgot to add on the one beer of my friend. These two people started having this close to hollering commentary discussion about his payment for the beer. I finally had to stand up and say,
- Please -

I paid, and the Expat said,
- You did not have to do that. -

I said,
- I paid to buy the quiet, why is there a need to holler about a paying for a beer. -

He drank it, we pay.

I long for quiet conversations, no over emphasized noise conversations just easy and comfortable talk. Two Australians were here the other night; they were like Tourist, the talked the tourist talk, where to go, what to do, although in reality they were Volunteers in Ghana who came to Togo for a Visa Run. They renewed their Ghana Visa and returned about two days later, they spoke zero French, so a little difficult for them. I remember how they was so quiet and no big talk, just small talk, no Expat noise, I did this, or I did that, just the easy Aussie way of talking.

Yes, that does it, I will go today and get my Ghana Visa, I am tired of Togo, and I need a change of the channel.

I had many conversations of value in Iquitos, Peru on hindsight; it was one of the better places to hang my hat. I was laughing as William the man from the Dawn on the Amazon page called it an
- End of the Roaders Place. -

There is an end to all travels, there is an end to the road, and it is where a person hangs their hat. I personally believe I will have about six ends of the road, those places I return so often it appears like I live there.

Accra, Ghana was a skip the last time in Africa, I was in a van and the traffic and people was so bad, I just stayed on the road and went to Togo. I think there may be some beach life there, so far only in the Grand Bassam of Ivory Coast, has there been Beach Life. Togo has beach bars, but to say beach life is a hard push, there is a place called Baguida or something like that out by the Port, I think past the big Lome Ocean Port where the richer Expats stay and where a few hotels are located. I should go there today and look around, search for a new hotel that does not tempt me to castrate it. The Group or the Generator is the problem, Togo and Ghana have an electricity shortage, and I do not want to live in a hotel that does not have a Generator. The problem is this; they will have a Generator, and then not use it.

Iquitos Peru vs Lome Togo Africa

Offshore Real Estate

Offshore Real Estate
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, May 28, 2007

I was a Real Estate Broker, Investor, Property Management Company, Developer and all these words involved for 14 years of my life and really more.

I have seena consistently increasing offshore Real Estate Scam being committed by Expats, similar to the Real Estate Scams involving the sale of land in Florida in the USA.

The scam works like this, the Expat predator is normally trying to sell a home over the internet that is in an offshore country outside USA jurisdictions. Normally they purchased the scam themselves, and they now want to get rid of it, the only way they can figure out to do so, is to do the scam again to the next person. There is also the more dangerous professional types.

The person reading the advertisement on the Internet is just an average person and wants to live in Resort Home or in the American Dream home And they are reading about a home in an exotic place that is twice as big as they own, however half the price as their present home. They cannot believe how great of deal this is, and they go down for a two week vacation and buy a home impossible to sell fairly.

There are many listing for the properties, normally by Expats and all are priced about 10 times the true value, however, because there are many listing and the reader believe because of the numbers they are safe. Plus, who would think an American or European would do this.

I used to have a Mexican man in Acapulco complain,
-The American come down here and complain about corruption, then the learn how to be corrupt, and do it better than us. -

These properties are outside the laws of the USA, and location of the exotic property is in country with no real estate appraisal laws or any protections for consumers. Therefore, now with invention of the internet they can go find victims in other countries, and prey on the unsuspecting person, all expats are trustworthy… That is why they left the country…

All forms of Real Estate valuation is often ignored. For example the cost of construction wages to build the home only being 3 US dollars per day or the money they are buying is Mexican.

When you buy a home in Thailand, you are effectively investing in the Thai Baht. Panama is better because they use the Dollar, for me to buy a Home in Togo, I would be buying the CFA , which I think today is tied to the Euro, I anticipate they will one day disconnect it from the Euro and the CFA will go down just like the Argentina Peso did when it was disconnected from the dollars.

Buying Real Estate is investing in the strength or currency of the country.

Buying Real Estate is investing in the validity of the legal system of the country.

Buying Real Estate is investing in the Government of the country. When was the last military coup?

Buying Real Estate is about the price of comparable properties in the area, if there is no comparable properties, maybe the value is zero, not what you would pay in the USA.

This statement has zero value.
- This property would cost X in the USA, this is just a stupid comment and only said by a person who wishes to scam you. - The property is NOT in the USA, so why say it?

Buying Real Estate is about buying a home where people want to move, why are they moving from Panama, Thailand, Costa Rica, etc to the USA when it is paradise?

Note, I think there are more deserted islands on the planted than inhabited islands. An island is not a prime piece of land, there is no economic value. People in Togo do not try to live on the ocean, in Thailand they do not try to live on the ocean, they want to live inland and safer, they want to live near drinking water, and often the cheapest land is on the ocean, you cannot farm it, so the land has no value, if no people close, no value.

Buying Real Estate is about the cost to build the same property and the ability to sell the property. If they cannot sell the property in the normal country, why would it be a good deal over the internet…? See the point, a good deal will always sell, but to prey on a person who knows nothing about appraisal, and knowing the laws of country allows him or her to do so is what is now happening.

The solution is simple, go and live there first, rent a home for about two years, after this time, maybe you can buy. I am not sure why? I am always wondering about this of buying, is buying a need. American and Europeans will indeed buy a swindle; they believe buying is always better. This is not true.

Offshore Real Estate