Togo Travel Stories, Page 23

Africa Sanctions the White Man

Africa Sanctions the White Man
Lome, Togo West Africa
Monday, May 28, 2007
I am trying to think, how to explain what I do not understand, yet this is the reason to write, to take confusion and transform to clarity.

I think I have discovered by reading about culture in the word to remember in Africa.

There is this common aspect of West Africa that I have continually felt, heard, and received from man of the people of Cote d Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Niger, I do not know the other countries.

There is a continual desire by the locals to enforce some sanctions on me, or to bring me into the norm of how they expect me to behave.

Common ones and problem ones:

1. If I ask for a gift of Cadeau you should give.
2. IF I say Va or come, you should come.

The sanction imposed I have learned if, I do not obey is:
- Mockery au Moquerie -

This behavior in the USA is similar as when one child is making fun of another. In the British culture, they often enjoy and continue into adult by a method called.
- Taking the Piss. -

It means to wind up a another person, to make them a little mad.

The sanction of mockery imposed daily by people in West Africa is interesting and intriguing, I semi-think the more education and power a person has, the more they do this mocking behavior. It is like a biting action of a big dog to a little dog.

The main problem is a group mockery, and group mocking that takes place can lead to a group hysteria, and violence. There is a desire for the whites to give money or cower.

A common sanction in small tribal village of the world is to throw rocks and stones, the mockery are difficult, especially if you do not understand the language. I have found, they do not want to be mocked or to have me do it better than them. I tend to ignore too well, but then again, I have had training in India, and for sure a person who has traveled in India and shut off another person fast or will go crazy.


Quote from

Key components of culture

Values comprise ideas about what in life seems important. They guide the rest of the culture. Norms consist of expectations of how people will behave in various situations. Each culture has methods, called sanctions, of enforcing its norms. Sanctions vary with the importance of the norm; norms that a society enforces formally have the status of laws. Institutions are the structures of a society within which values and norms are transmitted. Artifacts—things, or aspects of material culture—derive from a culture's values and norms.

Quote from

Africa Sanctions the White Man

Itinerary West Africa

Itinerary West Africa
Lome Togo West Africa
May 2007

10 years of travel, and I finally learned, the itinerary, the route, a trip path, a map inside a country is not important to me, I only want to know how a person traveled across many countries.

To plan a trip, there are maps, never give them out or tell anyone, this is the Traveler Creed, and the Movie The Beach is the bible of this idea, however, let them shoot me, here are many pages with maps on them of west Africa. Africa is about Visas and avoiding Nigeria or maybe now the Sudan, Chad and Algeria.

MAP A motorcycle trip around the world by Peter and Kay Forwood on a Harley-Davidson
Africa Travel Guide and Bicycle Touring Guide
Link Community Development [ Events - Africa By Bike ]
starting in Australia Feb 1996.
MAP Keio University SFC - Student Spotlight
My Travels - Mark Moxon, Travel Writer
Niger to Burkina Faso Plans
Peter & Kay Forwood trip on a Harley-Davidson around the world - Planning the 7th Section
Photos-Pictures of Mali (West Africa)
Steve Bougerolle - Travelogue (West Africa 1995-96) - West Africa Explored - PRINT

I would assume and believe Richard Trillo the editor and expert from the West Africa guidebook and a bike rider would also have something good to say.

Itinerary West Africa

Lome to Malabo Flight

Lome to Malabo Flight
Lome Togo West Africa
Saturday, May 26, 2007

Someday, I will make this trip, as of yesterday, it is again delayed, who knows when I will go this way…

I can fly from Lome, Togo to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea one way for about 125,000 CFA, this is about 250 US Dollars. Africa is a pain in the butt, the routes are not clean, mis-representation is rampant, and every person acts as though the trip is extremely dangerous.

People drive in countries where it is safe to drive, 95 percent of tourist in West Africa drive a car or motorcycle and many bike trips. It now is the only continent of the developing planet, the 80 percent majority of the planet where I am thinking about buying a motorcycle. It is like Europe, you need a van or motorcycle in Europe to avoid the tourist traps, here, you need one to drive to the great places where they have not eaten the animals of cut and burned the trees for firewood, plus avoid the aggressive taxi driver fights.

It is semi-amazing, I have now been in West Africa for about five months of my life, I have not sat in any major city in Africa and had tour companies offer to sell me tours of something in West Africa. I was remarking to my German friend, if a person here in Lome would put me in an Air Conditioned car and take me to see Hippos, I think I would pay between 100 and 300 US dollars to avoid the pain. In contrast, I think I will buy a motorcycle for 600 and just go myself.

Nigeria what a bad reputation this country has, it is the stone in the middle of the river of Africa. I am not so much afraid or worried about safety in Nigeria, I just do not like to listen to the continually scam offered, it is like listening to a use car salesman 24 hours per day, that you know 100 percent is selling a lie and junk.

Note, I have given up on miles, it is just ridiculous to talk in mile when only about 300 Million people do so…

Map of Route I will try to take, when I get around to it.

Itinerary West Africa, Planning Africa, West Africa Maps, Togo Maps, Togo,

Lome to Malabo Flight

Three Good Reasons to Travel

Three Good Reasons to Travel
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, May 26, 2007

Legal Notice posted on Beach - Maybe legal, or maybe just a wanna be legal notice.

Les Trois Interdits
The Three Forbiddens

Amende 5000 F or CFA
5000 CFA fine or about 10 US Dollars, about one-third months pay.

Aidez-nous a maintenier notre plage propre
Help us to maintain our beach clean.

My first thought,
- Why would you want to stop tourism? -

Come on, the truth is people travel to South America, Africa and all the remote or off the beaten path to see people behave this way, they want this… I guess and agree, it would be good for the Togo people, there are close to zero tourist here in Togo.

I have been sitting on the beach and watching many or two of three of these per day, maybe the WC is under control a small small as they say. However, it would take work to avoid watching a man urinate on the beach or about anywhere for longer than say 20 minutes, that is about the longest stretch of time before the next tourist show.

I personally enjoy more the walking around the markets shows, normal life and not the part you wish to avoid.

I thought, I will take three photos to match up with the sign, not what I like to do, but why not, something to do, then as I was walking around Decon looking for a 12 volt to 220 converter, I come up on this women. She is standing up and urinating. I never knew women could do this, but it is very common to see a woman stand to do so, pull their underwear to the side and squirt.

This one was more crazy, she was topless, bottomless and all sorts of interesting behaviors. She is standing in front of what I would call the central location of women of the night called Panini and screaming at people. I have been hearing about Panini from Togo men now for about two months, amazing what the men of the world learn about, then tell you, ask about a Hippo and the country has no idea, ask about Panini and they all know Lome. I was getting curious, what is a Panini. I thought it was a street, now I learned it is a bar. I still am not clear, but then again, I never wanted to know or listen.

Culture is the top, bottom and all layers in between.

I am trying to get my brain around why some of the crazy people in Africa just seem crazier than what is average and normal for the world. Crazy is normal, homosexuals are normal, many things are normal. Poverty, prostitution, and driving a carl like a crazy person is normal. The so-called advanced country, about 20 percent of the planet somehow pass and enforce laws to stop crazy.

However, I am not sure, African culture is more aggressive than normal, and I think you take a very aggressive person, then when they become truly nuts, crazy, this is a noisy and difficult person.

Tourism, Urination, Trash, Defecate, Togo, Crazy People

Three Good Reasons to Travel

How to Castrate a Hotel

How to Castrate a Hotel
Lome Togo West Africa
Friday, May 25, 2007

1. remove testicles from: to remove the testicles of a man or male animal, making reproduction impossible.
Animals are sometimes castrated to make them more docile and to prevent disease.
2. weaken somebody or something: to take away the strength, power, force, or vigor of somebody or something
The department was castrated through heavy budget cuts.

I think a reoccurring idea among long-term travelers is the desire to destroy the business of a Hotel, Website, Tour Company, Taxi Driver, Volunteer Agencies, Airlines, NGO-ONG, and many other companies that have abused us or made us a victim. Maybe I feel vulnerable because I am alone, but I do know, being a victim is not me.

Togo - or West Africa

This is my third trip to West Africa, I have a continual temptation to try to castrate a few real people, and I am 100 percent positive I want to do this to the NGO ONG organizations in West Africa.

There are a few Frenchies and a then of course a few Hotels.

Now, I do not think I can do a complete castration of a Hotel, I cannot destroy their business, and truthfully, this is mean spirited.

I remember the first time of trying this; I was trying to photograph a Swiss person that was running around in San Jose, Costa Rica and swindling the tourist. I wanted to take his photo and post it on the site; this was in my more delusional days of the power of the internet.
I have tried to harm the business of a few companies; however, my knife is not sharp enough to do a good cut, somewhat still just a rip and shred cut. Nothing surgical, no missile lock, you are dead cuts.

Well, the bottom line is I have this daily, continual temptation in Lome to try to castrate a Hotel. I like the Hotel, I just want to remove one of the testicles and help other travelers. Maybe this is also a desire; I do like to help the other travelers. I think I am some Hobo who thinks, I need to warn the other Hobos of the good path, the good Hobo Camp, how to go or where not to go.

Craig from said to me about Hotels or Hostels
“A constant expectation of disappointment”
Dec 30, 2007

There are these small pricks, the small cuts, there are small cuts continuously made on my back. I can feel them, they slowly build up and I want to fight back.

I do not think being mean spirited is good, and I for sure think Michael Moore who makes all his money from trying to destroy people is evil.

However, there needs should be a rating system that allows how to castrate.

- 2 Complete Castration, they are now impotent
- 1 Remove only one, maybe it works.
0 Neutral - Do not touch, keep in a separate field.
1 Let the bull lose to graze with the Heifers
2 Put the Heifer in with the Bull

Michael Moore needs Castrated

This is the point, when I say this, everyone who loves Michael Moore thinks, no, you cannot do that. Then you get a few, that say, let me help, then a few who want to help, if you do not say their names, then a few granola for lunch, NGO types who cannot make a decision, but will say I am bad.

The way a government raises taxes, is they put in committee.

I am trying to figure out how to castrate a few hotels, and do properly, fairly, and without many problems. I know about 98 percent of travel web sites do not care, they just wish to make money. This is an interesting problem and on my site, we will find a way for readers to either put the heifer in with the bull or help to castrate the bull.

The readers will perform the castration.

I am Pro, I am a professional traveler, I can tell, advices on Five Star hotels is close to worthless to me, I assume they are good. However, when a Five Star Hotel is robbing its clients, maybe it does need castrated.

Everyone wants to tell me what is good. I need to know what to avoid first, then after that, how to enjoy my travels is easy.

I tell you I am tempted, I am only one person, I could be wrong, it is not as easy as just assuming your are right. A guidebook almost never tells me what to avoid, they tip toe around the issues and talk in code, and when I am finally ready to leave the country. I realize, this is what the meant, they did not just tell me, nothing clean, simple and understandable.

What we will do with is giving a preponderance of evidence method of assessing Hotels, and then gives some clean and simple objective measurements. I have been dwelling on this for about 10 years now, so I hope I the heifer is put in with me, so I can make them calves.

How to Castrate a Hotel

The Cell Phone and GPS Marry

The Cell Phone and GPS Marry
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, May 25, 2007

My friend Steve, a GSM, Satellite, knows too much about a cell phone, satellites, communications sent me this link:

Hmm, another way for me to feel old and not trendy….

They have kissed, soon they will marry and live happily ever after as one. The love of the Cell phone and the of the GPS or Global Positioning System is soon going to be consummated. I think in less than three years, the will have many babies.

What do you call this, a tryst?
Ménage à trios (Menage a trois), note, I am in a French speaking country…

I forgot what about the Palm Computer, it will also in this marriage, and this is polygamy and maybe some trans-gender something.


CELL PHONE - Mobile Phone
The telephone everyone is carrying and walking around with on the planet, in Germany they call it a Handy, in many countries a Mobile, in the French of Africa a Portable. It has no wires and is called a cell, because the antennae around the signal looks like a cell, and you must be in a cell to use.

GPS: Global Positioning Satellite
--- Oops, I think Global Positioning System is correct, a discovery
---- A handheld toy that allows a satellite to tell your Latitude and Longitude or the coordinates on the planet. I am saying toy, because this is not easy to use, takes time to resolve the coordinated, does not work well around tall building or in canyons or caves. Mine eats batteries so fast; I must feed it a set every hour.

This is baby computer, a small hand held device, or palm computer that you can store addresses and use like a computer, it often can recognize handwriting. The are quickly becoming as powerful as full-size computers.

The also couple with the maps of many internet sites.

All of these toys are marrying, they are having a tryst or love affair. This is not so secret, but maybe I am calling it a Menage a trios, as they are all doing this now for sport or fun, some close to semi-crazy need to be the first, to enjoy the cut of being on the edge. I am sure many are getting a sticker shock burn in the stores as they see the prices of a cell phone with GPS inside.

On the other hand, maybe to just brag, look at my new toy.

I remember paying 1300 US for a PDA or palm computer, a Newton by Apple, then later losing all the addresses in the thing because it was not married correctly with my computer. I used it for business and made money because I had it, a good business tool.

A friend said,
- Thanks for paying for new technology, so I can have it cheap in the future. -

So thanks to anyone today using these new toys, and internet sites, the new Beta tester of hard to use, difficult to learn, incredibly expensive stuff that will be commonplace in a few years.

I am waiting; I know my cell phone is going to call…

- Andy, we have detected a GPS marker here in Togo, you are now within 50 meters of the Bronco Beach Bar, a good place to sit, with a cool breeze and eat Beef brochette for 100 CFA. -

100 CFA is about 20 Cents US.

I just told my friend, I should take the GPS coordinates of this bar, so I can tell others in the future. However, I know in the future, my cell phone will detect the satellite, and it will call me.

Thanks for the future of the future.

I would love to allow readers to know my daily position on a map, however as of today, I cannot be bothered to devote the time needed to play. When it become a common place tool, I will jump in. The learning curve here is still Mount Everest, I am waiting for the Mount Ago or the 900 Meter hill of Togo go arrive.

Steve Wrote:

Many uses.

1) I'm in the souks about 1 km from the hotel. Where are you?
2) In the Everglades, where am I and how do I get back to the sea?
3) Provides exact latitude and longitude to any location within 10 meters.
4) Keeping track of the kids
5) In the car, I just put in the address of the store I am looking for and follow the map on the phone. It uses google maps, yahoo maps, msn maps, maps and provides both road diagram, Arial photo or combination.

And… also said:

Here is an image of the page you would have seen at

Mobile GMaps is a new free application that can be downloaded to GSM or CDMA cellphones that gives the location of a phone whenever the phone user wishes. See a map with those users who currently permit their location to be shown publicly at
and zoom to their location within 10 meters. The time of the last reading is also shown. Those readings older that several minutes means the application in the phone has been turned off.

The application can be downloaded by the phone at How-to info can be found at Forums are at

The Cell Phone and GPS Marry

Chambre du Passage

Chambre du Passage
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, May 24, 2007

Chambre du Passage or
Room of the passing. …

or maybe Transit Hotel, it is not an Auberge or Hotel, it is for sure different. I am not confident of my French, and from my experience of learning Spanish, I know, I should never assume I understand a word or phrase.

Maybe, I have been using this French phrase incorrectly. I thought is was a like a way house or Inn, a place where you flopped simple for the night and moved on the next day. More of a motel of passing people with no desire to stay a long time or pay a good deal of money, a transit hotel.

I am in Togo, Africa, this is not France, my friend Michel from Ghana was using it as a cheap hotel, however, we both knew or know that the cheap hotels are used by the locals as a love hotel to visit with their girlfriends. However, last night, I was taking with a German man, when a Lebanese young man came in with a Togo girl in tow. The went for the edge of the area and close to the stairs leading to the room. Then, someone lead them up the stairs. I was curious so I did the push with the one server, and I said in French,
- How much for one hour? -
I keep trying with a few hand signals explaining the love part.

She did not understand, and then the German man said,
- Chambre du Passage. -

I thought this was the phrase for a type of hotel, and it is, however, this is the second time, I know in Togo, this means I want to rent a room for short time.

Ooops, I have been saying,
- Je Vous, Chambre du Passage, Pas Cher, pour 3 or 4 Mille -

I want a short time hotel, not expensive for 3000 or 4000 CFA.

I guess I just need to say, Chambre, Pas Cher 3000 au 4000 Mille, I am sure they have been confused, why does a man alone, entering a village need a short-time hotel.

The girl server says, the room is 3500 CFA, Chambre du Passage.

I think my biggest challenge in West Africa, is to somehow convince them I am not French, not ONG-NGO and I want a cheap, reasonable priced African room, not some country club priced room to guarantee there are no locals in the hotel.

Technically I have not lived in a Hotel in West Africa yet, that I would say now, was not also a Chambre du Passage, this is the number one business, or the way for the manage to give himself or herself a bonus that never reaches the owners pocket.

Chambre du Passage

Discovery Channel Email Received

Discovery Channel
Lome, Togo West Africa
May 24, 2007

I received this from I hope from the Discovery channel, I think it is best I encourage the public to watch the National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. I am never too sure what to do, I am not capable of watching these shows, I do not have a TV.

Name: Jennifer Winter
Country: USA

Good afternoon,

My name is Jen Winter and I am working with Discovery Channel on their hit series, MAN VS. WILD, which follows explorer and host Bear Grylls. I thought you and your readers would be interested to know that new episodes of MAN VS. WILD begins June 15th!

If you have never seen the show, each episode of MAN VS. WILD is based on real-life events where people fought for their survival after finding themselves in danger in popular wilderness locations. A seasoned adventurer and former British Special Air Service soldier, Bear demonstrates the basic survival methods for specific locations -- including navigation, making fire and finding water and food -- and goes one step further. As he explains, the people who stand the best chance for survival are those who are prepared to push the limits, and he certainly does so himself.

For your convenience, please feel free to download images from previous episodes, a press release, and Bear’s bio located here:
You can also visit
for more information.

Please let me know if you would like to receive further information about the program, such as episode guides, clips, images, and more! I look forward to working with you!


Your Welcome.
Andy of in Togo, Africa

Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Togo, Travel News

Discovery Channel