Togo Travel Stories, Page 58

Crossing Ghana Border to Togo

Crossing Ghana Border to Togo
Aflao Ghana
Monday, August 28, 2006

I have a cold shower, I am making it into a hot water dip shower as I type, I take my trusty one-cup coffee cooker, put in the water, and about 15-20 minutes later, presto, I have a bucket full of hot water.

I think hot water is healthy; it probably makes me live longer. I am amazed how people just ignore the values of hot water. I should have had some scientist, the United Nations, my USA government demanding,

- Clean with Hot Water -
- Clean you dishes with Hot Water -
- Wash your body with Hot Water -

Disinfect, the clothes, clean the clothes, nothing better for your health than to kill off or minimize those speck of something inside water and food that want to kill you.

I really appreciate that I can make hot water, I think of all the things that has enabled me to travel, besides money. Hot water had maintained my health. In addition, a good eye on the cooks of the planet, if I see it cooking, I MAY eat it, if I do not see it cooking, I do not eat.

Packaged foods are exceptions.

Ok, I digress, my dip shower is ready, I will take a 2 gallon hot water dip shower, clean my hair, use some soap, to wipe the grime of Ghana dusty streets off my body. Then I will go outside my hotel and stand.

Hang my hand out like a limp wrist, different here than America.

A taxi will stop; I will try to communicate with a taxi driver who is like every other taxi driver on the planet, at the back of the line on brains. Then maybe he for a fare price, a good smile, will get paid to take me to Lome Togo

The price I guess is 2000 CFA or the Togo money, not the CEDIS. This is about 4 U.S. dollars and what I get is a guide, a man that wished to get me through the border, it would be nice if it was a girl, but I have only seen about 2 girl taxi drivers in 9 years of travel.

The man or boy will take push me through the border, he knows who to see, who to avoid, he knows hot to take this stupid white man, he enjoys this, he think I am dumb, a smart person would know the border… How I know something I have never done always is beyond my logical brain.

Walking through a border on your own is the most expensive bad decision a person can make. A taxi, never a guide, or translator, but yes a bus driver, a taxi or bus driver are my top choices. If they do not exist, I would walk by myself, pretend to be extremely stupid, that make the border guards feel important and smart, I find all border guards and police have a need to feel smart, I give them what the need, want, demand and dangerously enforce.

I will look poor, try to get the guy to think, run this idiot on through, we cannot bleed him. Then I hope some missionary comes across or a NGO in a Toyota Land Rover and pays for me, to the guard. Thanks

Next, stop the bucket of hot water, then to TOGO.


Crossing Ghana Border to Togo


Workaholic Hobo in Africa

Workaholic Hobo in Africa
Aflao Ghana
Monday, August 28, 2006

I wake up everyday of the year between 5 and 7 in the morning, unless I have jet lag. Then I wake up 7 hours after I drop, or intermittent.

I work on the computer everyday of the year; I am almost insanely obsessed with doing my work. I have no idea what I do, I just type into this computer, and enter data, ideas, manipulate, plan, scheme, connive and try to control myself, or really not control myself. I just spend about 2 hours per day typing, that is my workaholic tendency.

I want my
- Completion High -

I want to start a thought and finish a thought, I want to start and finish things on my computer, only about 30 percent of that is blogging. The rest is my never-ending research, collecting, categorizing, analyzing of something I have collected. I guess they have to be a concept of idea to be typed into a computer, sometimes it is photos, not the same, but some how it is digital.

This computer problem is interfering with my obsessive workaholic behavior. I need my fix.

I think of the ever board people sitting in some cubicle, in a high rise building, stealing some time from their captors to read my blog postings. Come and visit…?

Ok, empathy, care, do I care, should I care, my mother for sure does not like to hear me ramble, I like to hear my self ramble, it sounds like tying, a little internet utterance in my throat, a thought transliterated to something real, or characteristics of real.

The bottom line is I like to travel and look at people, I especially like West Africa, and they do some strange things. Many people like photos, but I already have the photos in my brain, I keep it, store it and know it, and it does not need to be published to the internet for me to know I have it in my brain.

However, there is a trade I make with the internet, I put up something it give me money. I know, my typing is not going to make me money, well… not my rambling about computer problems. I suppose using the word Ghana with the word Girl would make me money, I know this combination is a moneymaker.

However, in the end, I need to make the search engines happy… Not true, I type or enter things people want to know.

Some kid out there, bored, interested, curious is typing as I type, the word,
- Ghana -

The finds too many pages, learn maybe and hopefully to type,
- Ghana Photos -

Maybe I show up, the HoboTraveler.com, maybe my nieces and nephews learn a little about the world. That is reward enough, just a maybe… I will put up idea or concepts of world knowledge; at least I will pose some questions.

So I ramble on, knowing, trying to use every possible permutation, combination or words relate or popular for searches about Ghana, I have even have programs to find these key words, I do not use, sometimes, but I do not think I have touched in a year.


Workaholic Hobo in Africa


Safely Remove Hardware

Safely Remove Hardware
Aflao Ghana
Monday, August 28, 2006

I have a 2 Gig USB Mass Storage Device…. Hehehe

I have a small chip thingy, I plug into my computer that I can use to record all my typing on, then remove, carry around, take to another computer and use. It is about the size of a small pack of chewing gum, however, shorter, skinnier, but you get the idea Mom.

There is little picture, that pops up and says, or tells me about you can
- Safely Remove Hardware -

I do not know how to,
- Safely Add Hardware -

I just do not know, but maybe I should be paying attention. I have 3 of these USB ports, I have the choice, and I have three places where I can put my thumb drive, my flash drive, or my memory stick. I can put that pack of chewing gum in one of the slots.

I use the middle always, I find it helps the machine to remember my launch links, however, I have been for about one-two years, just ignoring the,
- Safely Remove Hardware -

Actually for the first two USB memory sticks I owned, I never even noticed the little picture and explanation. Someone got upset and stopped me from removing a USB by just pulling it out.

I am slowly isolating or removing possible problems. I will make a deal with myself to only remove the USB memory chip by do this safe.

I have all these stupid programs that try to connect to the internet and seem to never stop. I am having a memory problem; it locks or freezes the computer.

PROGRAMS I am trying to control.
- Skype.com I want it to not to auto try to connect, it looks like it continually tries to connect. -
- Networks, my wifi and LAN is disenabled now, I will keep it off, unless I have a direct connection.
- Google.com Talk, I finally got it shut off.
- Yahoo Messenger, I want to leave it one, but will shut if off, so it does not auto try to connect when I turn on the computer.

All these programs, that need the internet to work, seem to continuously try to connect; maybe they are using vital glitch resources.

Sadly, this is almost all trial and error, nothing works until I can figure out what the problem is, or learn by accident.

There is always a danger in traveling in countries where there is not an extremely huge brain. Yes, every techie in every internet café thinks he knows how to fix my computer, but my experience is, it the person is not so extremely intelligent that is pours out of their brain, do not let some third world hack touch my computer. I am as good as 90 percent and the other 9 percent are irresponsible.

A computer is easiest to repair by replacing…

People dream of traveling around, using the internet, connecting, I know of very few that succeed, some do for a very short time a few months, or they live in a different place. Traveling, carrying a computer, without an unlimited bank account and a corporate IT section to keep you running is difficult. I need a huge corporate IT department, to fix my computer, clean, fix, and allow me or pay me to return to the USA or Germany on a regular basis… gong, not going to happen.

Ideas
Typing and logging, blogging, a diary helps me to clear my brain; I know the benefit of taking some abstract brainwave and transforming them into English words on a computer. I may see problem, ideas, see inconsistencies, in congruencies, and see the errors of my ways, a great way to brainstorm, if the computer does not freeze.


Safely Remove Hardware


Akatsi to Aflao Ghana

Akatsi to Aflao Ghana
Alfao Ghana
Sunday, August 27, 2006

I am in a Hotel on the border of Togo; I guess it is only about a 4 dollars taxi right from here to Lome, Togo. This is too convenient and nice; I will enjoy a border crossing where I can end up in the White Man world hotels with a minimal amount of taxi argument.

The Hotel I am in, unknown name was the third try for hotels in this city, and the other two were not acceptable in my standards of what I want to live in for travel enjoyment. There is almost the idea that all White Men or
- Yeh-Vous -
As they now call me in the new language change from Fanti to Ewe.

The man, very good English, in front of the Thanks Hotel here in Aflao, never would tell me the price called the Hotel,
- The place where all the white people stay. -

That killed my desire flat, who wants to fly all the way to Africa, pay beau coups dollars to live in a Hotel with White people. These are hyper inflated, full of NGO hotels to boot, every other sign in this area is a laundry list of cures that they NGO’s do not perform, but of course advertise they perform. I am always amazed at the complexity of issue they advertise with a real nebulous mission.

Things like or names like
- Africa Youth. -

I do not believe all Africa youth are problems, or have problems, or even believe any sectors of society you be earmarked for lofty help, especially with donated money. I want them to say,
- We give single mothers discount condoms -
Or maybe,
- We cut it off of the man who demands to not use condoms -

I think the NGO needs clear goals, less talking and something to prove they did anything other then make an office.

Nonetheless, after the somewhat rude behaviors on my part with both Hotels at the Junction of Aflao, made for expensive entertainment of your favorite girl, which I do not have, although two volunteered. This one had a swimming pool, 150,000 - 200,000 Cedis and way over priced for rooms that obviously had their doors kicked in a few times. I do not like to see that a door jam has been kicked in; I think it is a precedent that says, we get robbery. The place was not secure enough for me, and they did not seem to want ignore me.

The Thanks Hotel, I did not enter the man just refused to say the price; he was too good at English to not know the price. I just do not have time for any Hotel that demands I look before they tell me the price. I consider it rude, obnoxious, and downright slimy to hide the price. Give me some transparency as the word is said, I do not book, observe or look until I hear the prices.

Who wants to stay with a bunch of zealots who actually think they can change cultures, who desire to change a culture, who take good earned money from silly people and have missions or Word Vision of something that is not specifically explained.

Ok, the NGO’s are more intriguing, have more complicated and hard to understand ideas. Speak intelligent, however cannot say clearly…
- I like women….-
More like, I appreciate feminine ways, want to share, and try to be sensitive to their needs, all of that to try to say or explain how they want to do something to someone.

I always get the feeling they want to take my money.

I have discovered a new prejudice in myself.
I do not like women in Big Dresses or Men Dressed in this Kente cloth, a big sheet trying to be something.

I always get the feeling as if I am around some sort of racist person who truly believe everyone is lower than they are. It is like the church goers here, they can really snub it in your face, I am Christian, look at me, I always get the feeling, the more holy or God worshipping a person deems to be, the more I should be careful.

Nothing on the planet is more dangerous than a person that says God is making him or her do it.

Can I be prejudice against clothing? Sure, I either can silently or openly tell people my thoughts, I do not care. I do not like anyone that tries to separate himself or herself.

Hmmm…. I wonder if I can be black, it would save many comments and hassles here, plus this silly movie star, think I am special, white worship that happens. They just do not see that a White person is the same as a black person.

The guard at the Hotel said,
- We have security… -

I keep thinking, from what, have people been reading too many books about crime, I think the White People need security, they drink too much, then do insanely stupid things, like drive around in cars. Nothing like painting a target on you, I am in a car, I am isolated, if you can be or keep me in this car, you could jump in the seat next to me, take a knife, point it in my stomach, take me out in the desert and have your way, whatever you want.

I have more equipment on me than most NGO are strong enough to carry, then needs a servant to carry… hehehe.

I will admit though, they are High Tech as a group, not individually, but they do normally have all the toys, Satellite Phones, Satellite Internet, all the big buck spend someone else money toys.

I walk around everywhere, hiding in plain sight; nobody with a lot of money on his back and FRONT would carry a computer, camera and many other toys into a hotel for 4 dollars.

I guess I should thank them too silly to believe persons who avoid the locals; they can be a target for robbery and not me. I always and continue to laugh about the United Nations vehicles in Iraq, they could be seen for mile away. No wonder they were bombed, the target was too tempting.

I am getting more and more positive; I cannot believe how many people in West Africa can say,
- Give me money. -

Isolated, out in the middle of nowhere, I think I am the world’s first white man to enter the area and some boy or MAN, will say
- Give me money. -

The worst form of cultural change on the planet (Trained by Volunteers, or people who feel guilty) for these people… ooops, after Bob Marley… He has done more harm, or his cult like followers, clueless, to me.

Give me money, I now just say, yes, give me money.
- Eat some vitamins and think about this comment…-

I do think you can buy a person by giving them money.


Akatsi to Aflao Ghana


Akatsi Ghana Travel Plans

Akatsi Ghana Travel Plans
Akatsi Ghana
Sunday, August 27, 2006

I will leave Akatsi, pay about 10,000 Cedis or one dollars U.S. and go with a small van from here to the city of Aflao, Ghana, I think it is a city and sincerely hope it is a city. I am told it is about one hour, but time has little meaning, especially to a person that has never left their village in their whole life.

The TroTro drivers and helpers are not helpful, always wanting to know where I am going and trying to get me to take the stupid traveler options, like taking a taxi to the border. Information is always bad, however the good part is I can just go and I will arrive where I want to arrive, not difficult, just a little crazy on information. English is the official language, but this is not true, the in reality language is Fanti, the locals call it this, but that is the ethnic type, the language is called, hell, I do not know… hmm, not important, only the politically correct call it by the right name and those that like to read the guidebooks. The language is Fanty of Fancy or Fanti, something like that, I always here Fancy.

I will go live in Aflao, smell the border, it is warned in my guidebook to not to anywhere in the border, my favorite type of place. If the guide complains, I most generally go there.

Lome, Togo the big city in the country is across the border today is Sunday, this Christian country on the coast does not work on Sunday, they do not work much on any day, but on Sunday, they come to a stop, I will not try to travel or cross a border when nobody is working.

Money is my bigger problem, I am lacking about 30 U.S. dollars in Cedis and this city is bleak on money exchange. I am thinking about just offering the hotel 10 U.S. dollars and saying deal with it, or I leave for Aflao where I can exchange money. I think the Black Cat, a great family place is nice, but it is still completely empty. Last night was Saturday, I did not even see boom boom couples, one in the afternoon, but then again Sunday is sort of drink night in Ghana.

I have way too much Togo money and enough Euros to buy a new computer; they are just an insurance clause in my contract and not meant to be used. If possible, I 90 percent of the time pull money from the ATM as the local money. I trust a bank machine 50 times more than any type of human contact, I only exchange small amounts of money at borders, airports and such, just enough to get me to an ATM machine or the hotel for the night. Big money exchanges are inherently dangerous, I think travelers checks are a 100 percent waste of time in this world, unless maybe you are a smuggler or a person hiding thousands of dollars. Or you need to carry over 2000 U.S. dollars to purchase, but the cost of 10-15 percent, I am not sure is another gouge on money. The 10 percent to sent money to myself with Western Union now enables me to get large amounts of money about anywhere on the planet.

Western Unions, funny, a person is afraid to come to Africa, yet Western Union goes and sells money. Nescafe sells coffee, Snickers and Pringle are distributed. But the average traveler is worried; something is amiss in the brains. But tourist and travelers are not adventures they are on vacation.

A wine company was a sponsor of the Religious show…


Akatsi Ghana Travel Plans


Annoying TV in Ghana

Annoying TV in Ghana
Akatsi Ghana
Sunday, August 27, 2006

Aaagh, just went from News TV to the full on, talk to much about God TV here in Ghana, this is I feel about 60 percent of TV and then about 20 percent talk show about irrelevant subjects. Yesterday they had this conference in Accra, Ghana about how global warming is affecting Africa.

The TV has no consistency of channels, you can be watching one subject or one channel and then it goes to other end of the world of subjects. However, I do not care how much I believe, I will not listen to a bunch of weasels talking too much about God. I think for those that just cannot get their acts together and behave. I never trust anyone that tells me how they believe, what they believe, or why and have that zealot quality about them, they are either too stupid, or just a way of manipulation for their own purpose. Religion is a big business of Ghana.

What a joke this global warming thing, Ghana looks like the country has big timber trucks go through the place, cut down all the trees, then did not replant or even plant crops where they removed the trees. The coast is nothing but scrubland, a land of squatty trees, with crap grab between each bush trying to be a tree.

Global warming is about 99 on the list of priorities, they have not left the gate on economics, same as about 50 percent of the planet, I am not sure, South America may be poorer, but they are working harder, so who knows, maybe a better chance of thriving if they wish.


Annoying TV in Ghana


Tough Travelers

Tough Travelers
Akatsi Ghana
Sunday, August 27, 2006

I read many books, they are war, action, historical novels, and all are permeated with Alpha Males and women that are heroes. A world where people stood for something and did not stand against everything.

I am reading this Nelson DeMille book called, the Lions Game about a Libyan terrorist, that is being a macho kill everyone problem for the USA. The terrorist has this self-talk thing where he keeps saying that Americans are weak, have their brains on all the wrong things, and cannot really be tough.

I know a few travelers that I would say can do the tough travel, however most, 95 percent do not. There is this group though that will go about anywhere as long as everyone else is going there. They will ride for 24 hours in a bus in Bolivia, providing all the other travelers are going the same way. Almost zero will go anywhere where they perceive danger, the Ivory Coast is empty now, but I would not call it danger, however danger is not always obvious.

I am trying to get in touch or feel why people travel to different locations, or more correctly, why they do not. I am sitting and typing information about Africa, I rather obsess on danger and why it is dangerous, or why it is not. My mother perceives me saying it is dangerous here, I do think physical violence is more possible than most places on the planet, but going into the east end of Fort Wayne, Indiana close to my home is 20 times more dangerous than here.

Comparison is needed, however difficult to do this, most travelers just stick their heads in the sand and say,
- It is safe -
Or
- It is not safe, and do not go there. -

I see all places safe on the planet under the right conditions; I do not go to a place that is dangerous. I do go to the East end of Fort Wayne, Indiana, however not with a lot of money hanging out of my pockets, or late at night.

The late at night, around drunken people, groups of men, these are indicators of problems. There are men that sit in groups, doing nothing, as is the play of the day here in Africa, and then sometimes holler, wanting me to come and talk, about 80 percent are OK, but too lazy to get off their butts and come to meet me, I normally talk with people that meet me rather half way, and do not go talk with groups bigger than me mentally.

Africa has been surprisingly easy travel, South America is a lot more difficult, 24 hours bus trips, bouncing and jostling, however I think Africa can be a nightmare of bad roads when I leave the coast.


Tough Travelers


Ghana TV

Ghana TV
Akatsi Ghana
Sunday, August 27, 2006

There has been many TV’s in my Hotel rooms here in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, strange but true. I thought the place was supposed to be poor. This probably is the nature of Hotel rooms; they are almost only for persons who are paying too much for everything in these countries. Foreigners, NGO’s, Multinationals companies, and volunteers, the locals come in and bonk their girlfriends-boyfriends, and I highly doubt they pay regular prices.

The TV though is a lottery, I have found that from about 5-6:00 AM to about 8:00 AM there can be world news. Right now here in Akatsi the German station DW TV is on, it is in English, never understood this station and for sure do no not understand why this is in English.

There has never been more than 4-5 stations that functioned in my hotel rooms.


Ghana TV