India Music Videos
Kathmandu, Nepal Asia
January 31, 2007
India has some of the most beautiful girls on the planet. I can sit here in my room and watch music videos and dream of a world of beautiful Indian women.
I spent four months in India and never saw anything close to the video culture, and have come to believe it is dangerous for Indian women to even talk with a foreigner.
Therefore, I am always in amazement of the movies and music videos, as it portrays some form of modern and open culture that to me does not exist. I see and felt a very closed culture.
India Music Videos
Understanding the Cadeau
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I try to understand the culture of the Cadeau. This is the French word for Gift, however there are many uses and many meaning, it is similar to the word Manana in Spanish, nothing is simple.
West African people will ask for a gift or cadeau more often than not, the better they know you, then up pops the question, how about a gift.
I have now traveled about 4-5 months cumulative in the West African cultures in my lifetime, and I am still totally confused about this word Cadeau or straight out a small gift in Ghana.
The idea of a gift seem innocuous, simple, plain and how could giving a gift or asking for a gift cause harm or a problem. I am trying to think this through, the problem arises because in any or almost all relationships of any type I have had, whether male or female, old or young, the word Gift comes up, and it means so many things.
1. A worker in the hotel wants to borrow my pen, I give it to the persons, then the person says,
“Cadeau” a.k.a Gift.
2. I am ready to leave, and my friend as me for a small Cadeau in French so he can eat.
3. I start to leave for a walk around, and the girl workers in the hotel ask me to buy them some chocolate, never an offer to give me money.
4. I am hungry…
5. Where a man is on a date with a serious girl or not a serious girl he must give the girl a gift in the form of money.
I say to a good friend, if I give you 5000 CFA does this mean you will come visit me, she says,
“No, I am not a prostitute.”
I say do you want a Cadeau, she says,
“It is African Culture, you must give a gift.”
A gift almost always means money, a German man said to me last year, do not even think about anything but money, they do not want a gift, they want money.
Beggars, manipulators, flirting, serious loves, and hungry people, everyone wants a cadeau. I tried to explain that I was American in brain, and culture, anyway you do it, when you ask me for money I feel like you are begging and for the girls, I think worst.
I have burned my bridges here in Lome with one man who I paid to help me find another friend. He is now daily went from a friend, and even a paid helper to an annoyance, and somehow he believe he is entitled to ask me for a gift…daily. I did not think much when he wanted to borrow my phone to make a call. I said,
“It is in my room, I do not have it on me.”
He than says,
“I need to make a call, let’s go to you room and get it.”
I gave him about 75 cents U.S. and said to myself, he is abusing my good will, and goodbye, not a friend.
There is a cultural difference about giving orders or request here, that is normal, there is the idea that you can command a person to come. A person will say, come here, no please, thank you, or less than an expectation, come here. I am not good at jumping, really annoys them when I just look at them. I do nothing, I just look at them, they then expect me to come, I look, and think, than walk away with no comment.
Strange to me to give a person an order and expect the should come.
I have burned my bridges, I have been too kind and generous in this area, now I will leave and leave them behind, and remember, do not be kind and give a cadeau, or they will never stop. I know better when it is a beggar outside my hotel, I never give, because the person will meet me everyday at the door, and want more.
The Cadeau, the line is fine, between a friend, a bum, a beggar and a girls that works on her back. I wish I thought they were hungry.
I will go to the next city, try to keep all my money in my pocket, not be too generous and helpful, and maybe I can separate the good from the bad.
Understanding the Cadeau
Photos of Togo Girls
Koti Togo West Africa
Normally women of Africa walking around barely clothed is about as much fun as walking in on your grandmother getting out of the shower by accident, Koti Togo was a little more interesting.
There was a couple of girls, I think around ages of 22 in the Village of Koti maybe Kati, Togo. The place was full of girls. These girls are dressed and trying to be more fashionable than the others, who are dressed for the heat or more practical.
I think of many small captions for photos of cities, and think in terms of songs, in Koti Togo, I was thinking of the Beatle Song,
- Back in the USSR. -
When I was entering the small village of Koti, on a very hot and red dusty day, the road was gravel, all was hot. The music groups the Beatles has a lyric from the song about Back in the USSR and it says,
- Leave the West Behind. -
Meaning we are leaving the Western, or the so-called modern world behind, as I came into Koti I thought,
- Leave the tops behind. -
There are girls in West Africa with no tops, or not wearing anything up top, and usually they have a skirt on or something on the bottoms. Incredibly rare, but there are some people with no clothes. However, on a very hot day in Koti, there are is an over-abundance of women walking around with no tops and I did feel like I left the west behind.
Girls in towels, I am not going to show the other version for many reasons, but mainly because I do not want to be penalized by Google.com for having inappropriate information on the page… hehehe
Walking around with less than normal clothes on is not as simple as saying they do not wear clothes. The living in a home in the tropical areas is different from in cold climates. The home or rooms in the home are only for sleeping. The cooking, living rooms, and all the other rooms are outside; they do not need a kitchen inside the home.
Therefore, when you see people walking around, it is more or less watching them go to the showers, the living room, lounging around and as you or I would dress in the privacy of our homes. I find I am wearing very few clothes in the room here because of the heat.
This girl was at the next home over, she had the towel wrapped around her waist and when we walked up to inquire about, I am not sure, but I am sure I did not need a good reason, she pulled it up to cover herself and this is normal. The breastfeeding continues constantly and everywhere, a tugging a pulling by the babies.
The people are modest and see some aspect of behavior as more alluring or not proper, I am not sure that is proper or not proper, and not sure I care anymore. But, the world does not want me or women just having sex anywhere, so they behave in a manner that either encourages when proper or discourages when not proper.
This girl has exceptionally clear skin for here; her whole body was amazingly free of scars or problems. I feel sad for the girls here sometimes, fashion is a big priority here, as is anywhere on the planet. If you asked me what West Africa girls thought about, I would 100 percent sure not say money of food, or problems. They want money so they can get their hair extended or buy tresses or tissages. Then they want a portable phone after that, just like any girls or person on the planet. The men are dreaming about buying a moto or a having enough to give enough cadeau or gift to have their girl friend spend the night, as it is pay to go society. Food is plentiful and is everywhere, but fashion is the true desires, or wants of luxury items.
Well, there are many problems in a village for the skin, a person will fall down, scrape their legs, and a mosquito will bite them and are infected. They do not exercise and they get fat, etc, and so forth. Any girls here over 25 is on the way to being huge normally and huge is a sign of being rich, so they are big.
As best I can tell, about 90 percent of the day was sitting around and talking, just as you are viewing in this photo. Then the rest is walking to see what is happening or in the process of going to carry water or in this village to walk to the outskirts to relieve yourself.
I guess if you want to sleep on the floor on a matt, you can have this experience easily, yet the time involved in what is normal, showering, toilets, etc start to dominate the use of time in your day.
Girls, Togo Girls, Culture West Africa, Culture, West Africa Fashions, Fashions,
Photos of Togo Girls
Togo Has Good Showers
Badou, Togo West Africa
Saturday, May 5, 2007
I think a shower is invigorating, especially in Togo.
This is a friend, she invited me to her home and I met the extended family and half the neighborhood.
She wanted to accompany me to the Cascade Akloa or the Waterfalls about a 500 CFA, 1-dollar USA, by Moto ride from here. She says to wait, puts a chair in the shade, I sit down and she fetches a bucket of water, puts on this wrap around ballooning dress they wear and enter the shower area, then put up the curtain.
Showers are invigorating.
This shower is located just to the side of the road, and the shower drains in the open storm drain. A good location and good water management. Sometimes these showers are located down the hill from my hotel, I am positive the Togo people or at least the women and children shower very well.
I was actually admiring the shower, I think the location, when this boy whips it out and lets it fly. He is just to the left of the shower and the shower is now downhill from him. If your camera does not power up fast, you will totally miss the photo. If the Sony 12 X had been one second faster, the waterfalls would have been here.
I sometime holler at the men, hey, do not P up hill as I see them do sometimes, at least this young man was smart, he understood water flows down hill.
I for one second, thought, I will go and see where this boy urine is flowing, then I thought,
- No, this is an invigorating shower; I do not want to disturb my imagination. -
Many people think of Africa as primitive, I sort of think of it as more natural. Strangely, the hotels in Africa are some of the best on the planet for backpacker grade. I really am living the good life.
Togo Girls, Girls, Toilets and Showers, Togo, Shower,
Togo Has Good Showers