One Dollar for One Quarter

One Dollar for One Quarter
Katmandu, Nepal Asia
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The master cutter in the Backpack Factory has been bugging me for days, asking me if I had an USA Quarters. A couple of days ago he digs into his pocket type wallet and pulls out a 1986 US Quarter of a Dollar.

He or they tell me they will give me 100 Rupees if I have any, this is about 1.25 US dollars. He says he can sell them and make them into rings. I said,
- How many you want? -

Nothing is clear, yet it seems there is market for US Quarters here.... hehehe

One Dollar for One Quarter

Africa Travel Budget

Africa Travel Budget
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 8, 2007

I live on a backpackers budget, I fortunately earn enough from the website to live on a tourist budget when needed.

These phrases or terms mean little because what a person needs to live on is their personal budget.

There are four major parts to a budget.
1. Rooms
2. Transportation
3. Daily cost of food, taxis, beer, internet and purchases of supplies.
4. Souvenirs which does not apply to me, I cannot buy souvenirs because I do not go home for 10-20 months sometimes. I am a traveler, not a tourist.

I can live in these regions easily for these amounts always staying in the backpacker type of accommodations, Living in a dorm bed only in Europe where the cost or outrageously expensive, all other location a private room. In Thailand I can live in a four star room compared to the rest of the world.

1. Southeast Asia - 10 Dollars per day.
2. Mexico - 15 Dollars per day.
3. South America - 10 Dollars per day.
4. Brazil - 15 Dollars per day
5. USA and Canada - 50 Dollars per day.
6. Caribbean - 75 Dollars per day
7. Europe - 50-75 Dollars per day
8. Middle East - I am guessing at about 20 Dollars per day.
9. West Africa - 20 Dollars per day.
10. India for 5-10 Dollars per day.

A person who wishes to use their credit card should add 20 dollars per day to the cost.

A person who drinks beer should add 10-20 dollars per day to their cost.

Now, a person may get extremely anal about these budgets, most will plan a budget, then add double to the cost of travel by using their credit area and really not having any restraint or budget. My guess is 95 percent of travelers have a budget like one of these.

When I run out of money I go home.
I spend my parents money until I go home.
I put all the extra cost on the credit card and no restraint.
I live in a resort, then add the extra cost to a credit card.

99 percent of traveler do not go home early, because they somehow use credit from parents or bank to travel until they are finished. Tourist know when they are going home.

They have said to someone, I am traveling for this long and I will go to these countries. They return when they accomplish this or after a big love affair and abort all their plans. An around the world ticket is a budget for a small maybe 2 percent crowd.

After all these considerations, obsessions, the reality of a budget is something of a joke. If I only have 5 dollars, I can only spend 5 dollars. If I have 10 dollars I can only spend 10 dollars. If I have unlimited line of credit I can spend an unlimited line of credit.

People are for the most part unrestrained gluttons and must work for someone 8 hours per day for 5 days per week because otherwise they would spend the whole day, of every day spending money. They go shopping on the weekends and spend money or shop till they drop.

I think this is the reason people get fat, they just eat what they want. Then according to the continent and the genetics they get as fat as the genetics dictates and in accordance with the required walking. Europe requires a lot of walking, therefore some persons are thin. The USA requires zero walking so people become Fat. Asians are genetically thin by nature, takes work to get fat. Africans seem to be genetically fat, and get fat unless they have small amounts of money. I do not think they need to walk a lot. I am not sure Europeans can afford to eat.

But this is the how to stay thin, by not having a lot of money, then it become easy to stay thin and not get fat.

The same is true for a travel budget, however this can apply in the home country also. If you do not have money, then you do not spend it. In the USA, I would go to the bank and get 100 US dollars in ones. I would put ten of them in my pocket, and live on the 10 per day. If I would put a 20 in my pocket, I would spend the 20.

How do I budget, truthfully I do not have a problem with budgeting money. I have a severe ability to say no to spending, maybe I am cheap, no I am not cheap, I am massively logical and common sense orientated, and nobody can induce me to spend money when I do not wish to spend money. I make the choice completely, I do not bend to pressure from peers, friends and even the woman trying to convince me it is good for me to spend money on her.

Last year my guesstimate of daily budget was more than I wished, I did not save money. The simple solution is to slow down on airplane flights and pay attention to daily cost. I really do not need to budget or pay much attention, because I by nature live within a budget or limit. I am not gluttonous with money.

I am gluttonous, genetically guaranteed, and a binge eater, I can gain weight at a drop of coin. This is where I budget daily, when with other person they are enablers and complicate the issue.

Africa is easy to not eat, the cost of food is 2 time more than the USA and about the same as Europe. I do not like to eat the local foods, therefore I am sunk, I cannot gain weight here in Africa because my natural budgeting personality refuses to buy western foods that are extremely bad values. I have lived in the Galien Hotel two times here in Lome, Togo and never once eaten a dinner there. The Peace Corps sort of reserve a table for 8-10 in the corner every night and eat and drink their meals there every night. The place is full of old French smokers and drinkers and NGO or ONG paid to work project persons. I guess really there is no volunteers in Togo as they are all paid including the Peace Corps persons.

The longer I stay in a specific location, the more I find cheap local foods that I like, and the more I start to eat. I have a problem with the Fanyogo frozen Yogurt here, and can eat 5 per day at 100 CFA or 20 Cents per pop US. I want to cut weight, I have taken them off list of foods for scavenging until I am down to weight.

The bottom line on dieting is I do not put food in my mouth.
The bottom line on a travel budget is I do put money in my pocket.

I take 10,000 CFA out daily, that is my simple budget.

This is 10,000 CFA, the currency and money of many West African Countries, including Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Niger, and Burkina Faso and I am not sure what others. I have no idea why Ghana wishes to use their money, surrounded by intelligence.

I keep all my money locked up in the bag during the day, sometimes I lock up the bag and put the money in a different location…. Hehehe
- Hiding in plain sight -

However, the way I budget is this, I removed daily the money I see as fit to spend daily. I then go and pay for my Hotel room, I have the remainder to live on in this day. To check my budget, I count the money my pocket. A budget is about one day, not a whole trip, the summation of all the days is the whole budget.

I go to the bank and extract money from my ATM debit card when I am down to about 100 USA in CFA money. I also carry about 300 to 1000 USA in 100 Dollar bills, and maybe 100 to 300 Euros and other assorted could not dump currencies. In Africa I am carrying 1000 US Dollars and I am glad nobody knows this, I tell no one.

One big budget cost is to go with an African person to any restaurant or bar, they will order anything they wish and expect I pay for the whole group. If they come over and sit with me, they will also expect this, if I am walking with them, they will also expect this. Any time I get near an African person they somehow normally want money. A great way to separate though the good from the bad, if they do not want money, they are good.

Note, I have a Western Union safety measure, I can go to any internet café and send money to myself with no special knowledge. If I was robbed, I would instantly send money to myself, then go to the internet and send money to myself, then cancel any card stolen. This should be set up and ready to go.

But in addiction logic and dysfunctional undersstanding of life, I know that a budget is not what people wish to live in, or have, they really wish and will take any excuse to not have a budget, or a real working budget. A person can only spend what they have, the normal budget of a person is to spend their paycheck, and wait for pay day to come.

If I put 10,000 CFA in my pocket daily, extra money will accumulate and be saved then allots itself for the days where I need strangely more money. The big way to cut cost for me it to get cheaper rooms, my goal on this trip to Africa is for 3000 CFA rooms, I need to speak good French to find them. I spend 2 hours per day studying, this is the budget.

Budget Africa, Budget Togo, Budget, Togo, Western Union

Doing Business With Liars

Doing Business With Liars
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, June 7, 2007

Is it possible for the majority of people in a country to lie more than the tell the truth? The answer is no, unequivocally no, but sometimes as a rich many in a poor country I believe the answer is yes. However, then you say to me,
- I am not rich! -

Sorry, I am sorry, perception is more important than reality, and the truth is you are rich walking around in 80 percent of the countries on the planet, and in about 2 percent you are poor.


Assume the average United States person earns 30, 000 US per year.

What would you think… if a person told you, I paid 60,000 US for a plane ticket to Africa? You say,
- You are RICH! -

You are rich, if you come from the USA, Europe, in some way took an airplane flight into West Africa, then you must be rich.


The average person in Togo is earning about 730 US Dollars per day.

A round trip ticket from Chicago to Togo should be about 1500 US Dollars, and wildly higher is you do not know what you are doing and an travel agent takes the advantage.

Congratulations, if you always dreamed about being rich, you can be, travel to India, Africa, Southeast Asia and you can revel in the joys of being rich. Taxis, cars, women, bars, all the debauchery and the fast life you could every want, you can be a jet setter, for once in your life you will not have to work for the man and you will be rich.

Also enjoy the good life, every person will come up and beg for money, ask you for favors and tell you many lies to try to earn money from the rich man. You will be famous, every person will stare at you, look at you and never allow you a moments peace.

These are the four major types of reason people lie off the top of my head with very little thought on the planet.

1. Lies for financial gain.
2. Lies to avoid to not be proven a fool. (Save Face)
3. Lies to increase appear a higher class level. (Not be low class)
4. Lies for protection of privacy, safety, and to remain separated.
(I am not from the USA) (I do not make much money.) (I have to leave, I have an appointment.)

Doing business with liars? Ok, who is a liar? I was a Estate Broker in the USA and I often am asked, why did you stop, I say,
- Who wants to listen to liars all day. -

Could you imagine being a car salesperson?

People think it is the sale person who lies, the truth is when it behooves a person to lie, when they believe they can say one small lie and make 1000 dollars.

Hello sir,
- How many miles doe you trade in have on it? -
Your answer is, no use in explaining, you now the lies you will tell.

Buying a home, buying a business, an the number is 100, 000, 200,000, 300,000 USA Dollars, one lie and the believe the can increase their gain by about 5000 US dollars.
In my estimation when I was a Real Estate Broker, at least 9 out of 10 people I did business with started the relationship with massive amounts of lies and slowly started to open up and tell the truth.

Hello, my name is Andy, how can I help you.
Blah Blah Blah and then I ask,
- What is your telephone number? -
The say,
- 523-0000 -

Thank you, I am looking at the caller ID and think, wow, they could be a little smarter, this one is on the slow side.

Did you lie on your taxes last year?

If the answer is yes, then please think, try to understand, so did all the other people you know, you can hear them brag about how they cheated the government out of tax money in the bar, the restaurant anywhere. I am amazed how people will just tell me, I did this and that and saved 20,000 dollars in taxes.

So how do you do business with liars? The truth is, you do it every day, all day, ever minute of every day. If the richest man the world walked into your life would you ask him for money, a small amount of money to set you up in business, or would you ignore him.

I am in Togo, I walk into a business here, I am the richest man they ever met.

You assume I cheated on my taxes, wrong, I did not, but I did lie, I showed I owed more money than was the truth, and then paid more last year the was correct. This is true. I did not want the government of the USA to think I was greedy, paying no taxes puts up red flags. Shame on me, I paid more taxes than I truthfully owed.

Lies, Business Section, Export Import, Togo, Money

Doing Business With Liars

Cash is required for Travel

Cash is required for Travel
I need about 15 US Dollars per day minimum to travel the planet, and really closer to 25, but can live for five to three in some countries. It is a balancing act, some place I pay a lot, like in Africa or Europe, then others like India and Thailand I can live on five dollars per day.

Bangkok, Thailand Southeast Asia
Monday, October 15, 2007
By Andy of

I was reminiscing about some over-two year travelers I have met, there is one common discussion, we need money. We need to somehow continue to feed our travel addictions. They are not liberal save the planet, hug a tree dreamers, they know,
- Cash is King, without money, I cannot travel. -

They are not all on the up and up, the majority is cheap, weasels who will twist a situation to rook a better deal, travelers are extremely selfish group, and all is done for self.

I have had a lull in my money, it forced me to remember my five dollars per day travel I did for years.

Sacrifice is what true travelers will say, they say,
- For five dollars per day, I will live in Guatemala. -

The sacrifice all creature comforts, to buy just one more day of not going home, they are addicts, including myself.

or maybe Contact Andy

Cash is required for Travel

Debit Credit ATM Card Protection

Debit Credit ATM Card Protection

I used the red one now for about a year, it does not protect the face and really is only good for one card. I found this silver steel box holder here in Bangkok, Thailand. I now feel safe, if the magnetic strip, the numbers, the signature, or the card breaks, I have no money. I do not use traveler’s checks, I carry about 200-300 US dollars cash, but I exclusively take money only from ATM machines now for 10 years. Sometimes I purchase online airline tickets with the card, I use for nothing else.

Bangkok, Thailand Southeast Asia
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Andy of ---

Breaking a card, losing a card, travel is rough on debit cards, I do not use credit cards. Not the same as when you can just go to the bank and are issued a new one. DHL can you believe it charges more for a Card…

The bottom line, you must protect your money first, money solves all travel problems. Traveler’s checks do not work; cash always works and ATM about 99 percent of the time… I presently know of only one country where I could not use and ATM, that was Iraq, and I suspect you can now.

Buy one these debit card boxes, take this photo to an office supply place, not a traveler supply, they do not give you want you need, they give you what you want, you need this. Took me forever to purchase one in the outside world.

or maybe Contact Andy

Debit Credit ATM Card Protection

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