I will leave my apartment in Kara, Togo vacant for a month, and hope when I return it is not robbed.
Leaving Overseas Apartment Vacant for a Month
Togo, West Africa is one of the safest countries on the planet. Unfortunately, most people evaluate Africa with South Africa, one the most dangerous countries on the planet, then generalize. (Not sure Nelson Mandela got the job done?)
Vacant houses are easy to rob; a vacant apartment inside a small apartment complex is more difficult. I have approximately 10 neighbors sharing my small apartment complex. Therefore, it would be close to impossible for a thieve to enter my apartment secretly; they would need to kick in the door.
Too much privacy would get me robbed, my neighbors are my insurance.
The police are of no value, the only reason I will not be robbed will be this, this is a small community, if caught robbing a home, the locals may well kill the thief. Plus the social shame would end his life in Kara, Togo, they do not tolerate crime here.
I have been debating with myself for days if I should tell any of my neighbors that I am leaving. This is the first time I am leaving an apartment vacant in my 15 years of perpetual travel.
The main reason I never rent apartments is I do not want to think; to wonder, to anticipate my return, there is nothing worst. If they break in, there is almost nothing to steal, except some furniture.
The desire to protect what we own is waste of a good life.
"This is the first time I am leaving an apartment vacant in my 15 years of perpetual travel"
That IS an amazing fact in itself!
I was living in Washington DC back in the 80s, in a fairly affluent area (Georgetown) near the center of town, and moved out to a cheaper place in the burbs (Landover, maybe Maryland, if my memory isn't failing me) to save money.
Unfortunately, I only checked out the new apartment and the neighborhood in the day time.
It took two small truckloads to move my stuff (I did it myself). I moved the first load in the late afternoon and I guess "everybody" in the neighborhood, saw what I had when I was unloading and carrying the stuff in.
I drove back to the old place later that night, loaded up, and was ready to move the last load the next morning. When I got there the next morning, I had been burgled.
Everything was gone! Kitchen window smashed, kitchen door opened by reaching through and around. Easy peasy for the "perps"!
I called the cops and they investigated and took fingerprints, filed a report etc., but that was it.
Everything I had moved in the afternoon before was gone....forever!
C'est la vie? Or "C'est la guerre" is perhaps more like it in the urban jungles...
That was the DC area in the 80s.
You are lucky your are in Togo...now!
Think that we should look at the whole thing in perspective, Andy.
Togo outside Lome is safe not Lome itself especially not after dusk on the waterfront or near the border with Ghana or between the Hotel Ibis and the center of town.
Kara on the hand and other towns on the way there are living reminders that the real Afrique is still out there.
How did you get a permis de sejour, Andy?