2011 Happy and Grateful, and is Thinking Making me Cynical
I am truly grateful for being unbelievably rich, I am so rich it is nuts, everyone around me is poor, and I have endless wealth. If I had more money, I would by a new towel, mine is worn out, I have not idea why I purchased this ugly green towel, but I know it was cheap.
Why am I so darn rich?
What would I do if I had a million dollars?
"I would buy a new towel."
For this, I am grateful; I am free from want, except for wanting to get rid of the green towel that is intricate and personal part of my daily life. I am extremely rich in time, I have an abundance of time to think about my towel.
Elubo, Ghana West Africa --- Saturday, January 1, 2011
Thinking about African Girls with No Clothes
How rich is Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com?
What is my the benefit of my lifestyle?
This is what I did yesterday:
1. Reading a book by Wilbur Smith called "Warlock." maybe 150 pages read.
2. I sat all day hoping some gorgeous, intelligent, chocolate girl from Cote d’Ivoire that speaks French would arrive. She did not, but now she says today, who cares, I am still in the game, I am hard pressed to know, which is better, anticipation or the real thing.
3. What did I spend the day thinking about mostly?
The meek and mild, politically correct photo, not the ones that are possible.
African girls with no clothes.
I sat around on my balcony, looking at women washing their clothes and bathing in the river in front of my hotel room. It goes all the way from a wet t-shirt contest to black bubble butts with beads splashing water on their bodies with no clothes.
I truly try to ignore the old women; there is always the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I am always toying around with photography, trying to explain and tell a story with photos. As of the last couple of years, I also try to this with videos. However, there is a problem, I live in the real world, where people walk around naked, and my readers do not always understand.
Google.com and YouTube.com censors real life, but encourages lies, go figure?
I Lost Most of You
There is only so much room at the top, and maybe life is grades on a curve. Nonetheless, why did I lose most of you, because you do not have time for thought. I believe generally, the majority of readers and people on the planet can only deal with reading something simple:
A comment on Facebook or a 155 character Twitter.com tweet, there is truly brilliance in Facebook knowing that people cannot read or focus.
I AM CYNICAL, or I am a realist, or I just do not care, and say what comes to my mind. Not important, I am writing and you have no choice, either read along, or click, I recommend you not take yourself or me too serious, this is all for fun.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
I live inside that little BLUE triangle, and for that, I am grateful. I spent yesterday deliberating about the morality of taking photos of naked girls, boys, and old women. There is also a secondary moral issue that African are always harping on about photos.
Two Moral points:
1. I am talking photos and getting rich with their photo, the truth is there is almost no market for photos of Africa so this is crap and not a moral problem for me.
(Gong, not true.)
2. The Africa say,
"You are taking photo and laughing at us."
(--- Some truth.)
Hmm, there is some truth to that, but I also take photos of fat Americans, I take photos of Euro Trash, I am equal opportunity cynical person that takes photos. There is nothing more humorous than to laugh at just how stupid the world is, but there is a bigger issue.
I morally believe shame is a GREAT thing, I mean; shame got me to stop drinking, and become a good boy and allowed me to work hard and be here in Africa today. Well, when something is stupid is happening, taking photos slows it down. Newspapers are always denigrating and trying to make the President look like an idiot, this makes him work harder. Therefore, the fun and laughing at them versus helping Africa to compare their life to the rest of the world is a moral issue for me.
Now, girls with no clothes, it is hot here, I go through three shirts per day because of sweat, I wash my clothes daily and I am proud of the West Africans. They wash daily, very well, note, the East African stink, because it is cold at 1300 meters above sea level.
However, the West Africa are constantly taking baths, and because of the water situation here in Elubo, Ghana they wash their clothes in the river.
The girls washing story goes like this:
And well, why I am washing the clothes, why not get naked and take a bath. This is very functional, very sound, logical and practical, when clothing interferes with life, then maybe time to dump the clothes.
I am not National Geographic
I do not wrap my writing up in some glossy cliché crap, and try to act as if there is no rush to seeing women walking around with only their beads. I am also human, and even looking at babes gets boring, and I need to go read my Wilbur Smith book.
Cynical, it is hard to have respect and feel the world is with the program, my friend Mira told me, you are not part of the USA anymore, you went on by, and you blow the minds of the average American with your views. Hmm, thanks Mira, there is no hope of every being part of the group, I am abnormal.
So here, I am, lying in bed, it is now 2011, it is 3:40 am, I woke up at 1:00 AM and a preacher was screaming into a microphone.
"Jesus give me power."
I though to myself, I took a photo of that "Power" thing.
There is always the inferred, or explicitly promise being made around the world. The government is going to help you, God is going to save you, Buddha is the way, there are many dreams being sold.
Obama is a big topic in Africa, I personally like the Obama Girl shirts, but there is also Obama Rice. Obama is on underwear, bars, churches, many people in Africa want to be associate with Obama, this is good, I am happy they have a good hero, he did go to Harvard, that make me look stupid.
I sit around and deliberate, muse, think, is it right or morally correct to make people believe. I know I sell travel dreams, but people normally can see that travel is a dream, and they separate them. However, the idea of selling power, or change. A local asked, will Obama get reelected, a very astute question, from people who understand dictatorships and clueless on democracy.
I told the guy, I am not sure, what Obama has done is sold a dream of power to poor people, he has oversold and under-delivered. I am a realist, I know he has no control over unemployment, but he made himself a demi-God, he made the people believe, so he is in danger, a poor person wants to be saved, with zero work.
So, what did you think about yesterday? I said you, not me.
--- (For about 500-1000 per month, you can be here.)
The bottom line, I am so rich in time, I live inside that little blue triangle of Maslow, and it allows me to be honest, cynical, irreverent and free.
Maslow’s List of Human Needs or Motivations
I enjoy thinking, and I enjoy the enigmatic art of making others think. There is a joy in shaking belief systems that are the ego defense mechanism of humans. I know I am playing inside the brains of people. However, please think for one moment, if I drive you crazy, what about me, there are times when I drive myself crazy, I have to live with me. My mind is like a bad neighborhood, you do not want to enter alone.
Time is all we have, the time we give to people, the time we invest in truly listening to others. I sat with a young man last night, dressed in a suit, while I ate my egg sandwich. He explain to me that the girl that was cooking the sandwich was his mother. She is truly a beautiful girl or women, then you look down and you see this hard wood crutch next to her leg, she has a atrophied leg.
Three girls who talk to much, asked me the night before,
"Can you help her? (Girl with Crutch?)
This poses the question, shall I think about me, or shall I think about her? I am extremely grateful my Mother and Father gave me this great life, I am extreme grateful the USA gave me the freedom to believe anything is possible.
Now I am up in the blue triangle, and I had to ask myself,
"Can I help this girl with a crutch?"
I purchased two egg sandwiches, said thank you to the girl, and told here how good the eggs were cooked. I then shook the hand of the little man, her young son, and said goodbye. Please understand, the girl with the crutch has pride, she did not ask for help, the three girls who talked too much were beggars.
It is truly difficult to see who is rich in life, we all see the world from a different angle, but can you put on the breaks long enough to listen?
I am very grateful: The electricity went off in the Hotel and shut up the obnoxious preacher who was wailing about power has to stop selling vibration and noise, it is mesmerizing and hypnotic to listen to this type of talk.
Cynthia is not here
I have said all along, there is only a 30 percent chance this girl will show up, that is 1 in 3 for you bad at math folks. Well, she did not show up yet, she said Friday, and now she says Saturday morning. I am frustrated; I must set boundaries in on a continent where every rule is broken. Today is New Years day, and any way I do it; it is horrible day for travel. I have resigned myself that I will stay another day and night here and leave on January 2.
Cynthia is a good person, she is not a bad person, if she does not show up, it is because she is just part of the big picture of Africa, it is normal behavior, saying what we are going to do and not doing it. I am grateful, I told her I would meet here at the border, I am here and waiting, if she shows up, she will trust America.
Everyone I know is irresponsible, and everyone is a big word, it probably includes me, I am weighing this girl by her intentions, and she will be judge by her actions.
So go out and make a long list of New Years Resolution, with full knowledge you will break them all, or just be honest this year.
2011 Happy and Grateful, and is Thinking Making me Cynical