Africa it could Break at any Time
"Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."
Andy - Please Obey the Stereotype of White Men in Africa
"So what do we do?"
"Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well."
"I don't know. It's a mystery."
--- Quote from the Movie "Shakespeare in Love."
This is a photo of Bah, my Ivory Coast girlfriend carrying a bag of water. If a white man carried it, it would mean I am broken, stopped being American, and I had become African. This is not what Africa wants. All I had to say to Bah to get her to carry the large bag of water was,
"Bah, everyone will look at me."
"White men in Africa do not carry water."
Accra, Ghana West Africa --- Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Taxi Driver said
My taxi broke down returning from the Liberian Embassy, he got it working, and the driver said,
"It could break at any time."
I thought to myself,
"And what is new, Africa can break at any time."
I want to empathize with people of the world; I want to understand why everyone avoids Africa and why they all want to go to Europe or America. I think maybe I have found another clue, the reason is simple, it is because nobody wants to enter a taxi that could break down. Africa is a place where at any given moment, a country could break, and there could be a civil war. I left Ivory Coast to take a short trip to meet a friend in Togo, while I was gone, Ivory Coast broke.
I Broke and I was Repaired
I have survived a world of shit in my life; I broke my femur at age 23, and was in a caste for a year. I got my third DWI and they took away my drivers license for 10 years, I need to ride a moped around for years. That situation piled up and caused me to tumble further down into a hole whereby I filed Bankruptcy. I have had a ton of bad shit happen in my life, and I often say,
"I cannot relate to a bad day, I have had bad decades."
Of course, more than three women have broken my heart, I do not trust women, and I know they can hurt me. This is more dangerous than Africa, if I get too hurt, I could break again, and start to drink, maybe kill myself.
However, I stopped drinkng 22 years ago, and where am I today? I am on an endless vacation, and life is good, I self-repaired. Time does not solve all problems, the passing of time allows all problems to pass away and be forgotten. With enough time, all sins are forgiven, or at least ignored.
Why the rant about my woes in life?
Today, I am 100 percent sure that it is ok to enter a Taxi that could break down. I am 100 percent sure it is ok to enter a country that could break. Why, not because I am an optimist, it is because I am a realist, I know that with time, the taxi will figure out a way to fix itself and with time, a broken country in Africa will be mended and proceed forward.
However, you say, the USA is not that way, please get a life…
The USA broke in two; we had a "Civil War," it repaired itself and went on to become a world power. WW I, and WW II, the whole world broke into pieces. Rwanda genocide killed about 800,000 people; the good white people in WW II killed 50 Million.
I accept that at any moment my world could break, I do not live under any delusions. I wait for things to break, and I wait for them to repair. When we accept that the world will break, and that somehow in a magically way, the world will repair itself, then it is the start of a good day. I do not hope that things will get better, I am positive all thing broken repair themselves. Maybe not the way we want, but the world will go on, and we will forget a bad day or a bad decade.
I am grateful today, and a grateful person does not take the first drink. My advice is live a little, engage the world, and enter a relationship that could break your heart, start something today that could fail. Come to Africa, it is a taxi that could break tomorrow, but that is ok; somehow it will soon magically start to work again.
Africa it could Break at any Time
Impermanence and change are the undeniable truths of our existence Andy. If you live life understanding that everything will change and nothing lasts for ever you will be a happier person. ... Hopefully.
You are so right in your thinking. It is a proper and well adjusted, pragmatic, and realistic approach to life. I applaud you. You are stronger because of your background. I always thought that any day we did not have a plane crash or loss of life on the ships I was on was a good day.
You and I are two fortunate individuals who know what it takes to make us happy. So few people ever even suspect whats important in life. We end up being slaves to the dreams of people we do not even know. Keep up the good work.
Well Said! I have always had faith in Mankind's ability to fix what's broken and the change any of their habits or behavior which lead them the brink of destruction or extinction. I've had my share of bad days when "sh- - happens, facing 15 years in prison at 19 years old, ending up with misdemeanor conviction and suspended sentence, followed up by a 2nd possession bust which sentenced me to a halfway house internment where I was allowed to work and get 19 semester hours of college credit so within a year after the original was able to leave the state of Iowa for a warmer seaside climate in the Florida Keys on Big Pine Key and Marathon. I grew UP and matured in a short time at a young age while facing such circumstances choosing and accepting my fate by the choices I made and rejecting the narrow and short list of lifestyle choices I was taught and guided toward choosing by my parents, teachers, counselors. and peers. The film "Zorba the Greek" with Anthony Quinn has come to mind in recent months and various song lyrics, I feel like dancing in the moonlight, I feel like dancing in the morning, I feel like dancing til the sun sets. LIFE IS GOOD!
"Right thinking does not leads to right actions, right actions leas to right thinking." I can sit and think all day and think about something important I need to do, in 1985 I had survived a 'relpase', stays in hospitals, homelessness and slow recovery, an option was presented to me in 1985, come to Mexico and Guatemala and reinvent myself, or stay stagnat where I was, I bussed it from New York city to Mexico City, within 2 weeks was in a new life with a new social network, and as rents were rising in in NYC with 'gentrefication' did not see any future there for me, I opened a bank account in Mexico and the monthly interest paid my room rent, I took a risk, I took an action, when I arrived in Laredo Texas, on the US Mexico Border..this was 1985..not recently...thoughts of turning back, well took the step over the border and went south.still here, have an appointment at 4 pm, can't think about going, have to walk there myself, yep I had decades where even 'down' looked up to me. As well, failed in love, failed in a small business, got up and kept going. Life on lifes terms. for first time long term travelers, the guidebook is theory in blacka nd white, advice from strangers on internet forums is cheap, expereince is priceless. Thanks, Dave, Ex pat and survivor,