I am rather desperate today; I need to use some extreme measures in an attempt to escape frustration. The thought of flying to the USA, Thailand, or the Philippines has become a real possibility, I am emotionally fried. Donald Lee made the comment on the prior post recommending I "H.A.L.T." this is good advice. And because I am Hungry - Angry - Lonely - Tired, I need to "Halt." Generally when a person Halts, they are already in a place that is good, and they have made themselves crazy by doing too much, and they just stop.
I care very much about Bah, I truly feel she is a good person, loving and caring in many ways, however she is still a girl from the Ivory Coast at heart. She has no desire to become American or live in the USA, she loves being African.
We will probably meet again in a few months, if there was not a small war in Ivory Coast, I could go live in the Grand Bassam close to her and not need to live with her. We are not meant to live together and travel, we have not negotiated, adapted, and accepted each other sufficiently to share the same room 24 / 7.
I will travel today to Cape Coast, then probably Accra, Africa is annoying, there is always the need for a Visa hanging over my head in Africa, with no guarantee they give me one or for how long.
I Need my Hotel Room to be the USA
I am separating from Bah today, I am going travel to somewhere and Halt. It does not matter how much I care of feel for her, when she is in my room, I must live with the African culture. When there are two distinct cultures in a room, there is culture shock or cultural clash, I have had many discussions with women over the years, and have said many times,
"This Hotel room is the USA, outside is your country."
Elubo, Ghana West Africa --- Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The wikipedia page on Culture Shock is good, it explains culture shock, however, just because I know and understand something, does not mean can I avoid the feelings or frustrations.
1. Honeymoon Phase
- romantic, wonderful and new.
2. Negotiation Phase
- differences become apparent anxiety feelings of frustration and anger.
3. Adjustment Phase
- grows accustomed to the new culture and develops routines
4. Mastery Phase
- participate fully and comfortably culture.
5. Reverse Culture Shock --- Going Home
Returning to one's home culture
The above stages of cultural shock all assume you are not moving, and that the variables to accept or adapt too, do not change from day to day. I am in the Negotiation Phase with Bah, and I am defeated, she has beaten me, her African culture has me so frustrated and angry, I must leave.
Ways of Adapting Outside are not Acceptable Inside a Hotel Room
I am good, I am in the mastery level of dealing with West African culture outside my room, I know how to become casual friends, talk peacefully, and how to keep the truly unacceptable people away from me. However, inside the room, I cannot and will not use the same tactics against a person I care about. When I am outside the room, if I sever acquaintances from my life, I do not lose, normally I enhance my life. Generally, life is like this, if you remove all the bad from your life, what is left over is great; I can do this while roaming around West Africa or the World.
Trust me, as much as Bah annoys me, I am annoying her also, I am not accepting her culture and becoming African. She wants me to eat Fufu, she wants me to eat Fish with her, she wants me to share, and I refuse to share many African things with her. She does not eat Western Food, and I will not eat African Food, this means it is hard to eat in the same restaurant. We normally go buy her food, then we buy something for me, and we return to the room, but I am hungry, the food in West Africa is difficult.
When she is not around, I can work my way to the food I want fast, with her, she wants me to settle and accept, I end up hungry. African culture is a blunt object, there is no subtle, slow or understanding, there is no patience, they say brutishly when buying,
"Do you want it?"
There is no soft sell, sales pitch, it is primitive and brutish, and being a bully is effective way of people management.
Alpha Male or Alpha Female
Africa is about domination, either I dominate another person, or they will dominate me, there is seldom mutual respect. It is territorial, I can do this with ease, not a problem, and I can dominate most people outside the room.
An Alpha Female inside the room is my problem, how to convince a person to stop. I will use the food situation, because it is easy to relate too, and understand. She continually wants me to eat Fufu; hardly a day goes by where she does not say,
"Eat the Fufu."
I do not do this, I do not become a bully or brute even though I know it works with friends, I do this with Africans outside the room ---- What do you do when the question or prompt never ends? You must scream or attack the idea into a person head, you must ram it done their throats.
"Stop, I am not going to eat Fufu."
Assimilation into Cultures
There is nothing warm and cuddly when a culture is trying to assimilate into their culture, there is a balance to found or else they will ostracize me from the culture. I am strong, but presently I feel as if all of Africa is ganging up on me, I have two choices,
1. Attack back
I am going to leave, I learned a long time ago, that attacking back is not love, it is some sort of dysfunctional and co-dependent hooks that create emotional scars. She does not intuitively stop when she is pushing; the only way to stop her is to strike back emotionally. There is nothing strange or odd about Bah, she is a normal African person who has spent the last 24 years of her life dealing with situations in this manner.
Screaming is Normal, talking Soft is Not
I am not going to scream and holler at her to get her attention, and I refuse to allow her to scream or holler at me as a normal way of talking. It does not matter if I love her, care for her, or if she loves me or wants me, this is a cultural difference.
I am willing and enjoy getting up close and personal with people outside the room, and dominating the locals. They are easy, they are not too sharp, it is just two bulls knocking head to them, while I have a large computer in my head, that plans and is premeditated, I do not react, I plan.
If I were talking to my Mother in Indiana, I would say,
"Mom, I am tired of Bah snapping at me."
This is the normal way African talk with each other, they snap at each other, when I find myself snapping at another person, I go to my room and stop talking with them. We have reached an impasse, she truly does not understand that she is snapping at me, she believes this is normal talk, I am leaving, my nerves and brain is overwhelmed, it is overheating from attempts to find solutions, and she does not see a problem.
I am not a person to snap at, I will leave you in a heartbeat, I do not need people, and I only want them in my life. I have many friends, the relationships are not needy, they are respectful, and we exchange idea and compare notes.
I am going to find a place where I can use Skype.com to call all my English-speaking friends and talk for hours without end, at 2 cents per minute, I can always afford this. I suspect I will end up in the Tarso Hotel in Ho, Ghana, it is peaceful, and I am able to have the USA in my room, and Africa is way outside.
My Ghana Visa ends on February 24, I must leave Ghana by that date, I cannot renew it, or get a new one in Lome, I will leave Ghana for sure by that date.
Many of the places you travel to and through are not for faint of heart nor bleeding heart, 10, 15, 20 years ago I was running around the most remote areas myself, escorting visitors to Central America with cameras and things, watching their backs, answering a hundred questions an hour, really got stressed on those days, getting home, snacking and crawling under the covers, alone, was a pleasure. You are right, Cote D'Ivoire could explode any day now with you there in the middle, who would have known a month ago Cairo would full of rioters and burning buildings and tanks today, you never know, as soon as I got home this afternoon my time I ate a huge meal and took a short nap so when I go on line I don't get upset and snap back and perhaps insult someone who does not deserve it. Tonight I am alone but not lonely, spent the day with a friend, tommorow is another day. Every g-- d---- day is a miracle for me, I should be dead and buried 20 times over, I am only a survivor, no more, no less, in 2009 the cigarettes almost killed me, got an ex pat friend who owns a restaurant and surf camp hotel down at La Libertad Beach, never smoked, recently he told me 'Idiot, the cigarettes are supposed to kill you, thats what they are for!!" We started laughing. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone. One thing I do like about 'ex pat' bars in this region are the ever present NO WHINING bumper stickers on the wall, been there and done that, one miracluous day a time. Own a tv, laptop, bed, clothing and books punto. In case of emergency, keep a low profile and be portable!!!!!!! ciao.
--- This place is not for the faint of heart nor bleeding hearts ---
Just another day in Paradise, hehehe --- I am up to my ears in chaotic situations, there is not a moment that is ever what one would expect. I want to take a shower today, there is no water in the room, I must go to the end of the hall, fill up a bucket and bring back to the room. I then put this heater in the water to warm up to have a hot dip shower.
Yes, after all the solutions are used, I have a nice hot dip shower, but the price I pay to be here is high, and I gladly pay the price, I love it here. But, I must have strict boundaries and not allow this chaos to enter my person space, or worst yet, I become the same as the chaos I am trying to avoid.
I think many readers have read the poem by Rudyard Kipling called "If." I think of this poem when I am trying to keep my head about me, and try empathize with Mr. Kipling, trying to understand what he was thinking or going through when he wrote it.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you
If all men count with you, but none too much
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!
"the poem was inspired by Dr. Leander Starr Jameson, who in 1895 led a raid by British forces against the Boers in South Africa, subsequently called the Jameson Raid. This defeat increased the tensions that ultimately led to the Second Boer War. The British press, however, portrayed Jameson as a hero in the middle of the disaster, and the actual defeat as a British victory."