I am in Ho, Ghana Wondering Why Africans are Optimistic

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There are people, who say,
"Be happy."
"Lose weight."
"Just stop worrying."
My personal favorite and the one I hear constantly,
"Stop thinking so much."
(I think, hmm, let me find the switch that I can adjust.)



In addition, sometimes I answer,
"Yes, and if I knew how to do that, I would do it and not have a problem."
I am thinking in the back of my mind, and maybe soon I can stop listening to this dribble.

There is always a new reader of my Blog, who says,
"Fix your grammar errors."
I try to explain, but the simplicity of the answer evades many people, and I try to allow them to think… please assume I want to remove grammar errors.

Then if I want to, then Ok, I am ready to do it, I am ready to remove my Grammar errors, this is the problem, if I knew how to remove all my grammar errors, then I would do it. Telling me to remove grammar errors does not mean I have the knowledge or skills. I do not believe it is possible for me to learn grammar, I am horrible slow.

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Ho, Ghana West Africa --- Wednesday, February 2, 2011




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I Do Not Want to Tell You, but I Will
There is no adventure here to read about in this section, this is an outline of a normal trip in Africa, to call it adventure is to romanticize normal life in Africa.

I write this Blog about what I am thinking about, more as a diary, sometimes I remind myself to make it a travelogue. The step by step what happened after the fact, so I can explain the "Adventurous" details of my trip. There was no adventure yesterday, just normal grueling movement from Elubo, Ghana to Ho, Ghana by a series of uncomfortable moves.

I read and hear people complaining about Airplanes, I am not sympathetic; there are seldom problems on planes worth a good rant.

I could rant about the long list of stupid that happens daily here in Africa, I mean, there is a never-ending list of small things that could be highlighted. If I wanted, I could make these hardships into some romanticized challenge, and explain how I conquered my fears, fought the good fight, poetic justice, and wrap it up in a pile of words like Adventure.

The truth is, travel is simple, and you just grin and bare it, and wait for it to end. An Airplane ride has so little to complain about, I think people complain more, they are so bored, and they are looking for a fight.

Waiting for the trip to end is Travel.
What elevated my frustrations on the trip from Elubo to Ho?

1. Saying goodbye to Bah, knowing I care, and not sure what to do.
2. Paying 14 Cedis for a Ticket to Cape Coast, and then learning it is a ticket to Accra.
3. Having the man demand 2 Cedis for my bag, the Ghana bag people are always obnoxiously rude, I sternly said, "can you have manners, is it possible?"
4. A man sits down in the middle seat, he stinks, body odor, there are three men in the van who stink, and I chose a window seat so I can have wind in my face the whole trip.
5. Nobody in the van speak more than two words of English, a truly slow bunch yesterday.
6. The men stop and piss, and one woman stops and pisses, of course I always am forced to watch, it is right outside the van door.
7. They do not stop in Cape Coast; I would have needed to force the driver to pay attention to me, the passenger that purchased a Cape Coast ticket.
8. If I pass Cape Coast, there is no acceptable Hotel until I arrive in Ho; we passed Cape Coast at about 1:00 pm so I went to Ho.

Africans are Optimistic
I asked, how long from Elubo to Accra? 5-6 Hours, it took 7.5
I asked, how long from Accra to Ho, my good friend Ivy says, two hours.

I was told the trip would take 8 Hours, and then if I leave at eight, I would arrive at around four in the afternoon. I arrived at 12 hours later, four hours after what they would say, there is no reason to ever listen to the locals explain a trip.

9. Driver from Accra to Ho had road rage, he screams, honks his horn, tailgates every car he is close to, passes with two cars coming head on. He does not turn on his lights then he flashes his bright lights at car from behind, then head on. He is a f###King nut.
I must grin and bare it, this I the price I agreed to pay to come here.

The Non Introspective Life of Africa
I love children, they are simple, they are direct, they are transparent, and when I talk with children life is simple. This is Africa to me, simplicity, seldom are the people around contemplating their navels and coming up with incredibly long list or reasons why, or why not. They do not make action lists, then go down the list checking off items to be sure they are completed.

They do what can be done in the next half hour, there is no future after that, they are living the
"One day at a time."
"One moment at a time."

It is truly "ignorance is bliss" and truly, I am sure, if there is no introspection, then life is better.

In the Tropical countries on the planet, life is extremely simple, they do not need to plan ahead, there is no need to be on time, they do not stockpile or preserve food, there is always food. There is no reason to become highly focused, there are no big worries, many small worries, but seldom a problem that takes days of work or concentration to solve.



Zoning Out
Lynn a reader, made a comment about doing something and zoning out, this is a good term or phrase. Often the art of travel is being able to find a sweet spot where I can zone out and enjoy life free of conflicts.

I know how I zone out.

1. Read a book
2. Watch a movie
3. Walk around looking at how the locals work.
4. Eat
5. Typing my Blog post
6. Working on my web sites.

I am sad about my Cote d’Ivoire Girlfriend, Bah is a wonderful and beautiful woman, however 100 percent African. When I am away from her, I think of her, when I am with her there are times of pure enjoyment. African women like to preen, she gave me a pedicure a couple of days ago, for about one hour I was relaxed and enjoyed life with her, maybe I zone out inside the relationship.

Men on the planet seldom talk with women, when they want to talk, they go talk with men. Bah had no reason to talk with me, this was not her priority, she wanted to share space and time with me, and to feel protected by me, she wanted me to Marry her and make a baby.

When she was with me, she did not need to fight for anything, no need to think of money, no need to worry, I suppose marriage is meant to seal the security and end worries. Like a child, she is in the room with many small demands, there was no way for me to zone out and just have my own world.

Five Star Hotel Vacations
6000 US Dollars per month rent, if I was willing to pay 6000 dollars per month, I could always have a place to zone out. I could afford to stay in a Five Star Hotel or Resort and when I was tired, I would go back to a comfortable room, relax and shut the world out.

This is the easy way of travel, spend thousands of dollars to have a calm place to zone out and relax. The simpler way is to not travel, however, the truth is this, travel is uncomfortable, and when I am comfortable, I am not traveling.

This is why I recommend people go live in places for three months, the first two weeks will be hell, and then after that, you adjust, learn a routine, and know which idiots to avoid. However, do not come to Africa, start out slow, and go to Thailand or Guatemala.

If I can be happy in an eight-dollar Hotel in Ghana, then I am truly capable of being happy. Today I am happy in a 12 Cedi room called the Tarso Hotel in Ho, Ghana, sort of the calm after the storm.

I am in Ho, Ghana Wondering Why Africans are Optimistic

edbytes

Grammar is a set of rules made up by people with a lot of time on their hands. Shakespeare did not use the grammar that is now used in English. Many languages have much simpler grammar than English. To misquote "Don't worry about grammar, be happy." You have a lucid understandable style. Don't let them nibble at you over grammar.


Brotha J

Andy, I will be going to Ghana in a short while to do some temporary web work for a couple companies. After that I'm off to somewhere, which is just south of something and west of nowhere. I've enjoy sifting over your writings and marveled at your unwavering pursuit to do nothing. I have not traveled in 10 years and have reached a point of cultural drowning here in California. I am ready to step out. I have always settled into what ever comes my why. I adapt easily. I think the biggest struggle for me at this point, however, is going to be settling into a life that I..."can zone out and enjoy life free of conflicts (and internal obligation) ". Oh, think there might have been a few grammar errors in that one, but hey, its my brain and this is how it spills out. I just want to say thank you for your writings. They are helping me to make my metamorphic transition into my next phase in life. I'm looking forward to new struggles other than "oh shit! how am I going to make my Cable payment this month", and " crap, I can't afford that porterhouse steak this week."

Ready! Begin!


Gadget

I am using an MTN USB Wireless Internet Modem.

It has FTP completely blocked, I cannot use a program, or even just http to ftp.

I am going to check out the Vodafone one soon, I have been using the Tether.com to BlackBerry with the Verizon Global Data, but this is not good system.

I am saying, pay attention to what is open in Ghana for access.


Gadget

Quote: "People who don't use correct grammar and/or spelling are lazy.
I accept that fact that Andy has issues in that department. Fine with me."

Hmm deductive logic
- People who don't use correct grammar and/or spelling are lazy.
- Andy has issues in that department
Ergo or therefore, Andy is lazy.

Fun stuff, I am continuously intrigued by people that can focus on grammar and spelling. I have been trying to introspect, observe, and even test my own brain, I want to learn how this brain of my functions.

The three subjects I concentrated on in University were Philosophy, Psychology and English.
- Freshman year I was going to be a Philosophy major.
- Sophomore year a Psych major, and half an English major.
(I got a B in English Interpretation, one of the killer or cull you out courses.)
- Junior year I went back to Philosophy.
- Senior year I got drunk.

All through this time period of my life, I quizzed and debated with Professors, asking or posing the question:
Where doe a new idea or a creative idea come from?

This is a spin off from understanding causal determinism.
(Determinism (specifically causal determinism) is the concept that events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object or event) is, to some large degree, determined by prior states.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism

I believe there is a sort of small mistakes, maybe small quantum leaps in the brain electrochemical synapses that in a quirky way allows some of us to think outside the box.

All this begets the conclusion, the people that can color inside the lines may be less creative, while the ones that cannot stay in the lines are more creative. Good grammar is staying inside the lines, while bad grammar is maybe people who cannot keep the color inside the lines.

I also have a speed problem, it is sever torture to get my brain to focus on one word or three words, I only focus on 20 word groups. Good grammar requires me to give incredible value position to one word, then the next word, then the next in sequence, than in a group.

My brain is not capable of going this slow, I would need to take some drug to slow my brain down this speed. People who think slower and do grammar, and I accept that some people have this issue, they think slow.

The question is this, did I twist the knife in the opposite direction for fun?

Creativity is the art of writing, grammar is the machine that carries the work of art, we can hire editors, difficult to have an original thought.


majosh

Hi Andy..perhaps some people think your grammer sucks, but to me it really looks more like "typos"..i get what youre saying, no problem. I can see your brain is definitely faster than your fingers :) BTW...I think you should HALT in South Africa :) Take care hobo!


Gadget

Yes, this is the problem, how to find typos? It is a dreadful problem for me, how to slow my brain down so I can see the typos?

I do these research pages, I just made a page on the writing Blog called
"How to Find Typos?"

I must teach myself, therefore I make a page, then write about the subject, and by writing on a subject I learn.

http://www.hobotraveler.com/writing/how-to-find-typos.php

Note, if any reader wants to create a "Writers Profile" I can create link for your, if you go to this page, you will see there is Tim Leffel, who wrote a book called Travel Writing 2.0. I am one of the 50 travel writer profiled in the book.

http://www.hobotraveler.com/writers/index.php


Fruugal

To call you lazy shows they don't know you. It is an immediate reaction to a superficial reading of your writing. I actually thought you were doing it on purpose when I first started reading your blog. heehee

J's comments make a lot of sense. You are right you can hire an editor to clean up your grammer but the original thoughts are yours.


edbytes

Talk about generalizations. Spelling and grammar are of course necessary to some degree but not at the expense of getting your point across. Spelling especially is a visual skill. I instinctively know how a word is spelled but I know people who don't visualize and have a hard time with spelling. This doesn't make them lazy or stupid.
The point is that you (Andy) don't make any egregious mistakes that would prevent people from understanding you.
So again don't worry about it.


Gadget

Hello Infamous J,

Thanks, I added the link to this page:
http://www.hobotraveler.com/writing/how-to-find-typos.php