Pobe Benin Porto Novo, Benin West Africa Saturday, September 16, 2006
I am in Porto Novo, Benin; I will leave for Pobo, Benin.
TRAVEL PREPARATION The moment I enter a city, I begin to learn how to leave a city. I sometimes in some countries read the guidebook and it easily tells me how to catch a bus. I have found the explanations of bus or Gares in the Lonely Planet West Africa to be of little value. The Hotel information is needed, and helpful, however how to find transportation is only for the French people. There is an assumption you are fluent in French, this means you would know whether the person can even speak French. I find people and finally realize, this person does not speak French, yes a few phrased, but overall terrible. Mina is the language of the area I believe.
Pobe is about 35 miles north of Porto Novo, Benin. I do not want to go to Pobe, I want to go to a Hotel on the way to Pobo, or maybe in Pobo, I want a place to sleep north of here, I am not choosing, any friendly place will do.
I will go to a Zim Moto - The motorcycle taxi, I will say, Porto Novo.
Yesterday, I sat around with the 5-10 young girls between ages of 14-25 that sit all day next to the Capitale Hotel entrance. I started my attempt to leave the city. I tried to ask, how far or how much time is Pobe, these questions seem to have zero value, and they seem to always tell me the price. However, even though this city is less than 35 miles from their home, I do not think any of them has ever been to Pobo or even left the city of Porto Novo.
Why, example, I am a collector of coins, the world has no change, any option I have here to pass on a bigger bill, then I do so, if I think they can give me change for a 10,000, I do it, if 5,000 I take the option, if they can do the 1000, I do it. The goal is to constantly make smaller money in my pocket. Sometimes I do very well and coins accumulate, I need 100 Franc coins always for the Moto Taxis, they often do not have change for a 500.
100 Francs is the going price for the normal world here, this is about 20 Cents U.S. for this amount of money I can buy many things, catch a motorcycle taxi or buy 4 bags of water.
I had about three 500 Coins, three or four of the 200, and a scattering of 100 and smaller coins in my pocket. I would guess in all there were about 15 coins. I was not counting; I went to pay for a bag of water, and the sexy, bigger on top than Asia girl, says, - Beaucoup d'argent -
Meaning in English, - That is a lot of money. -
I have been working this girl all day, trying to figure out how she ticks, I know any girl or man in Africa has in their brain. I want money; I will ask for money from he white man, they are in constant maneuver mode, trying to figure out an option.
To try to explain the world the girls, I knew I was safe, I said, - No, c’est beaucoup. -
I bring out a wad of crumpled paper bills; I had in my pocket about 30 Mille or about 60 US dollars.
One fourth of that will pay my Hotel room. It will cost 1000 to 2000 to take a group taxi to Pobo maybe.
Why do I know they never left Porto Novo, if some coins is a lot of money, then to accumulate enough to take a group taxi is only for the rich fat women?
The world is not curious; they only learn what is needed, and only half of that. I have yet to be in a place where there was not a job, a way to live, and a way to thrive for the person who wants to work. The girls with the big chest is clueless how much the hotel across the street from her job, the place she looks at for 15 hours per day, the hotel that dominate her view. She does not know how much it cost for me to live there, she never though to ask or figure it out.
They will ask me how much for my camera, how much for the room, but to ask another black person who has money. I am not sure; I think it is risking the rich person belittling them. To be curious is never rewarded in some cultures, it is ridiculed, making a person feel dumb is sometime the game here of the locals.
I laugh, my self-esteem is intact, when they try, I speak English or just play the game back, and I am massively more intelligent than anyone playing this game is. Many wish to speak English, assuming their English is better than my French is, I just reply normally in English and they stop, and let me speak French. They never know how dumb they are in reality. Power is what they have, not brains, dumb people can be very powerful in a world where stupid reasons rule.
Intuition is a big problem, communication is always possible between any persons on the planet, even if they do not speak any common language, and it requires the person to be intuitive and honestly wants to communicate. I see massive desire for power in the richer persons here, the poor will be helpful, give anyone an advantage and they will take it 25 percent of the time or try to communicate. I guess this is the frustration a mind can be lazy, and amazing many, lack of vitamins can make for slow minds…