Benin Travel Stories, Page 17

Travel Blog Theory

Travel Journal Theory
Ouidah Benin
Monday, September 11, 2006

I like to write, I like to enter information in my diary of sorts. It helps me immensely to understand a country, culture and to work through ideas, plan; there are numerous benefits to blogging.

I do like to connect a photo.

It is easy to put up many photos, however to put up one photo now takes as much time as a page of photos.

Travel Journal Theory
Ok, I am not able to totally ignore readers of my blog, I try, however I at the end of the day a business, wanting to greatly increase readership whereby I make more money. Having more money I can pay my way around landmines of expensive travel problems.
Example: How to pay to go to Antarctica.

I am not on vacation; I do not earn money, then go travel. I am hobo; I earn money as I travel, in the place as I can… I must earn money in every location.

I was telling Stellan from Sweden how to blog, and realized I dropped the ball on my own advice. Saying a good photo, with a story, examples in photos, then explained in word make the reader happy.

I said,
- Think of a magazine article. -
- But written on your blog. -

Chicken and Egg theory, what came first the Photo or the Story. This is easy for me, the thoughts came first.


I take many photos, I wander around, I see thing, I observe, yet I do not know why or what I am looking at, I am only curious. Then slowly the same same continues, there is a common, collaborated photo that I am able to take that evolves. I can see many of the same, the culture has many of this X, and I can see that it is part of the culture, not some aberration, exception, odd piece of the culture.

After I think this, or more correct, while I think it, I blog, later I find more photos to collaborate what I blogged about. If, I blog daily it is too late, the posting is already up and at them, I could add a photo, but be real, I am in Africa, not in a 24 hour per day connection to anything world.

A good Travel Story is impossible to check, pulls on the heartstrings, sells a myth, blames the rich, and make all poor look like saints.

THIS the stories I read, nothing to do with truth.

A true story will explain something like the Saddu in India was drunk on his butt, or a beggar stole a many wallet when he was not looking.

However this is my evolved theory of writing a story, I suppose what an editor would slowly steer any write towards.

1. Attention Grabbing Title:
Note, I make grabbing title, knowing it has to be read first. A person has to find the post to be read. The number one failure in blog post, making the site findable.

2. A quote, something that is fun, interesting and supports the overall opinion or story. The name of the person who is being quoted needs to be well known by the readers so they relate, and then the creditability of the person being quoted will be transferred to the storywriter. He agrees, so you should agree with me.

3. Photo
Good photos supporting the story get rid of the too much information in one photo problem. Focus on one subject in the photos. Present many views.

NOTE: Added later…
If you delay your blog for maybe 5 days or less, however delayed, write what you are thinking about, then put tack a note to your forehead, that says,
- Take a Photo of X, that support this blog post. -
You will write about what you feel, however help the reader to understand. I unfortunately believe most blogger collect photos and think until they can write a story. That to me is not a diary, more of writing stories. The cleaning of confusion, the process of learning about a place, the ying, the yang, the whole confusing karma experience allows me to enjoy blogging. If I made it all make sense, always being cogent and consistent, I would sacrifice myself, for someone else, deny myself the experience of thinking, musing, wondering about this wandering of the planet, and all the wonders.

4. Digital, NOT paper.
This is digital, if a person wants, they can put up 100 photos, I see as many photos as needed to explain the story. This can be too many for time when explaining something like how sugar is processed.

5. Beginning, middle and end.
A complete thought, only one though, only one subject, full of opinions on how the writer feels and thinks.
6. Links to sources, references, and pages that are related, this will get reciprocal links, as the page you referenced will maybe eventually discover the links and link back. Note, professors, colleges, and this type of page are not maintained, they do not tend to link back and the links often break. Better to chop out the needed phrase, the push the links, hoping they do not break. Most links eventually break,,, or only major sites are a way to be better. Deletion of links is a very stupid things webmaster do, a problem in I have to constantly stop any new site from just wiping out old links, or not making a referral link, that leads to the new pages. Never delete a link.

7. Announce the story…
Yuk Yuk Yuk, marketing, I wrote the world greatest story on Africa and nobody read, there is nobody on the page, it has no HITS. - How IDIOTS test Success. The number of Unique Visitors is zero.
RSS Feeds
There are hundreds of sites that will publish a newsletter, an RSS feed, an Atom and other more techie thingies. This is a complicated and confusing aspect of marketing a blog post.
SEO and Announcing the blog is the two problems with bloggers, they think the story carries itself, and maybe if they are an idiot, like to write trash, be controversial and agree with all the myths, like saying the persons think their souls are being stolen by the camera. This is a myth now; people know what cameras are now. However, if they wish to repeat old ideas, old nonsense, support mythical stuff they can be famous overnight, no respectable person will think good of them, however the masse will eat anything hook line and sinker.

8. Get paper or magazine exposure.
A person can do a press release, and pay to get this; it not like some journalist is doing some research and finds you. 99 percent of people self promote because of a desire to be famous.
Hiring a press release distribution service, about 400-600 dollars per pop. I have NEVER done this, think about it, however I fear a crashing of my Hosting computer as I know, there is only about 3000 person going to be able to look and then, the computer crashes. Load balancing is the solution, however one major article in a major offline publication will crash the site, the host says no, I say yes…hehehe.

How can I put photos, quotes, etc in quickly, not impossible, but it takes lots of practice and experimenting to come up with a methodology that allow me to do this as quickly as I type.

- Folder full of photos, I can view as thumbnails.
- Make the link, I can do this with the program macro express quick, fast and accurate, I can also copy and paste, however time consuming because I must leave the page I am typing on.
- Quotes - Encarta Encyclopedia has many if I wished or wanted. I personally do not feel the ambition to support my own beliefs. I believe in my own thoughts.
- Publishing: This is the huge problem, what seemed to be perfectly constructed, connected, and done to perfection has a few errors. Then as is now the problem I can never say where the internet will work sufficiently well to publish easily. Is there a way for me to connect my computer, do I need to use a USB, etc, Flash drive, etc. What is possible to do in the internet café.
- The long-term POSSIBLE solution is to have a BGAN Satellite system I carry, 10 dollars U.S. per meg, the word are small, the photos can cost a fortune, or maybe a GPRS Cell phone system, the problem here is every country is different to connect I have to go to the headquarters of this company. Have them configure, impossible to do any overland, over many country trip. Then there is the weigh problem, I carry double what others are too lazy to do. They need to stop saving pennies though and use a taxi, I do not carry my backpack, in Europe, and I buy a two-wheel cart. Europe is the worst for big heavy backpacks.

Connecting the dots, thinking it through allowing the readers to join in the confusion, to me this is a travel blog. Any made for prime time, too much work done, every post is picture perfect seems ridiculous. The person is posturing, there is no way they can write, type, and explain the thousands of things they see quickly and do perfect. The enjoyment is in talking, musing, and blogging to myself. The logging, writing, journaling helps me to understand a world that never ends.

On a business them, I think one post will make 80 cents U.S. per year, thus the reason for separate thoughts, and good happy titles. SEO and all the buzzwords. 80 cents per year, 10 years and you made 10 dollars per hour, if you did only one. It is a residual income, not a big hit income.

Has anyone here been raped and speaks English?

Said to have been shouted by a television journalist to a group of Belgian civilians waiting to be evacuated from the Congo in 1960 (2)

- I would think, anyone want to be famous, on TV and say what we want you to say to support our totally controversial and guaranteed to make people angry story. Nothing to do with the truth, but you can be on TV.-

What come first, photo, story, the story idea, the assumptions. A good story can takes years to compile and more money and energy than anyone wishes to devote. A book needs to be written to make enough to even justify, and then there is only hope.

Have you noticed that life, real honest to goodness life, with murders and catastrophes and fabulous inheritances, happens almost exclusively in newspapers?

Jean Anouilh (1910 - 1987)
French dramatist.

The gallery in which the reporters sit has become a fourth estate of the realm.

Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800 - 1859)
British politician, historian, and writer.

Referring to the press gallery in the British Parliament.
Essays Contributed to the Edinburgh Review, "On Hallam's Constitutional History"

- Nothing matters and what if it did? -
At the beginning of the day, I drink a cup of coffee, at the end of the day, I fall asleep, all the noise in the middle is entertainment, and I like to be entertained. However, really, is all this that important, the answer is no. Do not fret, there will be a disaster daily, a catastrophe and some made to sell hogwash spoon-fed daily. Enjoy you dose, it is entertainment not reality.

Travel Journal Theory

Why Malnutrition in Niger

Why Malnutrition in Niger
Ouidah Benin
Monday, September 11, 2006

I asked the leader of the Doctors without Borders person from Morocco, however working on one of the five teams in Africa, this one from Switzerland why there was malnutrition crisis in Niger.

He explained or said they hire anthropologist to explain.

The explanation was,
- The Islamic faith allow for multiple wives, when there is a shortage of food, the man then gives the food to the favorite wife and the not-favorite wife suffers. -

I truly believe the children have taken over the world. A study is done, a group of professors to into the bush, stay for two day, extract their past knowledge, create a theory, and then call it fact.

The explanation has over the year since I left Niger become more stupid or lacking in any validity than any idea I have heard. Only a rich man has two or more wives, not common to have many wives, really the 50/50 percentage of males to women makes this difficult. The women also control the food crops, harvest the crops, do the work, it would be hard to keep them from eating. However, sounds like something a professor would extract from his already known, not observed ideas on the culture.

A World Vision Man told another to me, he said,
- The crop is only 15 percent short this year, and amazing how much harm only 15 percent, reduction in food production can do. -

Niger has Millet, it is huge cash crop, they grow Millet in abundance in Niger, and however it is then exported out of the country. There is not a shortage of Millet to eat as best I can tell, however I do think who owns and controls the Millet is causing problems. A cash crop is great if a person that tends the cash crop earns enough money to buy many types of vegetables and food groups. However, if they only get to eat the Millet, the actual money is negligible, then the rich get richer and the poor has no money to buy foods in multiple variety.

There is no money; therefore, Benin and Nigeria do not ship to Niger.

Cash crops seem to have dominated Niger, the land is flat, easy to cultivate large crops like Millet, the weed do not overtake the land as much, not as much water.

Why Malnutrition in Niger

West Africa Agriculture

West Africa Agriculture
Ouidah, Benin
Monday, September 11, 2006

Down on the farm, in Indiana, that is Andy, however I still have trouble learning how they farm, what they grow, how they cultivate, and all the other ideas of farming in a country where they do not just plant wheat and corn… Papaya is not the same.

I have notice two farmers.

This is large furrows, all done by hand with a small mattocks like tool, extremely time consuming, then there is the additional problem of how to plow under or clear the land of the prior crop or loosed weeds and grasses, etc. The large furrow may be to allow the farmer to flood the furrow with water, however there is no obvious irrigation here.

The tool hanging on the top, with the flat curved plate it the tool they use to dig the furrows. Most of these tools are made in West Africa; I have seen some very good iron works here or shaping of metals.

Rainfall, one theory I am exploring or one explanation of why there are problems with food diversity here may be this.

The weeds, jungle, etc grow so fast, that with hand tools it is almost never cleared enough to be used for a good crop. Vegetables like Carrots, Peas, and even cucumbers can be strangled by the overgrowth of plants. Spending all your time digging furrows, clearing the land every time you plant a crop, diminished the ability to cultivate, weed and nurture the crop.

There is some very asinine and truly not clear on how to empathize with people idea that they like to be primitive. This is one of the most harmful ideas going, as the primitive growing methods are encouraged, because the observers like to see how it is done, instead of saying, would you like a tractor.

Amazing on cooking, they Volunteers will so often help to make a more efficient cooking stove, when all the want is propane stoves.

Competition of labor is now the problem, a farmer has problems finding workers for his fields, as the young would, and understandable, try to be a Moto, Zim or Motorcycle Taxi then to spend the day sweating away with a hoe. They know there is a better way; it stops them from using the older ways.

West Africa Agriculture

Pepper or Peppercorn

Pepper or Peppercorn
Ouidah Benin
Monday, September 11, 2006

Yesterday was a pepper day; I purchased some peppercorns in the small neighborhood corner market. An open-air market on the corner, not a store. The girl maybe 15, with her mother, not responding, probably does not speak French, she probably speaks Mina was tough. No shyness about the girl, more or less,
- What do you want? -

I sometime wish to explain,
- I am from a very different place, where the foods are different, the shopping is different, and unless I inspect the items very carefully, I often have no idea what you are selling. -

I was looking for Garlic Cloves, when I stumbled upon the peppercorns, a very hard, impossible to smash, round little ball of pepper I put many foods. This is not supplied in restaurants I have entered, this is often true. In Brazil, a popular place to send Slaves from this area, I needed to purchase a quarter kilo and carry with me to be able to use pepper.

Some five stars, never left the resort person will disagree with me, hehehe, but I go to normal…

Ok, I took back to my hotel, tried many methods to smash them, it did not work. I went down to eat my French Fries, ask the girl Nicole if they had the smashed pepper, more or less in sign language. I finished the French Fries, it took and hour to cook them, and I was up in the room reading my book waiting. When I was finished eating, she brings out a very small smashed portion, about what I could have made in the room. They must not have the stone or equipment in the restaurant.

Actually, this was in a way me maneuvering to see what spices they use, they do not have powder pepper in the restaurant, now I am positive. My French makes me insecure.

They do have this I think they call Vinaigrette mustard like sauce; I need to explore more though.

I go to the one small, more knowledgeable than most good convenient shop I found. Inside they were in the process of meshing or trens, or braiding the hair of the owner woman. I was lucky, I had an example of the powder I needed.

Then things got funny, as a man started trying to explain, in English what I wanted. They understood, and then the one says,
- You do not speak English good. -

I laughed,
- I speak English very good, you have never heard a person speak English good. -

The man spoke Nigerian English, they have many Nigerians here and they learn how they speak English, adapt and understand. It is like the India English a terrible example of English, however they believe they speak very good, their vocabulary may be immense. And they do, if they wish to speak English in India, and this Nigerian speak very good English if he is speaking to a Nigerian person.

The knowledgeable store, offered to grind it with a stone, came back later with about a half a cup of finely ground pepper. I now be packing and carrying.

A Peace Corp boy was leaving; he pulls out his steak sauce, to show he was carrying. I often think, and want to carry Horseradish so I can eat a Shrimp Cocktail in the manner of my custom.

Well, next time I am in a Lebanese store, I will buy some powdered pepper, I could have purchased in Lome, Togo, just did not think the price was good. They grown the stuff here, but the cost is high, reminds me the price of coffee in Costa Rica.

I am busy making my Travelers Nest; I am collecting the many items all in my pack that makes my world routine. I like to eat what I like to eat, only one to two times per week, yet to do this, I must go to a restaurant and pay five time the cost and have a chicken dinner. Now, I can put some salt and pepper on the chicken, because I have some spices.

The world came to this area to purchase peppercorns or pepper, the world went to the new world trying to figure out how to get pepper from India. I never know why, it must be to preserve food, and add some taste to some horrible dried foods, preserved by extracting ever drop of water out of them before the invention of refrigeration.

I sometime think they purchased herbs, spiced or something to make smelly sauces they could put on their bodies because they smell so bad. I for sure think people stink in countries where they do not shower; they shower in Africa, not a big on smell place.

Pepper or Peppercorn

Benin Food Wars

Benin Food Wars
Ouidah Benin
Sunday, September 10, 2006

I have been busted; the Hotel has discovered I am buying food that can be prepared to eat. The Hotels in West Africa so far have almost exclusively been extreme tourist fare Hotels. Backpackers, on a budget are off the list, I suppose the Socorro in Cape Verde was closer to a Backpacker Hotel, the only one with any prices close to fair. In an extreme tourist fare hotel the expect you to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, for sure dinner at the minimum in the Hotel Restaurant. I may eat in a Restaurant of a Hotel one in 50 times, mainly zero, this is like an extra fee to live in the Hotel to me, and I did not come to Africa to Eat Fried Fish with French Fries, the menu is like some French Restaurant where they do not stock any of the food.

Yesterday, trying to be nice in the Panff Hotel here in Ouidah, I tried to by a Fromage Sandwich for 3 Dollars, more than I pay in the Bangkok Airport. No Cheese, then I try for the Chicken, no Chicken, they want to push the Fish, Fish is everywhere here, we are on the ocean, I do not want fish, I do not like fish, and for sure, I am not paying for Fish. No Chicken, so again tonight, they nail me, what do you want to eat, I say Poulet, and however they are debating too much, if they have Chicken…

I do not get sick often, I for sure do not get sick often from eating the food or drinking the water. However, I do like to see the Chicken being cooked, then I order the Chicken, I like to see the food being prepared because they expect a crowd. I remember in Mexico on Pie de La Cuesta beach the food sitting around for longer than I care to think about, I know food is not kept safe, sanitary and fresh. Cook it and sell it, nothing goes to waste.

Africa is a push, I do not know what is up with food here, normally there is a few food stands selling something like chicken, or food on a stick, things I probably will not eat. However, there is shortage of food stands, in Aflao, Ghana was the last place I saw some reasonable food stands, I guess all of Ghana was cheaper overall than the Francophone Ivory Coast, Togo, or Benin.

NOTE: Added later.
(I took a walk in the dark, not safe idea, however made it to the junction, I FOUND Chicken being cooked. Not many, but there was two street food stands. It was after dark, I took a Moto taxi back to the Panff Hotel, which is safe. I consider this food ten times safer to eat, I can see it being cooked, and the person is selling many pieces. I can eat in the restaurant; however, the person does not have Chickens, does not sell enough Chicken to stock it?)

Chicken with French Fries here, no drink is Five U.S. dollars, which is probably five times the normal day pay for the average person in Benin. I will not give to beggars, I will not make a beggar, and for sure, I want to spend my money helping the one dollars per day people, not the rich get richer people.

I have learned my lesson; I will use my backpack and stocks the foods away, not buy close to home. I think what is difficult here, is they truly believe all White People are movie star rich, money is no object. Spending money is how a person says here or seems to say, I am upper class, I can pay the fare to show I am rich…

NGO, Volunteers, United Nations, French Soldiers, are super inflating the tourist fare, as they are on some expense budget. I remember Paul Theroux, in the book Dark Star Safari saying this, it ring very true. I order an order of French Fries, no pepper, hard to talk them out of salt… Aagh, for one dollar.

This is from the Dark Star Safari book by Paul Theroux, explaining how the prices are inflated.

Benin Food Wars Poverty Tour 2006 Poverty Tour 2006
Ouidah Benin
Sunday, September 10, 2006

Honestly, the world needs honesty; however, an honest person is the most dangerous person on the planet. Hated by all, despised, save face, keep your mouth shut, turn on your politically correct filter or else.

HDI Human Development Index 2002, the red marks are the countries I am entering, or want to point at you.

IF not, we will call you racist, unsympathetic, and callous… hehehe

I believe the world has only one reason to see Africa, they want to see them National Geographic picture of topless women dancing and whooping.

Folks, I have not seen this; however, it may exist, probably faked authenticity, however I am sure Africa sells it in many places.

Poverty, primitive, the myth maniac search for the really desperate on the planet, a cathartic I am here to help, let me save you, I can be your mom.

Red Clay Huts, dirt floors, they have them all over Mexico, easy to find, go north of Cancun towards Merida and some real round poverty huts.

I am not sure; I think the difficulty of travel is considered poverty. The roads are good though, better than many on the planet. Sand is a problem, however an easy base to manipulate to build roads, not like the rocks of Bolivia.

Tibet is poverty, the Dali Lama kept his people living in such a backwards nation, the only thing a feeling country could do was to conquer and kick him out, and all the religious zealots… hehehe, good for some hate male. Serious though, Tibet is a huge mountain range, no way to grown food on rocks, cold, desolate, isolated, seven years from any development, although China has a train on the way.

I am not sure, life is easier here than in many places on the planet. I think the lazies have conquered the place. Nobody seems want to farm the land, grow foods, I am not sure why. I see empty land, with plenty of water everywhere; water and any soil and something will grow to eat. Poverty Tour 2006

West Africa Hotels

West Africa Hotels
Ouidah Benin
Sunday, September 10, 2006

I woke to the sound of someone playing ping-pong, I kept listening, I thought wow they are good. The duel never ended; there was never a break in play. I cannot remember, however the guide somewhere was saying you could play ping-pong or maybe foossball, in one of the Hotels.

The sound was the drip drip of drops of rainwater falling onto a steel roof. The steel roofs of the planet are a major eyesore, destroying the look of many countries. Grass, Asbestos, Thatch, anything but steel, it rust and proceeds to become the ugly.

The West Africa quality of hotels has been exceptionally high for developing countries, although they are also five times the normal cost and the quality exceptionally low for the price.

I have lived in some of the better rooms in my travels, always intrigued by the screens on windows in Africa. Most rooms have screens on the windows, I do not need a mosquito net, I as observing the mosquito net in the Auberge De Grand Popo, did not think much about, then later in this hotel, I thought,
- Hmm, the more expensive the hotel, often the worst the basic room, however disguised as elegant. -

The Hotel Panff was built as a Hotel here in Ouidah, Benin, it is exceptional, has one of the best conceptual designs for a hotel I have seen in many months or years.

Ouidah, Benin and Elmina, Ghana appear to two of the major slave ports of West Africa according to collaborated reading in all my sources. Problem with reading is every city wants to be a slave city, every fort wants to be slave, many cities in Benin or Togo will somehow be the Voodoo centers.

I was reading about the walk of about 7 kilometers of 4 miles from the city of Ouidah to the coast. I noticed there was a Hotel called Papas advertised, and just about went to see if the price was ok, however 1000 CFA to go and 1000 CFA to return, and the French attitude of when we got you between a rock and a hard place, we are a resort, and we charge too much stopped me. It had nice signs, and the word Plaige or Beach, maybe a drawing, pretty slick, does not mean it not good. 1000 on a Motorcycle taxi is two dollars U.S.; this is the cost for me to travel between cities with hotels in Benin, so the cost after I arrive in the city become high. I ultimately make a decision on how close to a food supply and maybe the internet, however the interplay between the locals and me is also very important.

The Hotel designs of West Africa are better than most on the planet, there is lot of land, no shortage of space, they can build a building easily. The also build hotels as hotels, not the take an existing building and change it to a hotel. This however drives the prices up I believe, as there is no Mom and Pop, living in the third room on the right home stay type modified house to hotels. They can rent rooms for any price because this is not their normal source of income.

The guide that is seven years old says something to the effect the charm of Benin is there is not tourist infrastructure. The truth is there does not seem to be any tourist, only day-tripper or weekend tripper car driving people that work in Benin, on a short vacation. Maybe volunteers or NGO’s or some nebulous something, not a normal backpacking West Africa person. The French language also kills off most of the English-speaking tourist, the fear of the language, with the fear of Africa couple to make it difficult to come here. I admit a fear of both of these; however, the immersion into French allows me to learn French at an accelerated level.

On the walk or on the Motorcycle Moto ride to the beach there is suppose to be a memorial too, or a gate, something that says,
- Door of no return. -

It will be maybe the fourth of fifth door of no return I will encounter, and seems to be the copied buzzword of slave tourism. I then went further, trying to figure out, was it French, English, Dutch, German, or Portuguese that has the dominant slave trade influence here. I would think the door would be called.
- La porte sans retour -

I have a systran translation and I can do this machine translation very quickly. Maybe, not good French, however, to learn a word I need a good intense association or reason to learn. I will now have this question, a.k.a cognitive dissonance in my brain. I go to the door and see if they write it in French, or English. If the write it in English I will be dropping down laughing, as English has almost zero value here in Benin.

This all started with the thread of me search for Portuguese influence, and maybe the courtyard, Spanish, multiple stories, was stolen from this influence. There is this courtyard in the Panff hotel, is nice, has now three Mercedes Benz parked down below, the gate as it opens and closes sounds like a railway car, however there is only maybe five cars, who knows how many came in the night.

South America and Central America are great locations for Hostels, because of the Spanish extreme rich home styles, with the center courtyard, very large designs. The Philippines is terrible, because of the high rise, multiple story apartment building idea. Katmandu is only or almost only built as Hotel buildings.

There are some colonial style building, however the French in my view, if I think of Vietnam, Cambodia, France, and here seem to obsess on this four story high apartment building with maybe a balcony on the front.

A courtyard used correctly become a common area for people to meet, and is the social tourist network needed to help people to travel. I see no travelers, I have no clue, and I am now up to six on this trip. I stopped to try to talk to two girls and one boy, they was from French Quebec Canada, the two girls did not speak English, ergo the reason they probably come to Africa, fear of English.

I am giving this three the benefit of doubt, they had a Routard and a Lonely Planet guidebook, looked completely lost, however seem oblivious to the idea that anyone could simplify their search for a hotel. The hotel Ermitage has been mention in two ways in my guide, one as a good place to sleep and again as a place to eat, I am not happy when a hotel advertises 1000 for one hour, a true sign of boom boom problems. The bar was within ten feet of the room I looked at, I am paying 2000 more or 4 dollars more and immensely better than the Ermitage, although I do sort of like the location.

Africa hotels maybe are different for me, I want to meet the locals, I need the friendship, sharing and someone to talk with, and I need company. If in the center of a village, everyone watches ever move, if in a bigger city, the bang bang girls are everywhere or the semi-pros. I just want to talk with somewhat normal people. The Panff is not a place to walk to in the dark, however just about perfect walk to the major highway during the day, I pass a few people, say Bon Jour, they finally get curious and we strike up a conversation. I am also isolated enough that anyone wanting to visit or just talk does not think the whole village is watching.

I am paying extreme caution with the hotels; there was a reference to people missing Ouidah because of the bypass around the city. That is a person driving a car, not a person in a big car full of big people. The guide seems to like the places where parking is good, not a concern for a backpacker, I am thinking, driving a motorcycle is a temptation, however a car is little temptation. A good motocross bike would allow me to go many places, however the danger of driving it to me extreme, I can be isolated by police or groups of boys very easy, as I can and would drive down empty streets, not know where I am at, and be in the confuse state of asking people, to a bully this is temptation.

Asking for directions is needed, not done by many travelers, however really is the earmark of a well-traveled person, they ask continually so they do not accidentally walk for miles in the wrong direction. I will ask most every intelligent looking person on the way to the hotel, it the hotel that way…

West Africa Hotels

Africa Bullies

Africa Bullies
Ouidah Benin
Saturday, September 9, 2006

The macho here is same, sort of bullies, I am learning to walk or avoid groups of boys, or men. On the side street, without a major amount of people around they can be dangerous. I was thinking of Brazil, there was always the bullies in the back of the bus drunk, reminds me now of Africa.


- You let a bully come into your front yard, the next day he'll be on your porch. -

Lyndon Baines Johnson

- Brute force, the law of violence, rules to a great extent in the poor man's domicile; and woman is little more than his drudge. -

Sarah Moore Grimké
U.S. abolitionist and social reformer.
Letter from Brookline

Intimidation is the bread and bother of a bully, not speaking the language make me have a difficult time separating their intentions. I must and do trust my instincts.

The HDI is overly emphatic on women’s rights; this may help me understand why so many of the Africa countries are wagging their tales, trying to be on the bottom. French and Black, a sort of interesting combinations, the French have an overzealous idea of being correct, maybe sophisticated, then the Black countries are sort of Frenchie bully in a class system way.

There is presently about three Mercedes Benz in the hotel parking, it is not the poor baby, deprived and missing, these country take more than they give. The divide between upper and lower is immense in Africa, I have never see this level of separation. They act or say there is in India, but I do not see it, there are groups that have zero chance, unless the move away or somehow loses whom they were born.

Africa Bullies

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