Johnny my friend from Ohio, who lives in Sosua, but is now here in Togo for a week has a computer. Therefore in some weird jump of logic, he feels empowered by the information on the Internet.
Well, he wanted to find a swimming beach here in Lome, the beach in front of the city is very beautiful, but the waves are not good for swimming.
He has traveled to a super amount of countries, so I try to be cautious in giving advice, and he is a pilot, etc. He really does believe he is experienced at me, which does not cause him harm, this is fine.
Yet, he did some searches on the Internet, found a beach, then did not write down the name, or print out the page. THIS COST HIM DEARLY.
Yesterday, he got adventurous, told a taxi he wanted to go the beach, he kept calling it Copa Cabana beach, which is not correct. Well he does not speak French, and he just rambles away in English to the motorcycle taxis drivers, it is truly a "charlie foxtrot." He drove around for an hour, paying a poor taxi driver sufffering his I refuse to speak French, or try American style, in a French country behavior.
He is blaming it on the stupid motorcycle drivers, and I am blaming it on the Internet. Why? I happen to have a Lonely Planet Guidebook on a PDF file on the computer. I was tired of the "Charlie Foxtrot," so looked up the information.
The name of the beach is "Coco Beach."
THIS PROBLEMS WOULD NOT HAVE EXISTED IF HE PURCHASED A LONELY PLANET PAPER GUIDEBOOK.
Tourist are tourist, Johnny is smarter than normal tourist, but he is just an normal tourist.
The Internet is like a bunch of used car salesman writing articles.
If you must be an asshole, and only use the Internet,then PRINT THE PAGES.
I am just a spectator of tourist, unless they pay me, or listen.
And, because he has a computer, he thinks he reads my site... heheher
We all have blind spots, know them, and accept them is the art of safe and enjoyable trips abroad.
The real values of the Internet is wikipedia, you can probably figure out what "Charlie Foxtrot" is faster than in a library. But walking into a library for travel information, reading books that do not make money with agendas, and using the copy machine would have saved a poor taxi driver in Lome, Togo. And slowed down the phrase "The Ugly American."
Life as a spectator sport.
Andy Graham in Lome, Togo 2014
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