The Morning in Lome Togo West Africa
Explanation and Warning: I am 100 percent against first generation immigrants being President, Border Police, Ambassadors, or representing the USA culture in Peace Corps. I am also not fond of gay people changing the moral fabric of the USA culture as if I need to agree, I do not agree.
If you disagree with this, that is fine, then please click away, I do not apologize., I am not here to make enemies. As a world traveler, I have seen the wholesale destruction of cultures by Americans in places like Pataya, Thailand, or Angeles City, Philippines. All countries need to put their best foot forward, not any foot. The whole world copies the lead of the USA, and we appear to be lost, not good ambassadors, all American have this position by default, it is not a choice, it is our position as a world cultural power.Today in Lome, Togo
Today, I am going to explain a day in my life here in West Africa, in the country of Togo, in the cosmopolitan, bohemian city of Lome. It is not easy to write about Africa; only 1 in 10,000 people even think about coming Africa, readers react as though I am traveling in a contaminated zone of the world that is contagious. And, yes the place is contagious, exotic, relaxing and confusing, my brain is engulfed in feelings, I am too alive here.
I spent 42 years of my life putting in my time in the USA; to be too alive is a shock to the system.
I want to be a betazoid who feels what others feel, then the mercy of Jesus, with superhuman powers to forgive and forget.
I am a travel writer, or more correctly, a writer that travels; if I was about to have perfect empathy as a betazoid, and capable as Jesus of overlooking all the banal thoughts, and only finding the good in people, I could write better articles that open doors.
I am a lucky man, a little on the eccentric side, but all in all my life is good. I have hours of introspection each day, plenty of time to contemplate my navel.
I have written missives, something like a travelogue for over 13 years; it is a wonderful thing to do with your life, to live it, then write it, truly revealing.
My Day - March 15, 2013
Morning in Lome, TogoIt is rather hot here in my room, I wake a little cooler than normal, there is a floor fan pointed directly at my naked body. Generally people wear clothes on planet earth, yet I am growing increasing insensitive, my modesty is leaving me, I can easily walk around near my hotel room with just a towel. I no longer close the door to put on my clothes, I just cannot be bothered, and it is too much work to be modest in hot climates.
I sit down at a huge desk in my room to write a Blog post. Every day of my life, I wake, walk into the toilet, make a cup of instant Nescafe coffee, and sit down at my computer.
I want to write about cars, and how they are dangerous, and annoying for travel. I start out writing in many ways, the day before a policeman here in Lome stopped me and Marc. At a stop light, I jumped out of the car, ran to a beggar with no arm, very old and gave him two days wages in Togo money. It was annoying, the policeman pulled us over, and we ended up paying a half-day wages in bribe because I was nice and gave money to a beggar.
I wrote one story, and it came out another way, finally it ended up from the perspective of the robber.“How to rob tourists?”
After feeling rather hopeless for an hour, trying to dig deep into my mind for ways to move people, I finished the post, added a photo, and published it.
Readers and other writers often believe I plan ahead for blog posts, but I have zero idea what I am going to write about each day. I wake up with vague thoughts in my mind, somehow tag them, and start to write about them, I spit them out, then go live my day.
Today, I feel weak and sick, I have had diarrhea for 5 days, 2-3 days longer than normal, and something is amiss in my body. And, because I am feeling weak, maybe I can feel my inability to explain my life to readers.
Readers have preconceived ideas about Africa, created by CNN, BBC, and all the idiot Non Governmental Organizations that refuse to even tell the truth a little, 95 percent of what you read about Africa I a river of lie, really a flood, impossible for me to fight, the preconceived, and misleading opinions dominate.
I start to walk to the cafeteria, called Diallo’s. I pull out my cell phone and message Marc, my French friend,“Ca va?”More or less, what is up in French, it is an open statement, I am hoping he text back,“Breakfast?”He does, so I text back.“3 minute in front of your house.”I continue to walk, as I get close to his house, it is on the sand road leading to the cafeteria; he opens the door and greets me. We say the normal things, hello, what is up, etc. We compare notes on girls, which ones are calling, which ones are being silly, etc.
Lome, Togo is one of the most girl infested places on the planet; even the ugliest of white guys can have 5-10 girls per day call him, with a little savvy. It is girl paradise.
OK, we arrive at Diallos, there are 8 chairs in front, and they are shared by anyone, and maybe a Togolese student will share our table, it is easy going, I order my normal 2 eggs with peppers. Today I tell the owner to please cut the Pima, peppers up into small pieces, big hunks of really hot pepper are hard on my stomach.
While sitting, talking about women, Marc looks at a boy, with an older woman coming towards the breakfast cafeteria. He says,
“Hear comes to Americans.”I say,“No.”I then look at them and holler.“Which country?”They reply,“American.”I say something like,“Peace Corps?”The boy replies,“Yes.”
There is a Peace Corps office down the street, and if you see a young person around 20 here in Lome, Togo who is American, you have about a 95 percent chance he or she is Peace Corps. American so not come to Togo, because they speak French, really in total, there is no social status benefit of coming to Africa, so American avoid it completely, unless they are out to stuff their resume with, “I was a nice guy one time, I volunteered in Africa.”
The boy is from Iran, he is Christian, his mother does not speak English for shit, and he appears to be first generation American. We exchange information, he is a wimp, embarrassing to me, and Marc is glee-ing with delight.
Marc is French, and I am American, we are good friends, and it is fun to compare countries.
He says something like,“The boy is Gay.”I say,“You think so?”He replies,“For sure.”I say,“You are the French, who wear scarves, you would know.”
The boys is embarrassing to me, the worst America has to offer, a first generation, not really even American working for Peace Corps to be an Ambassador for the USA…. Aagh.“I do not want a gay boy, Iranian being an example of Americans in West Africa.”
We go back to talking about girls, and our day to be.
In walks a black American girl, with a young boy with tons of tattoos. They sit out in front; the gay boy is hiding inside with his mother.
I again say,“Peace Corps?”The girls is happy, the boy looks weak, and overwhelmed, and allow the black American girl to dominate.“Yes.”I say,“This is truly great, I am very happy to see a black person being a Peace Corps volunteer.”
She goes on and explains to me, the Peace Corps has some form of Institutionalized problem that stopped blacks from volunteering.
I try to stay with the mission, I am excited, happy she is here, and it is really embarrassing that 20 year old kids, clueless, weak, and wimps come to Africa to represent the American people.
The black girl is strong, big, dominating, outgoing, and says she was a Professor or something like that. She is the older woman surrounded by the youth of America, all working for the Peace Corps.
I look at Marc,“I need to go thank her.”I stand up, walk over, and say,“Thank you for coming to Africa.”“Africa needs American - good people - blacks.”
We eat, and I think to myself, and asked her,“Can I interview you?”I explain I am a travel writer, my Blog is Top Ten National Geographic, Frommers, Forbes, etc, top everything. She agrees to come to Le Galion Hotel at 1:00 to be interviewed.
I am excited; I want to celebrate a black American person in Africa. It is really tiresome to think that white people come to help Africa. All in all, I do not think volunteering does much of anything, the best Peace Corps does is create a great pool of future spies, and diplomats, and in the future, these children can work for the USA government to help create policy for Africa.
As we walk away, I say to Marc,“20 year olds from the USA coming to save Africa.”“Children saving children.”“Gay boys teaching them how to be gay.”
Generally, the Peace Corps can be found at any drinking establishment that is popular, and seldom in their village.
It is a good program, they must be here for two years, the average volunteer has a joke time of two weeks, two years removes all stupid thoughts, and they understand the politics of Africa, and learn how to be disillusioned.
It is hard to change my best friend, it is impossible for one Peace Corps volunteer to change a village, there are some misguided people sending 20 year old Americans out to change the planet. Ok, I forgot, I said it, they are sending out people to prepare to have spies, and diplomats, not save the planet.
The black girl sends me a text message one hour before 1:00,“I must cancel, I have appointments all afternoon.”
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