Africa | Togo | Lome – A lesson from a whore

Africa | Togo | Lome – A lesson from a whore

An enriching anthropological experience I had tonight. I’m staying in place called “Lilly hotel”. Just by the name I should have know. At noon, when I arrived at the hotel, it was quiet and appeared empty. It wasn’t anything to write home about but I’ve stayed at worse places. From the early afternoon and onward, the hotel became more and more alive. The girls started waking up. Yes, it turns out to be a whorehouse and most of the rooms were rented by the girls themselves. Imagine a white person in Africa in a hotel full of whores. What attention I received from them all. I was standing on the balcony watching the sea when two girls who were sitting downstairs called me. I went over and we started talking (they both spoke English because they are not originally from Togo). After the usual questions of what’s your name and where are you from? Are you married etc., and after I made it clear that I’m not a potential customer (I told them that if they wanted to have sex they will have to pay me), they opened up a bit with me. So we sat us three at the entrance to the hotel gossiping, they gossiped and I listened, about everyone who passed there and especially about the other girls.

I observed both of them. Young and very beautiful in any scale you judge them. In any other place in the world they could have been easily models. Here they are only whores. They were very different each from the other. One was noisy, tremendous smile and very vulgar. She was dressed and looked like a whore but what a charming one. The other, Anita, was certainly the most beautiful woman I have ever met. She was quiet, not out of shyness but out of self-esteem, elegantly dressed and if I had met her somewhere else I would have never guessed what she does for a living.

The two hours I spent with both of them were full of sayings, like “what god gave me and I have inside no one can take from me no matter what I do in life” and a wisdom of life that at such a young age I guess only whores have. After an hour in front of the entrance we switched to the hotel’s bar, an open area in the middle of the hotels with scattered tables. We chose a side table, drunk beer and talked about life. It was hard for them to understand how come I have never paid for sex, or more than that how come women in the western world don’t demand payment for it. Turns out, and this I already knew, that in this part of Africa at least, even with regular couples when they have sex the man gives the woman money at the end. It is customary.

Every time that she ordered beer the vulgar whore asked me to pay for it, I would just smile and Anita would get angry at her just for asking. At some point the vulgar one said she is going to the room to smoke and never returned. It was around 8pm. It was just Anita and I, beer and great music in the back round. I guess the combination of it all did something because at some point Anita really opened up with me and started telling me her life story (At the end of the night she said she doesn’t know what got into her because she rarely shares that story with anyone). When she was 3 months old, her father died. Since that day life in the house changed because her mother was forced to work, most of the day she was out of the house and she had to take care of her little brothers. Most of the men in her life, including her uncle, tried, and some succeeded, to take sexual advantage of her. “Sometimes beauty is a curse” she said. At 18 she left home and since then she has been wondering through capital cities working in prostitution. She is 23 now.

Every time she mentioned her father tears would roll down her eyes and I could see that she is holding her self from weeping. Every now and then she would stop and mumble something like “father where are you, father I love you”. She was crying and I’m crying with her. Every month she sends money to her mom so her brothers can go to school and that they will have food in the house. He mom knows what she does but still accepts and loves her. She suddenly turned to me and with a look of determination, doubtably talking to me or to herself, said that she believes and knows that one day here life will change, she will leave the prostitution and find the man of her dreams (I was wondered that someone who does what she does, who knows endless men’ still believes that there is such a thing as the dream man. What a cheering optimism).

In a sec. She got hold of herself, wiped the tears and returned to be “cool” as before (I guess the cynicals among you probably think it was all an act. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t but I believed her).

Around 11pm we left. I went to sleep and she went to a night club to work not before she said that she would be happy to spend the night with me and to go to sleep together – no sex, and more important, for free. A beautiful woman and very intelligent Anita is and after 3 beers I had to collect all the remains of the self control I still had and refuse out of the knowledge, and fear, that if we go up to my room who knows where we will end.

Lying on my back in bed and thinking what an amazing evening I had with a whore. We talked, drank, danced, sung songs to each other, laughed and also cried. A “whore”, and I say that cynically, gave me one of the most pleasant evenings on this trip and of lately. Amazing lesson I was taught by Anita tonight. A lesson I knew but maybe forgot a little. We should be more careful with the respect and honor of other people. It’s not the profession, clothe or status that make you who you are. It’s what you have inside. I need to be more careful not to judge people according to their appearance. Thank you Anita for a wonderful evening and I’m so sorry that we didn’t meet under different circumstances but despite all I go to sleep now with a huge smile all over my face.

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The time now is 5am. Yes, I woke up and couldn’t fall asleep again so I made coffee and went out to the balcony to see how the new day pushes slowly the night away. I love this hour when it’s still not yesterday but it’s also not tomorrow. The twilight zone between today and tomorrow. It’s the hour the roosters start warming up their voice cords, the birds start singing and people wake into a new day. At home I go to sleep in these hours and here I wake up. I guess it’s all a matter of geography.

A few days here in Togo and I feel no difference. Togo & Benin, 2 tiny countries, are exactly the same. Same people, food, atmosphere and even same scumbags. They should both be combined into one country. It is a waste of a flag, national anthem and taxpayer’s money.

I have lost so far at least 3-4 kg. Africa is the best diet in the world. Your body looses weight while your soul gains.

Sitting inside a minibus that drives like crazy and thinking that my life right now is in the hands of some African that probably didn’t even finish elementary school (forgive me my friend. It’s not personal). At any given moment someone, or something, can come and take your life away. Most of the time it’s not even in our hands. It seems to me to obvious to be needing to write it but what, isn’t it a good enough incentive not to postpone dreams? Try to materialize some of them and not when we retire or the kids will grow up and leave home? How can we take the chance of postponing pleasure for later when we might never get to later? Common, instead of reading my nonsense now go and start doing something active to fulfill some dream, as small as it may be. A man without a dream is a dead man and a man with unfulfilled dreams is like a dead man walking!

All this thoughts that pass in my head I write them to you online. As soon as a thought passes by, I catch it and imprison it in a little notebook always in my pouch. At night I transfer it from it’s little cell to a much larger and more comfortable one, my notebook, where it has space to grow and develop but certainly not to escape.

Category : Africa | Togo | Lome , Uncategorized