For every Equatorial Guinea and Republic of Congo Embassy nightmare, there’s surely a Cameroonian and Rwandan counter part.
Cameroon, I love you.
Drop off was less than 10 min.
Next day pick up, less than 5 minutes.
Staff pleasant and professional.
They even put what I payed for the visa ON THE VISA!
Like a receipt.
A receipt visa.
Even with my jankey hotel reservation in the north, I had no problems.
It was so easy.
I got teary eyed.
I almost cried in the embassy.
A testament if any, to the relief you feel, after being exposed to trauma. I’m thinking.
Like how a cancer survivor would feel when they get athletes foot.
They probably don’t tell anyone, it’s such a non issue.
Now finally, I can roll up my Ethiopian dress pants and stuff them deep down into the pits of my backpack.
I won’t be needing them again until Yaoundé.
For anyone still thinking “Did Bobby just compare getting an Equatorial Guinea visa to surviving cancer?”
Yes. Yes I did.
As I was walking along the beach today looking west at the endless ocean horizon, I got to thinking.
What if I built a ship?
Scrap wood, lots of plastic water bottles.
Y’know, an eco ship.
Think WaterWorld with Kevin Costner, but with way less Dennis Hopper fucking everybody’s shit up.
Directly west, across the sea from Gabon, is Brazil, specifically the opening to the Amazon River, in Belem.
Here is where the Amazon flows out of that magnificent Jungle and into the sea.
What if my ship appeared on the Brazilian horizon?
How would they handle a visa-less explorer?
Would they treat me with hostility?
There are so many problems today because of how we’re allowed to travel.
In this documentation assisted freedom.
I couldn’t help but imagine gigantic French ships lining the beach here, in Gabon.
No hotel reservation.
Just a basic right to exist, there in that moment.
And the confidence to bolster that position.
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as I thought of modern day Gabonese military speed boats bouncing out toward these artisanal ships.
What a world this would be.
A very different Africa, that I’m sure.
Can you imagine:
Vasco Da Gama,
all being denied visas to enter the countries they would otherwise devastate.
This visa fuckery is an important issue for me.
Time has revealed that the rule change made this game unfair to play.
More for Africans, than for me.
To be clear.
It’s a case of “this country was colonized by those who would be characterized today as criminals” insanity!
What the fuck happened?
And who let it happen!
And why are we still letting this happen!!!
I’m getting mad.
I’m laying under a mosquito net kicking my feet involuntarily as I write this note, which is breaking the mosquito border I made when I tucked the net under my mattress.
Maybe one day a mosquito traveler will write something similar about me.
To celebrate my anger I made a map of my intended path to Benin, on an antique map of Africa.
A map that was used when the region of west Africa was referred to as “Negroland”
What The Fuck.
I like Africa.
Let’s call her that.
A map that illustrates a simpler period.
People could just go.
And yes, in slave other people.
But we’ve moved past that, right?