PawelK    Podróże    Across Africa by all means. Mainly cycling....    Out of Africa
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Out of Africa

Maroko, Tanger
Przejechano 19633 km

In Tanger my great African adventure came to an end!

The last night in Morocco, thus in Africa, I spent in a hotel, but I couldn’t sleep; there was too much emotions in me. I was very excited, thousands of thoughts were rambling through my head. Finally, after maybe two hours of peaceful sleep, I woke up and packed up in a hurry! This day was a very happy day for me! I was thinking about it for such a long time that it finally became a bit unreal for me. When I was recollecting memories from all these places in Africa where I had been, I just couldn't believe it was the end. I still had about 3500 km to do in Europe, but it was totally a deferent story!

Ferry crossing took 35 min to bring me to Europe. Only 35 minutes! With a cold beer in my hand, I celebrated the glorious moment. What else should I hold? A constant smile was all over face and I even noticed how strange people were looking at me if they knew I achieved something unusual for me!
Fuck yeah!!
I did and I was very glad to have it over me! Finally, after more than a year and almost 29 000 kilometres through that forsaken land, by God, I could say,
‘It’s finished, I'm done, my home ahead!.’

The African continent showed me everything what it’s got! It's beauty, poverty, killing climate, corruption; contradictions of all kinds. On the one hand Africa is shocking, but on the other is inspiring; there will be always two opinions.
For me it was mainly very frustrating for most of the time spent there. There were very demanding conditions for cycling, a very demanding environment, very corrupted countries and societies, mean people who only think about themselves, spacey politics.

I could go on forever! In Africa, live is mixed with death and no one complain about it. It’s a normal thing that pain and death is part and parcel of living. Many children are born and many of them die every day. People don’t help the sick ones, especially when it cost too much money, instead they prefer to spend money on the funeral party and show off. Dogs, sick and bitten, run around very hungry; people don’t play with them. All animals are usually afraid to be touched by humans, mostly because they were bitten all their live. Houses are usually round and made of mud, covered with dry long grass.
The majority of Africans are very self-sufficient. There is no electricity, education, or library, but the conception is the more kids I have, the more help and free labour I have.
Politicians, they are responsible in front of European powers but not theirs own society. It’s very complicated situation, by and large the truth of matter is that people are too poor, so they don’t pay taxes. The government takes money from foreign monetary help and foreign countries give money, because they don’t want to have a crisis.

Africans, in general, live day-to-day. When there is an opportunity to hunt they hunt, when there is opportunity to have sex they have sex, no worries.
When there is an opportunity to get rid of their enemies they do it. They don’t plan in advance, don’t organise and at long last they don’t like to work all the live hard. The most important is here and now. This strategy is apparent in both a village and a president office. That’s why this continent have many, many troubles. It’s easy to corrupt somebody, start a war or commit a crime! The other appearance is being one for all, for whole family or tribe. When a hard working man saves some money and successfully achieves something, he is obliged to support his family and help them when asked for help. They also have to support him, but it usually comes to a situation when one man have to support about 50 people, pay their bills, pay for wedding of a distant cousin and so on. As regards to politics, prime minister will put in charge of each ministry his own tribal people, even though they don’t know what they’re doing!

Corruption is everywhere, but in Africa it’s a normal behaviour throughout all social classes. For example, a foreigner from Poland for most of Africans is just a white mobile ATM. Only few will think of you as a visitor and just a human. You might think it’s not true, I’d say you just haven't seen enough! I’ve met abundance of good people, but, unfortunately, also a lot of people who tried to get something out of me; just because I'm there and not because they are really in need.

During my trip in Africa, I started thinking about that I was on the continent where the evolution had started. The smartest fellows run away from this place as it was too hard for living or maybe their neighbours just didn't let them stay. I’m very glad there is the Mediterranean Sea, which separates Europe form Africa.
If I were a believer, I would call Africa hell on Earth! In some parts of this place, the devil do whatever he wants. It’s only my point of view, but believe me, I had a lot of time to think about that! Although Poland is not a paradise, I can only tell you that without truly down-to-earth African experience, you wouldn't know what I'm talking about. The more I was getting deeper into this continent, the more I was getting the drift what is all about.

The more I was getting in, the more I was convinced that I have to get out of there; much like most of Africans. Many of them have been asking me to take them with me or arrange work for them. This place really started to make me mad! I got acquainted with my second face, my own devil who tried to break me. I spoke to myself, thinking, ‘Am I mad yet’? Africa changed me a bit. I’ve met another ‘me’, the one who complains, dislike, simply an ungrateful bastard, but it wasn't like that all the time.
Once, my friend asked me, ‘If you don't like it so much, what are you doing here’? It made me think for a while. There were moments which I liked a lot, the moments when I was cycling down the road contemplating the beautiful scenery, when completely tired in the end of a day, I was already thinking about the other one, sitting next to the fire and looking at the stars, when I was moving forward unknown places, which were not described in guidebooks. I liked the moments simply when the adventure was just around the corner and that was fabulous! I do not regret it, because it was amazing!

What about Africa? Do I feel sorrow for them? No, it is their sorrow and they made it that way, they created that situation and only they can change it! We can't all the time help Africa. Africans have to start helping themselves. With that conclusion I left the continent. Definitely, I would like to come back, but that will be totally a different story!
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Pawel Kilen
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