One of the strangest things about being in Africa is this crazy idea that Africans have, especially in smaller villages that all white* people are rich and because of their whiteness are naturally more gifted at any talent or skill that makes money.

I was riding on a motto (the main method of transportation in villages are mottos, which you pay 100 or 200 franks and they take you were they want to go on their 125hp mottos. I’ve seen up to 4 people plus a bag, on one motto before) when the driver asked me if I knew how to drive one I said yes. He responded ‘well of course, white people can do anything.’ He said this without the least bit of sarcasm. This is the prevalent view that most Camerooneans in small villages hold.

This leads to white people being treated differently from the rest of the population. For once, any advice I give is received almost as irrefutable truth. Again, that’s not the case all the time especially when I’m dealing with educated business owners, but for the most part, it is true.

Second, people want my advice and seek me out. This is actually a good thing since my job depends on people seeking out my advice, and I do my best to understand their problem and help them as well as I can, all the while noting that they take into account the cultural factors affecting business here.

But most disturbing is women seeking me out, mostly for marriage, and even if not that, a quick hook up with a chance of getting them pregnant will suffice. This is crazy. Even in the US I feel like most men can get laid almost anytime they want, as long as they lower their standards; but here, almost any single woman will probably sleep with me. There are really two reasons, one because I’m white, therefore rich, but the second reason and maybe more importantly is the male dominated culture in Africa. As a man I am respected simply for being a man, and my worth is very much tied in with how much money I can make. And since I’m white, they assume I’m rich, so I get plenty of respect.

I don’t know how this will change my outlook on women when I get back. In Africa, I am mostly figuring out how to get a particular girl not to sleep with me and to discover her self-worth. In the US I’m trying to figure out how to get girls to discover my self worth.*

*white people are people from the west. Even African-Americans are white here.

*since I wrote this, I have seen even more examples of how whites are put on pedestals, and read some interesting theories on it that I will share later on.

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