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Great PaulVDV 2020-08-02 9:57

Hello Gert,
Your notes here and in the WS taught me more about Benin than I had ever heard before in my life.
Your main photo shows a lot of ladies in coloured dresses with beautiful patterns, but nobody is dressed in red :) One girl does have red birds on her dark dress.
So it are market stalls that we see here.
My first fear was that it was a residential area. Although, everyone looks well dressed.
Fortunately, you have requested permission to photograph the facade in the WS.
Although you can say that if one is proud of his communist heroes, they can also be photographed.
Have you never had problems in those countries when asked about your profession?
I once had problems in Syria in 1987 when an army officer asked me what I was doing there.
The answer "tourist" reminded him of "journalist" and that was not ok.
Best regards, Paul

Old 08-02-2020, 07:19 PM
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holmertz holmertz is offline
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Default To PaulVDV: profession

Thank you Paul,
In the Sahel area, where I had work to do, I had no problems. The authorities were quite relaxed, even though all countries were ruled by the army, and I had letters of introduction from my foreign ministry and the UN "to whom it may concern", asking for any assistance i might need.
But as I was about to enter Ghana, which was in turmoil after a recent coup, my bus driver advised me that if I said a word about my profession I would be in deep trouble. I am sure he was right. Entering Ghana was bad enough even as an innocent teacher, or whatever I pretended to be.
As I was leaving Syria in 1995 the immigration officer looked at my departure form where I had written "translator". "No, you are a journalist!" he said (to my surprise, how could he know?). I assured him I was just a translator of books, but he kept on insisting I was a journalist. Then he saw the line behind me growing, so he shrugged and told me to go away. But he made me a bit nervous.
Have a nice week,
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