Being and Becoming.

When I decided to head for the Cameroon/Nigeria border I really wasn’t sure what the road would be like.  For years the ‘Mamfe Road‘ has been the bane of overlanders and a right of passage for riders who want to proove their hardcore nature.  But, things change, and this road isn’t any exception.  Cameroon has finally contracted the Chinese to rebuild and tar this beast, so now, even during construction, the muzzle has already started to be put in place- if at times a bit gingerly.  So, in order to confuse things even more…

I hate to think what either Thales or Heraclitus (or anyone with a philosophical bent for that matter) might think of my reducing their concepts on being and becoming to the paving of a road, not to mention the merging of the two, but…  If the first principle is not simply water, but the endless change which it engenders, then The Mamfe road is the empirical proof required to bring their two views together.  The endless state of becoming which the water’s being creates has provided the force of creation for a paved road.  Without water, this road doesn’t change and is only a stretch of dirt connecting two countries- it is simply an inconvenience that one should expect in Africa.  Add water, and this road rears to life and becomes a barrier to trade, isolates the communities along it’s length, and shames a nation with it’s inability to even provide the basics along such a major artery.  However, without the road’s becoming, the the water is left to being and becomes meaningless…

So, what does this extended pre-Socratic navel gazing mean?  Well, it was really, really wet and the road along with it’s construction deviations had deteriorated to the point that even the Chinese construction crews were waiting for things to dry out a bit.  I could wait an hope for a couple of rain free days to make the crossing, or I could head back to the coast and jump a boat to Calabar in Nigeria.



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