10 (Very Annoying) Things I Love About Ghana

When we talk about our motherland, we tend to talk about her in the same way we talk about our family. In other words, I love her but she can be so annoying! And, oh yeah...if you're not one of Mother Ghana's children, don't even think about uttering a word against her! I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. In my last post entitled "Welcome to Ghana", I went on a rant on how erm...strange my experience was at Kotoka International. But trust me, now that I'm back, I am missing Ghana like crazy! So here is a list of ten really annoying things I had to endure in Ghana, but (not so secretly) wish I could enjoy in London.

1. Having to barter for everything. When we first arrived, the first thing I noticed was that nothing has a fixed price! Come on, if you are going to sell something, at least know its market value. However, after bartering the price of slippers from 35 Ghana cedis to 20, I started to think 'hey, this is good! I love the fact that hardly anything comes with a price tag'.

2. GMT (Ghana man time). GMT to me was pure fuckeries at the beginning of our holiday. Can you imagine waiting for two and a half hours for someone to come and pick you up. I mean, why tell me you will arrive at 10pm, when you reall mean 12.30 am? The thing that kills me is when the said person (finally) arrives, there is no remorse or any effort to even try and feign a bit of haste. One morning, my cousin called and said, "hey, I will be at yours in an hour and a half".

"O.K", I answered lazily, and went back to sleep. Well it goes without saying, I managed to get an extra hour of sleep AND have breakfast before he actually arrived. Wow! this is not bad, I can actually get as much sleep as possible, watch an episode of Tinsel AND have a big breakfast, and still be ready on time. This is only possible in Ghana.

3.Family. What else can I say here? Whether in Ghana or in Timbuktu, the very people we love so much and hold close to our hearts can sometimes be the source of so much annoyance. But this is more true when the first thing your big (not so slim) cousin, who has not seen you in ten years, can say to you is 'o shri-eh!, you are fat!'. As if I need reminding of the fact that I have grown two dress sizes in the last ten years. Not only that, my charming big cousin soon started to give me her sob story about how she hadn't been paid at work for over eight months. (I guess I don't need to spell out what she was getting at here!) Needless to say, political correctness is not at the forefront of Ghanaian's minds. Nevertheless, after a week of being back in the U.K, I am actually missing my family terribly.

4.The heat! Damn that Ghana sun is hot! Seriously, how is it that I am drenched in sweat five minutes after coming out of the shower? We slept under full blast of the air conditioning and two ceiling fans! However, now that I am back in London and preparing to face a long cold winter, I am actually missing the Gold Coast sunshine.

5. Having to wait for over an hour for chicken and chips! Can someone please help me out here? Am I being unreasonable, or am I within my rights to have a moan when I have to wait the whole afternoon for a plate of chips and a chicken sandwich to be sent to my hotel room? kmt! I mean, you wait no longer than five minutes for your two piece chicken and chips meal in this part of the world! But, I have come to the conclusion that if "fast" food in Ghana is not so fast, you can at least find comfort in that fact that it is being prepared from scratch and has not been sitting there the whole day!

6. The Accra Mall. O.K, don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Accra Mall. But when you see the same Shoprite sign in every Ghanaian film, when your social life in Accra is based in the coridoors of the mall, when you can't step into the mall without bumping into the same dozen people you saw yesterday in the same blasted mall, IT ALL GETS A BIT ANNOYING!! But seriously, I will miss the Accra Mall. After all it houses Rhapsody, the best bar/club in Accra.

7.Frank Rajah Arase films. Let me not even lie, I watched enough of these fims. But how many times do I need to see the same two girls fight over a light skinned man/kente wearing prince? And how many Ghanaians do you know with the name Akeela, or Zazee? And seriously, where are the kingdoms of Azula and Mumuni? Nevertheless, I will miss evenings with my family in Ghana, watching these films.

8. The taxis! These yellow pannelled vehicles were the cause of so much amusement when we first arrived in GH. I remember sitting in a Taxi from Abeka to Lapaz. Now anyone who knows Accra knows the roads on that route are murder. I mean, I was expecting bumpy roads in Accra, but that route takes the piss! And it didn't help that the taxi I was sitting in was nothing more than a metal shell on wheels. I wasn't sitting in a car at all. I was practically on the floor. And everytime the monstrosity of a vehicle went over one of those God forbidden port holes, I got scared that the metal shell would give way, leaving our bums to hit the dusty streets of Accra. Anyway, now that I am back in London, my Oyster Card is my friend. Seriously, although I would do anything to not have to sit in a overcrowded train carriage, who can afford a taxi in London?

9. Road hawkers. In Accra, it is not necessary to go to your nearest supermarket to be able to tick everything off your shopping list. While in GH, I found it slightly irritating that I couldn't look out of the car window without someone waving t-roll in my face. Now, I actually miss having to walk all the way to the supermarket to do the weekly shopping.

10. Wacky driving. I HATED the fact that people in Ghana drive like absoloute maniacs. But when you have to settle back into life in London, and you're running late to work/ church/ any other important place, you wish your bus would jump the traffic light and cut into somebody else's lane to get you there on time!

Trust me, I can't wait to be doing this again:


10 opinionated people have something to say:

Esi W. Cleland said...

I love Ghana radio and how the presenters embellish the news, especially foreign news.

Sankofa said...

I can't deal with GMT! I really am convinced that it's a big part of why it takes so long to get anything done. I'm diligently working on my time-keeping because I believe that when I'm late, it shows a lack of respect for the person left waiting for me. Blame my Dad for that one. I'm sure I'll be forced to "take am easy" when I get to GH though lol!

Anonymous said...

You know what I don't miss about Ghana?

Getting ripped off by your own countrymen. Sigh.

Friday's Afro said...

The driving paaaah! when I went to Ghana, my auntie said "these people, they drive by heart" then she called them "devils" hahahahaha!

Nsoromma...Child of the Heavens said...

I'm with anon. on this...my very Ghanaian-yet-blatantly-not-born-in-GH face got me ripped off on a regu1lar basis! KMT, Ghanaian's paaaaaaaa!

Afrocentric said...

Ghanaians really do take the mick. At the Arts Centre, one of the men tried to sell my friend three necklaces for 45 Ghana cedis. Well when she basically told him to piss off with his necklaces, he finally agreed to sell them, (all three)for 12 Ghana cedis!

BSNC said...

hahaha i enjoyed reading this. Now i know more about ghana. lol nice..

Maxine said...

If a Ghanaian tells you I'll be there at 10 am, that means they either will wake up at that time or leave their house at that time. No kidding!Very insightful. Glad you found the little ray of sunshine in those gloomy scenarios:)

Anonymous said...

I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

Afrocentric said...

Hi Anon, I don't mind you quoting my post. Please just site our blog. Thank you

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