Sunday, October 29, 2006

Some more things about life in Accra

Ohhh, this is a whole lot better blog about life in Ghana (and some other adventures) than my own! Actually, if I think better, my own didn’t really have that aim, but the one to show a glimpse – like the name says – to make people curious and give them an idea about things. I still am amazed, though by the accurate description of life in Accra and kinda ashamed by my own lack of patience and constant laziness. Oh well :)

Anywayz, I have the tendency to only post about my weekends. I guess I’m at that stage where everything has become familiar (more than 2 months already in Ghana), but the truth is every day life is fascinating here since is so different than home.
That’s why I’m sure most of the people reading this blog (if there are any:) will find the simple details of every-day-life at least interesting. So I'm going to make up for my laziness and mention some more things about life in Accra, things that Leanne’s blog reminded me of. For example -

the currency – 20.000 cedis is the biggest nominal of paper money - you start counting at 100 cedis, continue with 200, 500,1000, 2000, 5000, 10.000, 20.000 and you’re done. 20.000 is about 2 USD – and it’s so funny when I get my salary in a biiig pile of 5000 bills. To make the measurement system easyer for some – 25.000 is how much a beer costs in a club. :) I have to confess that I hate the paper money – they are always soooo dirty. Well, not to be ungrateful or anything – it’s good thing I have them, yey? :)

“the after mefloquine (the anti-malaria pill) dreams” – so real and at times frightening – especially few weeks ago when I heard gun shots outside our house and found out later it was a robber’s chase – police killed 2 and one escaped or something like that – yeah, my area is known to have people that use guns to get money. Was even written in the newspaper about it. Fun, huh? To include another major cultural shock while I’m at this story, the armed robbers must make sure they’re never seen by anyone while “using their magic” because the mob (big crowd of people) will chase them, hit them with whatever heavy object they can find till they bleed to death. Haven’t been as “lucky” as some of my fellow trainees to see that one event live. Yet.

the leaking rooftops when there’s a heavy rain – it’s good thing the rainy season is over if you wanna consider this reason. Yep, the rooftops are leaking – in the office, in my room – not a big deal, actually - as long as I have a rooftop over my head, I’m cool. :)

men urinating on the side of the road is apparently an unwritten rule here - sooo funny and such a shame I didn’t have my camera with me when we saw a man who was urinating on a wall that said with biiig red letters “DO NOT URINATE HERE!”. We (me and my house mates – Tobi and Patrick) started laughing and he did too – almost a bonding moment there :)

getting directions in Ghana – from “it’s far”, “not that far” and “close” classification; the streets with no names or numbers to the confident hand pointing in the sometimes right direction and the taxi drivers that ask you mid-way where to turn cause they don’t know the way they’ve themselves taken.

knowing which tro-tro to take – which is quite simple cause there’s a man shouting the name of the destination and making signs out of the window, if available - like Circle – which, by the way, is the biggest, most crowded and polluted junction around the city.

having another winner for “the weirdest thing carried son the head” – which is……trrrrrram - liiiiiiiiive chicken – yep, like 7 of them in a basket on a head, just laying there not knowing of the cruel faith that awaits them. Thanks Dalia for pointing them to me :).

the traffic - with some few simple rules like the one Leanne’s mentioning - “And never forget your horn. It's called "hooting" or "popping" here. Your horn is your #1 car accessory.” Using their hands to signal directions or ask permission is also common. Another funny observation is when two cars are not seriously bumping into each other and they just continue driving like nothing happened. These are the remarks of a pedestrian.

Let’s call it a post for now – just to make it length friendly. Hopefully this un-laziness is not going to be a “one hit wonder”. :)


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