Friday, April 29, 2005

Precipitation of the Cats and Dogs Variety

I remember in high school--way back at the British School of Brussels--there was this really cool guy, Jonathon Humphrys, who shared the name of a BBC Journalist of "Today programme" fame. Ofcourse then, I was far too busy thinking of studies--NOT!!--and reflecting on why no girl fancied me that I knew little of that radio programme, which you can find as a link to the right of the screen.

John Humphrys and Sarah Montague in BBC Radio Four's "Today" programme studio Posted by Hello

In any event, I remember Jonathon, one day in a French class, started talking about "precipitation",{pronounced "pray-see-pee-ta-see-on") and my eyebrows instinctively burrowed with curiosity.

"Precipitation", I wondered, "what the eff is that?"

It turned out that true to the French who, Harold Nicholson of "Evolution of Diplomatic Method" fame, wrote that they are "intoxicated by the wine of logical expression", it was the francophone translation for (drumroll...)


This morning as I left home for work, there was ABSOLUTELY no sign of rain coming down my blessed way. So there I was later in the afternoon walking hnappily back to the office after an errand, when it starts to spit from the sky.

"Egad!", I thought, "this cannot be".

Not when I want some friggin exercise. Well, Murphy's law and all that. So I was compelled to call a taxi to get me back to the office.

The sight of the impact of the rain on people's micro-managed lives was interesting: I saw a motorbike rider get off his bike and park.

There he stood under some broken aluminium sheets -- that had been used as a roof -- sheltering himself from the massive precipitation of the cats and dogs kind.

He looked rather concerned.

Was he going to get a whack from his significant other for taking the bike instead of the car, or would she scold him for going off when she told him it would rain?

Who knows the number of relationship percolations that had been thrown up -- either askance or asunder -- as a result of something as ostensibly small as the weather!

Thing, though, is that the weather isn't a small thing.

Some clever fellow once remarked "don't mock the weather; three-quarters of us wouldn't have anything to say to each other if it weren't there". [the actual quotation can be found at Cyber Nation's extensive quotation library. The name is Kin Hubbard

I paraphrase ofcourse, but you get the idea don't you?

To think what the tsunami did to the Indonesian island on 26 December, 2004 and to subsequently arrive at the conclusion that weather doesn't matter is a fallacy of epic proportions.

As it's Friday, I don't want to get too philosophical, except to say that I reckon the weather forces us to look at being more moderate in our lives. In the sense that when it rains, we complain that we're all going to get wet, and our bbq's will all be non-starters, etc, etc.

Yet our rain is this same water that will help our planted fruits and vegetables grow. How can they survive on their own? Indeed, how can any nation survive without it?

It's just that we don't want TOO MUCH--that's all.

So maybe next time it rains, let's just think that it's doing some good elsewhere--and for those who own cars and never clean them, it's CLEANING YOUR CAR too:-)

Yes, yes, take a look--doesn't that whiteness look good, now? What about the chrome? And that muddied bumper? All good. All good...

God gave us a rainbow after rain. I cannot do anything as close except leave you with this:


  • Just a Girl in Seattle Trying to Dodge The Rain

  • "...the rain was very beautiful too: it brings hope, and it smells beautiful, and it cleans everything, including the sadness in my heart, I love rain! its one of the romantic things in life. I took two long walks under the rain, and went back totally wet, but happy,..."--from

  • "I love the way the rain showers everything squeaky clean and the way everything smells clean and healthy and the way that any flat surface glows and glistens at night from the reflection of the streetlights or the moonlight in the wetness that the rain deposits on streets and cars and sidewalks. "--from: Memento Moron: Remember, Thou Art Stupid
  • "Therapeutic Rain

    I love the sound of rain on a roof, window... on the rooftop of my car when I'm stopped at a light. The sound of rain when I'm snuggled under the covers for an afternoon nap.

    It soothes, de-stresses and lulls into a mellow state physically and mentally.

    Today is one of those days and I'm at work. I look outside my window and enjoy the dull gray day. It was much needed after so much sunshine. I should be living in Vancouver or the U.K. as I love rain so much!


    No honey, you should be living in Belgium! ;-)

    "I live in freakin rainy Belgium and there's about 37 days in a year it's actually sunny and warm enough to wear it. Sjeezes ... --from: not a Brussels-related site

    have a good May Day...
  • Monday, April 25, 2005

    77 Degrees of Separation and a Funeral

    Another errant goat. Another Sunday…with a twist: rain, sunshine, and a funeral service.

    Isn’t it funny how apparently prosaic things (like the death of a very old man who happened to be a pope) can connect us in so many arcane ways. Don’t get me wrong—I am no Catholic, but after Sunday, I felt like being an Anglican.

    Like a scene right out of the Vatican, a portly, bespectacled priest—with a heart full of wit and humour—sang on us yesterday morning as we attended the funeral service (part three of three) of a three-day mourning service for my maternal grandmother’s cousin. He talked about sanitation (sachet water being dumped everywhere); the Kyoto Protocol and why the Americans didn’t want to sign it, because might is right; men and their big toys (read: big cars); keeping peace at home (as the grass always looks and seems greener on the other side); and…appropriately, Noah and the environment.

    Noah was a reference to Noah’s ark and the great tsunami that afflicted the Indonesian region on 26 December, 2004, when most Christians were just opening, or had opened, their Christmas presents. It was a poignant sermon replete with humour that just wanted me to go back to this guy’s Church.

    Seeing as I am fierce Protestant/Methodist—thanks to my late grandmother—I think it would cause a bit of a storm. But, hey, seeing the fright written over people’s faces over the election of Pope Benedict the XI, I wonder whether people aren’t thinking whether they should do a volte-face on their faith.

    But that’s only me.

    Equally poignant was the rainbow—to which he referred as God “not being angry forever”. His rainbow was a sign to us that he would never ever show anger to that extent again, by wreaking such devastation. When people, from the likes of those down at my favourite radio station (ever!!) BBC Radio Four start on their ”Thought for the Day”, I can listen incessantly, and will not ever miss recording one for posterity. It is a shame being here now in Ghana, I can only record it with a Dictaphone. But, hey, it’s still permanently stored isn’t it?

    But I digress…

    The point about all this is that the sermon was brilliant!—BLOODY brilliant, and the guy had us cracking up in waves of awe and admiration.

    The denouement of the homily was a joke that had us all in stitches…

    There’s this wife who has a very sustainable business in Ghana called a chop-bar. She feeds low-income people plenty of food and drink. And they come back for more. Sadly, she has a husband…who is a VERY lazy man who eats and drinks this same food that she spends her hard-earned money providing.

    One day, fed up with her husband’s attitude, she buys a dog, and calls it “bad marriage”.

    Soon after, her husband buys a dog, and calls it “such is life”.

    In what the woman thought was a clever subtle message to her husband, (each time, she calls her dog, “bad marriage!, come here!!”), he serves up a delicious riposte: “such is life, come here!!”.

    I’m sorry if it didn’t crack you up, but in vernacular, it rocks! And ofcourse delivery makes a great deal of a difference.

    No brownie points for me ;-)

    In all seriousness, though, jokes aside, the weekend and the funeral (he was 77) was not as bad as I had envisaged it to be. Considering the curses that were streaming from my mouth on Friday as I hopped into Dad’s Chev Trailblazer along with Mum as we travelled for a good one and a half hours (excluding traffic) to the Central region, you would have thought I would have boycotted the whole darn thing.

    I am really glad I didn’t. It was beautiful—and the Sunday, for all its poignancy, was legendary.

    Saturday was an equally beautiful day. I found out that day that my Mum’s mum (my maternal grandmother who came to stay with us in Brussels from 1986-1993) was related to the First Lady—no other than Theresa Kuffuor. Not some distant thing as relative-speak in Ghana is wont to be, but seriously related as in the relative of mine whose funeral me and my parents attended down in Mankessim was the DIRECT sister of Theresa Kuffuor and another statesman—J.H.Mensah, who is currently Senior Minister in the Council of State of the Kuffour government.

    How FREAKY is that?

    I was wondering what the hell such impressive security detail (4 jeeps of the Toyota Landcruiser/Jeep category, plus a slew of policemen sporting scary AK-47s, as well as non-marked cars that were clearly Castle security (as in from the house of the President of the republic)) had to do with a funeral.

    Now I know.

    It speaks volumes that she took time out to observe her relative’s funeral, which, incidentally, was held in an open air place—precisely on the grounds of the school in Mankessim, called “Kessim”.

    Maybe going to these funerals isn’t all that bad – if only to catch a temporary glimpse into the lives of the big and famous!—and make an otherwise uneventful weekend something to write home about!;-)

    Six degrees of separation? I turn 28 tomorrow. The age of my grandmother's cousin was 77. I was born in 1977. The temperature was around 28 degrees on Saturday.

    Maybe just coincidence...

    six degrees of separation

    Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. The theory was first proposed in 1929 by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy in a short story called "Chains."

    Friday, April 22, 2005

    Scatalogical Reflections of a British Kind

    I was at the British Council yesterday evening for a meeting (flowing from the regular ISSER-Merchant Bank Development Seminar Series, held on Thursday, about The Role of State, Public Policy and National Development). And yes, they are held regularly at the British Council--and I am often impressed by the speakers. Yesterday's speaker--one Professor Joseph Ayee-- for example, came to talk about "Public Policy, Decentralization the Development Process".

    He talked about how decentralization was not working in the country as effectively as it could, because District Chief Executives (DCEs) become more politicians that managers of districts. And that is SERIOUSLY inimical to an efficient public policy--never mind a decentralization process. Decentralization, he intoned, is good for developing countries, because it enables government to spread around resources than having it all cogged-up, as it were, in the capital.

    We have many rural areas (Central Region, Eastern, Volta, etc) that deserve serious attention, and having an effective decentrlization process can only facilitate.

    Away from the academia, as your eyes are starting to glaze over (don't you know I can tell?;-) ), he proffered an anecdote of one measure of inefficiency of the DCEs.

    It was a scatalogical reference.

    Funny that, it's in the title;-)

    Anyway, the anecdote was about public toilets.

    Yes, EEEEE---www!!

    ...and how they had been riddled-infested with maggots. The prof said that he had gone out and had to way-lay users who used it -- or "patronised" it as the word seems to be en vogue in Ghanaian lingo currently!-- and find out their views about what DCEs were doing. Simple bottom-line is that they were doing diddly-squat. The DCEs that is.

    Makes me wonder, on another note, what the British Council is doing about *its* toilet too.

    That was actually the motivation for this entry, because disgusted doesn't go far enough. Insalubrious is more like it.

    Adjective: insalubrious `insu'loobreeus
    Detrimental to health
    - unhealthful , unhealthy

    That's right--and it took me too long to get to the crux, what with me hr siz-ing (that's that blue bar, there and there...) -- so unhealthy that it is detrimental to the health.

    I mean WTF?!! Can you imagine that if you wanted to go and empty your self into the bowl, there would be NO soap, because the soap, apparently, is "broken". This is what some of the lay-staff there told me so matter-of-factedly.

    I couldn't help but retort" "so, there's no soap and you just leave it?! You guys are not serious crwaaaaa..."


    yes, that's twi (although I cannot spell it to save my life!) for "at all". Just that when you are in the insulting mode (pronounced as you see it--or rather, as I spelt it!), you stretch the "a", so it has effect. If it's short like "crwa", you lose impact.

    Staccato sucks in this context, so you gotta give it the orchestrated version. So, let me hear you say "crwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa".


    Now, after that quasi-insult, I proceeded to the toilet, after having asked members of staff from the bar just next door -- can you believe!!!--to lend me some soap. They did--gladly, adding that lame comment above.

    Not to go into details, but there was a mop, quite wet, sitting in the corner, and the tiled, white floor was, hell, INSALUBRIOUS! on account of the fact that there were footprints, quite naturally, of the usual suspects who "patronise" the place.

    The hot air fan was off, and the sinks not looking their best.

    So let me hear you say "BOO! British Council.

    For good measure, here's a map of how to get there, just in case you want to get down there and demonstrate;-)

    Site of the moment:

    "has anyone else come across this, where a bathroom is just TOO dirty to do it and public is TOO occupied for hiding outside?"

    The Purgatorium--dirty bathrooms and other things that irritate me

    Looks like I ain't the only one audacious enough to post it in a blog;-)

    Thursday, April 21, 2005

    Of Reflections, Ruminations and Accra

    Accra this time is so breath-takingly beautiful. I stole some time away during lunch break to go give a relative something in the Airport residential area. I haven't been down there in a long time. I was taken aback, en route, by the gorgeous breeze and the scorching sun that lent a paradoxical contrast to the usual scorching African weather. Okay, Ghanaian, as I am not too au fait with other African countries.

    On a serious note, it was another sight to behold. As I stood outside the gate waiting to be opened inside the house, I glanced at the street, and the view was very verdant. There was a scattering of red, strangely enough, all over. Note that this particular suburb of Accra is particularly verdant, or green, anyway. At this time of year, it's even more so, and very, very plush.

    There was a tree with red leaves that looked much like this one here: and all I could do was stare at it like a mad-man as I tried to process the contrast of the colours of the cars (yes, there was a red car passing, too) plying that route, along with the smoothness of the tarred road, set against the backdrop of the clear, blue sky and the buildings in the surrounding area.

    Scenes like these make me so in love with the city, because if my experience in Brussels when I was seriously working in the Belgian capital (2000-2004) is anything to go by, rarely was there a time to appreciate such greenery, as most of it was in the outskirts.

    In Accra--my city--the greenery is not too far away, and it enhances the city all the more.

    Speaking of which, another infrastructure set against the backdrop of a clear blue sky is the newly-built Tetteh-Quarshie interchange that has been the bane to many a driver, given the contorted manner -- some would say meandering -- of the roads. The Spintex roundabout -- not considered by the African Development Bank in the disbursement (as far as reports go) -- has been, yet again, the bane of the average driver that plies that route to go to Teshie-Nungua, Regimanuel Estates, Manetville, Spintex, and Tema.

    It's a busy route for sure, but I am always so amazed by the manner in which people, so busy getting lost and criticising the structure, fail to appreciate the beauty of the Interchange set right in the middle of...something, that's for sure;-)

    I'd love to see the Interchange from above. But here's one for measure:

    Tetteh-Quarshie interchange Posted by Hello

    I took a picture recently, and will try to post a personal perspective of what the Interchange means. If drivers cannot see the beauty of the Interchange, I certainly can! And I will not desist in my appreciation either...

    Site of the Day!

    Here's a site I came across while looking for pictures of airport residential, but the quotation about airport residential is way too juicy to leave to a click of the mouse:
    "It soon became apparent that where I'm staying is completely different to central Accra, with its pollution, traffic and amiable chaos; the Airport Residential Area is to Accra what Kensington is to London, and the streets are wide, clean, empty and dotted with travel agents, internet cafés, well-stocked shops, medical clinics and embassies sporting palm trees and well-watered lawns. I marvelled at it, but like all relatively modern residential areas, it has yet to develop any soul. Suburbia is a great place to live; it's not such a great place to hang out."
    from Mark Moxon, UK Travel Writer:

    I never figured myself a travel writer. In fact, I re-call being turned off completely when we had to read "In Patagonia" at the British School of Brussels, back in Belgium for an A-Level English class. I touched a few pages with a barge pole. Small wonder I got a bad grade for the review of it;-)

    The irony of it all is that here I am--ten years later--doing what is, in essence, travel writing of a different kind...


    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    A Muscle Pull & a Funeral

    I didn't actually *go* to a funeral, but I was at my Mum's uncle's place in airport residential (mostly where embassies are located, plus a slew of verdant views, replete with palm and coconut trees) bringing some money for a funeral.

    Please forget scratching your head--and get a paper ready. When you are an up-and-coming young man (as I am ascribed to be), you are compelled to make a contribution when a member of the family -- no matter how remote or close they may be -- dies. The logic is that so that when your time comes, you will have a fitting burial.

    Dad, Mum and I had a bit of brain-wave yesterday. More Dad actually, arguing that if the thing were more structured (with a secretary, treasurer, etc), it would facilitate transparency, as well help make people better-prepared for any unforseen death. Sounds like a swell idea, but seeing how out of sync these elders are with the 21st century way of doing things -- ie email, etc -- I wonder how successful we will be in conveying this brain-wave at the meeting I was asked to attend--despite the fact that I am at WORK at four pm!!

    Can you believe I was asked to obtain permission (to which I tacitly acquiesced a reverential answer of "ok. I'll see...") from my boss at work so that I could attend a meeting of a relative of my Mum's who has passed on -- may he Rest in Peace--at the age of 78. Okay, could have lived longer, I understand, but come on, I hardly *knew* the guy...

    So much for Ghanaian customs!!

    Next time I get a call from my Mum's uncle (actually, my maternal grandmother's (whom we were very close to)twin brother), remind me not to pick it!

    As for my muscle pull, no regrettably, I didn't get it whilst engaged in steamy session with my s.o. G__, but me trying to exercise;-) Can you believe that I haven't exercised in aeons, and so getting back to it (which I SERIOUSLY need to)--pretty much in a nod and wink to my post of today on my alter-ego blog Reflecting the Eccentric World of E.K.Bensah II--caused me some serious pain!

    I did the bending exercise, where you hold a sturdy chair, and bend down for about fifteen times. My bones creaked. I knew I was diong the work, but, still, I am in effing pain.

    Well, I still would have been had I not decided to do the proverbial turn over a new leaf, by doing some skipping, sit-ups and...what else, yes, leg thingy (pls see above)

    In an echo of today's post, "rock on!!"

    I'm in new -- not necessarily unchartered -- territory, and I LIKE IT!!

    Why risk paying for a gym, when I get my own in my back-yard--and better still in fresh air??

    Time for Action, Freshly-Arrived Denizen!

    Friday, April 15, 2005

    Of Mosquitoes and Rain

    So there I was after having arrived from a Public Forum at Osu Presbyterian Church Hall, which ended at around 8pm to greet a very dark neighborhood that was MINE--Manetville, East Airport.

    Darkness had fallen--and it had fallen BIG TIME.

    The surrounding areas were quite well-lit, but once again, as if a presage to the imminent rain, the lights in the area had gone out.

    Only one or two houses were lit, with generators blowing noisily away.


    Everyone felt that it would come on soon, so at home, we happily ate our dinner. I had my kelewele:

    (fried ripe plantain) that I bought not too far from--actually very close to--Lebanese-owned "Koala".

    A picture of OSU's (in)famous OXFORD STREET at day (from

    They weren't too sweet. Very good.

    But I had to force dinner down, especially with the lights off in the 'hood.

    Pooh. Pooh.

    Fast forward two hours. Getting on ten pm. No lights. Mosquitoes buzzing round my ear.

    Speaking with Dad about something, however, distracted me from the sounds, but as one hour came--and another, it was mighty difficult to forget their presence.

    Mosquitoes. An effing pain. They thrive in the dark, they do. The fans usually blow them away, or at least stymie their descent to the jungles of my hairy body.

    Not this time. They were flirting with my ear-lobe, and I didn't like it one bit. I remembered my ODOMOS, which I realised--SHOCK HORROR!--was finished.

    Pooh. Pooh. Pooh.

    No way to go buy one --where?!--in this darkness.

    An hour later, we were sleeping.

    Next we know, rain begins to fall. I rush outside and close ALL windows. Then rush back in.

    Heavy rain but short, only an hour, in another tropical African country.{Accra, Ghana, October 2003}

    A big relief, considering how hot it had been during the night--did I say it was now around 3am in the morning of Friday 15 April?--without the ubiquitous fans.

    No cats-and-dogs type of rain, but it was bad enough.


    As I left for work this morning, I realise lights STILL not on.

    So feeling PRETTY cranky. Not because of lights or anything, but because, apart from having a pretty uneven sleep, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has FAILED us ALL again.

    Pssssssssssssssst: this link here of a Ghanaian restaurant in Washington looks quite good in the sense that it gives you a serious overview --albeit not exhaustive--of Ghanaian food. Give it a try!

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    Kill Speed before Billy Goat Does!

    I cannot for the life of me understand the penchant that goats have for crossing roads when you're cruising at circa 100km/h.

    Yesterday, on my way back from Mankessim, TWICE-not once-a goat tried to cross PK. The first had to be the funniest...

    There we were, with PK crusing around a respectable speed of 80km/h, when this goat, oh so casually, decides to cross the road. We were approaching Kasoa then, so the speed had been reduced considerably, but still.

    With its hips swinging, its legs doing the bop--much like Afro-Americans hooked up in gang-life ascribe to--twisting its whole body like it was trying to chat up a babe, it tried to cross the road.

    As we came closer, it **very quickly** crossed the road.

    That's more like it, I thought.

    The second was almost dangerous, cos this time, t here was no wooing on the goat's part, it just wanted to cross the road. When PK revved the engine, it reversed. Thankfully, there was no car from the opposite direction.
    Our visceral response, apart from sucking our teeth in collective defiance, was to proclaim:

    "These goats are so DARNED stoo-pid!"

    Or something of sorts in vernacular...

    Something that really got my GOAT -- no pun intended (I'm sure!!) -- yesterday was the conduct of a driver coming into the capital transporting a huge number of people (supposedly, the huge bus must be a big give-away!)with STC, or State Transport Company:

    Apologies for sounding like an old man, but the driver's driving was uncalled for: overtaking over a curve; travelling at speeds of 120km/h, when we were approaching the capital; and just plain STUPID driving. I had a good mind to call STC and register a complaint...if I had had sufficient credits, but that's another story...

    If ever someone gets to read this, and doubtless, E, you are reading it aren't you;-) and they feel lke coming to Ghana, well, here are some interesting details for your info:

  • Phone: 233-21-221-912



    My cheque ought to be in the post soon:-))

    Speaking of which, it's funny how when Ghanaians see the police post at Kasoa, then they all suddenly turn into paragons of driving virtue.

    On a more serious note, I was rather disturbed to see so many shops--on a SUNDAY wouldja believe--open for business--even around 3pm? Have they not heard of the Sabbath? I like to spend mine lazying around, so what's the deal with these people...

    Maybe nothing really exciting except that it was yet another scorching day, and the goats were adding more frustration than they could imagine to a very uneventful Sunday...

    Isn't that ironic?

    An Experience of Duplicity in January 2005

    Friday 21 January, 2005 – TIME: 6.15pm GMT

    Duplicity of the highest order?

    I should have known this deal was too good to be true.

    I exaggerate. This isn’t of the highest order, but it certainly feels as much. Greed and lies go very far in Ghana…far, at least, in misleading people.

    Not talking sense? Let me explain.

    Unbeknownst to Mrs.B – the woman whom I was going to buy the motorbike off – the mb was sold to someone for the cost of ç2.5m in lieu of the 1.2 they had promised me. The story is a typically Ghanaian one: you agree on a price with someone; then after enthusiastic interchanges between the buyer and let me call him the buyee, the buyee decides to sell it off at a higher price.

    What crap is this?

    It’s Ghanaian crap that’s what it is. Actually, no, it’s human crap. It’s the human condition and existential shit and all that. As it’s Friday, I am not gonna elaborate except to say: there will be measures…

    More precisely of …my pocket…and how much I am willing to spend. Cos 1.2 was so effing good, and it’s gone. So, I have to put my thoughts in prayer, and…pray, and hope for Monday. I really do hope next week s’averai bien.

    On verra.

    It’s getting too late, and I gotta piss off.

    So, I’ll see you.

    E.k. very pissed, but calming down very fast:-)

    6.23pm GMT

    Thursday, April 07, 2005

    On Taxis & Conversations

    What is it about Taxis and conversations? I’m not sure whether I’m a magnet to taxi-men and conversations, or it’s just coincidence. Then again, as Fox Mulder, of the X-Files yore, said in season 1 or 2, “why do coincidences feel so contrived?”.

    There has to be Someone Watching Over Me.

    I am convinced.

    This week, I was seriously hard-up, and I don’t doubt next week I will be either;-)

    But somehow, somewhere, I have managed to get to work and home with the barest minimum. In other words, I have paid considerably less to go home and to work than I normally would have.

    This morning, I got a lift from my neighbour, and when I was dropped off to make my way as she was going towards Tetteh-Quarshie circle, I got a taxi—driven by a most personable and good-natured guy—who charged me—wouldja believe 8 effing thousand cedis!!

    That’s EIGHT effing thousand from the tunnel to Miklin Hotel!

    This says less about taxi-men’s habits than the coincidence this week of getting the most inexpensive ride—ranging from 8 to 10,000 cedis.

    To say nothing of the conversation this man, this morning, had with me. Actually, it was less of a conversation and more of him talking.

    But, anyway.

    It was as if God was talking to me. Not that I think I have done anything bad that merits being talked to—if you see what I mean…

    But, hey, it was very insightful. The essence of his homily as we juggled along that untarred road behind East Legon that turns into (past OIC school) Miklin Hotel, was that “do good and be humble”. He related a tale of how he went to Tamale. He had insufficient money, so he asked taxi to accompany him to x whilst he waited to get his money. Hardly had he set out, when a woman said that she had an extra fare, so he could have it! So he ended up using that money, in his words, to “eat yoghurt” (it would have to be Fanice, or Tampico:-) ) and keep the rest on him.

    We both exclaimed “Ay!”

    Though I have to admit mine was a bit camp, or affected;-( Wanted to let him feel good I was listening—which I was.

    Couldn’t quite understand whether he was drunk and felt I was a good conversationalist – despite my heavy blue cotton shirt, black tie, with blue-leaves; black Viscose trousers – or I was just a casual-looking doode anyway *in spite of* the tie, thus rendering me with an affable physiognomy?

    In my dreams! Since when has sporting slanted Gucci (yes, fake I must admit!) sunglasses made anyone’s physiognomy look affable?!

    But that’s another story…

    Point is: this week, I’ve been spared of dishing out some serious money—and it has to be none other than Some Doode Up there Watching Over Me and listening to my remonstrations about my impecunious current state.


    Two days ago—that’s Tuesday—I walked on that same untarred road from Miklin Hotel—just for exercise, and I had beads of sweat dripping down my face, but it was good! I enjoyed the walk, which enabled me see a different part of East Legon. It took circa twenty minutes, and I enjoyed it thoroughly!! I managed to walk under the tunnel from East Legon to Spintex, and there I caught a cab.

    The guy was equally affable. He just blasted me with the ongoing saga at the Ghana Football Association, which I have been following only marginally, as it were. In other words, I have ZERO interest. Who cares about football?

    Not a safe question to ask in a country as mad about football as they are about their kenke…

    Safety behind the screen:-)

    Alisa Hotel (located at North Ridge), which, according to trusted sources was “Sunrise Hotel”, formerly was interesting. I’m talking about the meeting we had for work. But the food?

    Oh, the food! Ok, I exaggerate, but it honestly could have been better. The so-called fried rice was just that : so-called. The chicken was imported, and the fish I guess was home-grown, as it were, but nothing to write home about.

    Unlike my tales of taxis and conversations!

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    It's Official: Western Union in Mankessim!

    Was down in Mankessim over the weekend visiting my folks, and I was piqued, as it were, by the sight of Western Union flag fluttering in the heat at the roundabout that takes you to Cape Coast (to the left); Mankessim (to the right).

    Was a sight to behold.

    Maybe now, Mankessim can concentrate on developing the sanitation, as the dirt there is legendary, frankly. To say nothing of the insalubrious byways where people sell clothes, etc. Can you actually believe that people sell shoes near Ghana Commercial Bank branch, very close to an open gutter? How salubrious is that?

    There are a coupls of pictures of Mankessim, but the picture below seems to be the most popular:

    Mankessim: Posuban shrine - company nr. 2 - Anomabu traditional area.

    Never quite understood what the whole set-up is about.

    Hell, our traditional leaders are not doing much to propagate the story behind it. Major faux pas...

    Anyway, travelling from Mankessim to Accra was a bit of a blast. With the newly rehabilitated road, it took exactly one hour, at the speed I must confess of circa 110-120km/h, to arrive in Kasoa! Then another hour from:
  • Mendskrom

  • Mallam

  • Darkoman

  • Lapaz, etc..
    past Cresta Royale Hotel (North Dzorwolu) to Spintex Road!


    On Taxi-ing
    There was nothing really exciting to report except that the weather was scorching these past couple of days. One daren't go out...

    But with regard to the taxi, I was relieved this morning when, struck at the extreme difficulty in obtaining a taxi ride, I flagged down a cab. He reversed with another guy in it. They were travelling from up Spintex road.

    The guy dropped off not too far from the turning to the right that leads to the tunnel that, in turn, leads to East Legon/Shiashie.

    I indicated I wanted to go to Miklin Hotel, and ended up paying ç10,000! -- that's 10 thousand cedis (1 Euro, or just under).


    Have, hopefully, found a new and inexpensive way to commute to work.

    Let's hope it pays off...:-)
  • Friday, April 01, 2005

    Thankyou Spacefon...

    SO there I was trying to put a security code on my phone, when suddenely, I get the message:

    "SIM Card blocked!"

    Panic set in.

    There I was at the office. I opened my desk and looked for my original instructions, trying desperately to locate the so-called PUK code.


    "Anyone know where the PUK code is located?" I asked my colleagues

    They all shook their heads.


    WIthin minutes, I was downstairs at reception, then out the door, after I had called Spacefon (0243.500.000) They promptly informed me that I had to go to a Spacefon shop.

    "WHere are you?" asked the Spacefon operator

    "East Legon" I blurted, "so, where's the closest place"

    "37...or Madina"

    37 I knoew, and it looked good, so I rushed out, walking very briskly and purposefully. Flagged a taxi, and presto, within ten minutes, after walking past children going home from the French school nearby, I was at the Spacefon shop in 37 area.

    The personable young woman with very pink and brown lipstick asked me to identify the problem.

    I did.

    She took my info, and secretly inputted the code (PUK code) -- much to my chagrin:-(

    I had wanted to know the code, but all that didn't matter anymore!

    Cos now, I had my very unique number BACK---and more than anything... sanity as well.

    Thanks, Spacefon-Areeba--as much as I never thought I would say this!!


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