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...

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