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;-)
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