Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another Birthday. I have Come of Age. I Think...

I spent Easter Sunday with the folks, and it saw me watching "Paranormal Activity" at night. Was freaked out...then decided to watch "WOLFMAN" with Anthony Hopkins and Benicio del Toro as father/son werewolves.

Around 1am!

I cracked up more. DEL TORO as a werewolf?? WTF! Can't ever shake off Del Toro in "Usual Suspects"....still.

Two horror films in one night. And no nightmares!

Cool things!! I have come of age!

I think.

As I turn 34 today, I cannot but help reflect on the fact that I  have no less than SIX years before I turn 40.

Does daunting come to mind -- anyone??

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Two Things that Get my Goat about Ghana (Ghana Hall of Shame, Mike!)

Before I offer the expected rant, let me provide context.

It's a busy Thursday before Easter and so people have been preparing left, right, and center. In that respect, I was half-expecting to meet things that would get my goat. Still, I think Ghanaians should know better.

So I called an organisation to find out something. When the person answered, it was a hesitating "hello?".

I immediately reacted, asking whether it was the organisation I was calling--to which he replied in the affirmative. "The least you can do", I went on at him, "is to tell anyone who calls the name of the organisation, you see?". He promptly apologised. I asked him about the service and he asked me for my number.

I gave him an AIRTEL number, starting with "0-2-6".

Next I hear, he's bloody repeating the number prefaced with an MTN number! To wit: "0-2-4-2-6"!

I almost hit the roof.

"Sir, no! I said '0-2-6' ..."?!?!

To cut a long story short:
1. Customer service is annoying at the best of times, but let's just remind the recalcitrant staff of organisations who answer their phones with a "hello" that they should immediately STATE the organisation first. Just good for business--whatever it might be

2. Not everyone is on MTN! Some of us have abandoned their MTN like perpetually-hot cakes. We now have AIRTEL on 026; VODAFONE on 020; EXPRESSON on 028; TIGO on 027; and soon GLOBACOM on, I believe 023...

If you survived this rant, kudos! Make sure you have a great Easter and be back renewed on Tuesday 26 April--a very special day for yours truly!;-)

BTW: check out ghanablogger Mike on http://ghanahallofshame.blogspot.com/ who has made efforts to highlight and condemn such bad practices

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Do You Like Peace? I do!"

As I was plodding back to the office at lunchtime, I came across this sticker on the back of a motorbike.

"What a lame sticker!" I instinctively thought, then paused mentally.

What actually is peace? In Ghana, we like to bandy it around a lot, but what's really our conception of it?

Martin Luther King said long ago that "peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice".

Where's our water justice? electricity justice? road traffic justice? political party justice? social justice? police justice?

Sometimes, I wonder about the last part.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Things to do in Accra when you're dead (to the world)

Imagine this: you're at home watching TV around 22h00. You're kind of winding down for the evening. Dishes done. Stuff packed. You're anticipating a delicious sleep in an hour or so. Suddenly, darkness falls.

Sadly, it lasts too long. Two hours later, you're still in darkness--and it looks like you're the only house in the street to experience it, too! You know there's enough electricity, so that's ruled out. You call 0302.611.611 and speak to ECG's hotline. They are not very reassuring, especially because you're only one or two houses without power.
The following morning, you wake up with a semi-headache, on account of a lack of qualitative sleep. There's no-one to sympathise with you, especially as no neighbour knows what hell you were going through.

Honestly. Really. Save the battery-powered radio, you were dead to the world.

Because this is Ghana, where patience seems to be in abundance, you stoically shake your head--and press on to work with that crumpled shirt you vowed to iron before the lights went off.

Things to do in Accra when you're dead to the world?

Sleep, ofcourse!


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