Wednesday, 30 April 2008


Today is Valborgsmassoafton. Don't even know what it's called in English (google tells me it's called Walpurgis Night), but in Sweden it's a significant day. It's the King's birthday, (not that anyone really celebrates that) but also it's the day that really signifies us getting close to summer. Because 1st of may is always a holiday (Labour Day), Valborgsmassoafton is the night on which teenagers get hold of booze, usually from their parents' stock at home (in Sweden you can't buy alcohol under the age of 20) and get drunk in various parks.

After finally meeting K yesterday, she reminded me of Valborg. What came to mind was how the days just go by in Ghana and unless you remind yourself, it's easy to drift from one month to another without realising.

In Sweden, because of the contrasts of seasons, you are always reminded of what time of year it is. Around this time especially (and noticeably so in the Swedish blogs I read), everyone is looking out for those signs of summer, knowing the temperature of each day and sometimes even the time at which the sun rises!

Apart from that, the celebrations and events of the year are celebrated so much more than here in Ghana. At Christmas each home is decorated in green and red, with a Christmas tree, Christmas Star and the smell of mulled wine and saffron from the lussekatter. Equally so, at Easter there are yellow feathers in place and Easter dinners of eggs and fish. Around this time of year, studenten is round the corner, i.e. when the 18/19 year olds graduate from college/our 'A' level equivalent. In June, we celebrate Midsummer and in August most homes hold a Kraftskiva, celebrating the harvest of the larger crabs/crayfish(?).

I love those celebrations and traditions and find it a nice way of always having something to look forward to. I think the only thing that comes close in comparison is Homowo for the Gas. (Sorry to the Kwawus, I know you travel to the mountains for Easter but I honestly don't know what happens there). Even Christmas doesn't seem to carry much value in this land brimming over with staunch Christians.

For the past two years, I have tried to hold on to my traditions, but it seems to be a losing battle and towards each holiday, I find myself glancing at the cheap flight deals...

Tuesday, 29 April 2008


It's amazing how tired we can be without realising it. This morning, after a very good night's sleep, I just couldn't rush and get on with my day as I was supposed to. It seems the brain told the body "don't rush, there's nowhere she has to be today, everything can wait til tomorrow" and I gave in. My lunch meeting was cancelled and nothing else has to be done today so it looks like it'll be another day at home. At least that gives me the opportunity to sort out the piles of work papers that need sorting and prepare my handing over note.

I'm glad I don't need to get caught up in Tuesday's Accra traffic. It is such an odd phenomenon, lots of traffic on a Tuesday. I've asked the reason for it several times and from what I understand, most households do their 'marketing' (love that expression, that's going to do the weekly shopping in the market to me and you) and I guess because the fishermen don't go to sea on Tuesdays, that's when they'll get the opportunity to run their errands too.

So for now it seems I'll stay safely holed up in cozy Tema!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Swedish lunch

The last few days have been very hectic. Didn't realise how relaxed I was being about leaving work until it was time to go for the day and I realised everything would have to be packed up and put into my car.

Went for a drive later Friday night all the way to Aburi. It was lovely, the view of Accra from that side of town, the fresh air, the silence.

Then, Saturday morning, I was off to L and J's beautiful house in McCarthy hill. For weeks we've been planning a Swedish lunch for L's mum's 60 birthday party to remind her of her many years in Sweden over twenty years ago. L's sister A also came over and we spent the whole of Saturday getting most of the preparations out of the way for the lunch on Sunday. Luckily my mum had given me loads of her tips and recipes to help us cook.

We prepared Toast Skagen (toast with a seafood filling on top) as a starter, Smorgastarta (sandwich cake)

for the main course, beef filet with mushroom sauce and potatoes also for the main course, then jordgubbstarta (strawberry gateau),

karleksmums (chocolate squares), chokladbollar (chocolate balls) and syltkakor (jam cookies). They really were pampered! We even remembered the seafood allergics and the diabetics.

Luckily for us, L got a chef to prepare the main beef and potato meal, but it was still a lot of hard work preparing the rest for up to fifty people.

Although it rained, this was only to our advantage as the guests came slightly late and we were able to finish on time. Yesterday we also spent the whole day on our feet, serving, instead of laying it out buffet style.

I think they all really enjoyed it, the atmosphere the food and being able to sit down and have it all brought to the table, rather than the traditional buffet style functions. Most importantly, the birthday girl, Auntie E seemed to enjoy it all.

For us working behind the scenes, I don't think we realised how tiring the whole weekend had been until last night. When I got into bed, my feet were tingling from tiredness and I thank my lucky stars I'm not working today. The day is going to be spent relaxing at home, blogging and munching on some karleksmums!


Oh my God.

Sometimes you just can't believe what's going on in the world. How can anyone keep their daughter locked up for 24 years?

It's also hard to believe that her mother didn't know what's going on. I don't want to judge, but come on!

I guess we'll just have to wait until the whole story unravels...

Friday, 25 April 2008

American President

Time Magazine has beautifully captured the Obama vs Clinton campaign in this picture, don't you think?

What I find worrying is, with all the talk and mutual slating between Hillary and Obama, is McCain just chilling and looking forward to victory? It does seem like he is getting away easily, without too many personal attacks. The Democrats should be careful they don't spend too much time bringing each other down, leaving only McCain standing.

There, that's all I'll say on the American election for now.

A grey day in Accra

Today’s weather reflects how my soul was yesterday, grey, gloomy with surprise rain and thunderstorms. The sea, my fountain of joy in life, is nowhere to be seen, it has completely blended with the sky to create an endless view of grey, grey, grey.

Although Accra may be gloomy, I am having a better day. Very busy packing away my life at the office. Since the office is also moving location, it's not just me who's packing up my work life in the central business district of Accra for new adventures.

The day will look even better if as agreed the poet and I spend my last lunch at this workplace at Tribe, looking out over the vanishing ocean. Today I think I deserve to treat myself to their delicious lasagne, but for now, I'll just enjoy a spoonful of the poet's Horlicks and a cup of tea as I wrap myself in my pashmina.

How are you spending your day today?

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

A lawyer's power

Monday morning did not start off well. After leaving the gym, as I did a right turn which I had indicated for quite a while, slowed down for two bicycles to ensure I didn’t hit them, a third bike rider who was obviously in his own world, rode right into the back of my car. Luckily he wasn’t injured and got right up and continued riding. I wasn’t amused and my gut feeling told me today felt like a day for a car accident. I said a little prayer (dear God, please let me get to work safely) and continued driving to work. As I took the right turn after passing Ridge Circle, I breathed a sigh of relief, I had made it...or so I thought. Just as I passed the exit of the car park I felt my car turn to the side, as a person leaving the car park (I had seen him, but didn’t realised he would drive with his eyes closed (after all, what other reason could there be?)) hit the back of Roger.

Luckily for me, he was a driver of one of the top guys in the bank in our building so I wouldn’t have to worry about him driving off. After I had told him off for his reckless driving, we went to his boss’ office to discuss the accident and what would follow.

What made me laugh was that the first thing his boss (who I often meet and greet at the entrance of our building and in the lift) said after hearing what had happened was:

“Oh, how could you hit her car? Don’t you know she’s a lawyer?!”

It so perfectly summed up the respect/fear that people have of lawyers in Ghana!

Now what awaits is sorting out the buckle and spraying Roger, which has all been delayed because of my extra long dental appointment yesterday and not being in the office today. The bank guy has since Monday made sure he calls often enough and even stops by the office to make sure I am still happy and not concerned about the delay in fixing the car. Naturally, he ends every conversation with: “So madam, we are ok? Please don’t send us any legal letters.”

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Words of Wisdom

While sitting at the dental clinic, waiting and waiting and waiting, I got the chance to start reading a book that SQB lent me. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. So far, it seems very inspiring, a book that you pick up and read a chapter out of to get guidance when necessary.

From what I managed to read today, it reminds me a bit of my favourite of all time, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This book was such an amazing journey for me. To this day, I can’t remember where I was when I read it, know I was on a plane going somewhere (definitely not home, which at that time was Gothenburg or London), I had about five hours on me, and I took my time and read the whole book. I can’t remember the story and have not read it again yet (SQB is giving me a copy which I’ll read after the Prophet), but I recommend it to everyone.

I think I recommend it because of how I felt after finishing the book, which, luckily I still remember. It was a sort of Eureka moment, wow, life can be so easy if we just go with the flow and try to live with nature, embrace the simple life. Sounds very flower-power now, but I’m sure those who have read the Alchemist know the feeling I am trying to describe. Once I got back to London(?) I made two decisions very easily, decisions I had previously gone back and forth on.

I think The Prophet may have a similar impact on me. My favourite line from today was in the chapter ‘on marriage’, a topic that we’ve been discussing a lot lately (had a discussion with Ruby and her workmate about it just yesterday). The Prophet says:

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

What a fitting quote for an ocean lover like me! And what a beautiful way to capture how we change as people in life and therefore our love cannot be a solid, tangible thing but rather something so abstract that is always in transition.

Dentist - friend or foe?

Today I spent four hours at the dentist. Yes, f-o-u-r hours. Thought I was going for a quick check up to sort out the toothaches I’ve had on both the left and right side of my mouth, and yes, they did check it out, but I hadn’t counted on the many x-rays, the compulsory teeth cleaning by a dental hygienist and the many, many minutes of waiting in between.

Will have to go back next week for more extensive work to be done, for now I will not talk about that. Have never had a fear of the dentist ever, it’s always been a great experience. Mr. T and I would go together when we were younger, he first, always.

After dealing with his issues, braces, etc. and scolding him for not handling dental hygiene as well as he should, it would be my turn. “Ååååh, så fina tänder!” the lovely Ebba would say (that’s “Oh, such lovely teeth”) and her dental nurse would nod in agreement.

That’s how the majority of my dental checkups have been – always a pleasant visit where I’d be showered with compliments.

Unfortunately, after next Friday, I may join the mass of odontophobics, a majority of human beings, a group that I guess most of you are already part of.

Monday, 21 April 2008

The land of cohabitation.

As mentioned earlier, in Ghana it is common to stay living with your parents until you get married. Not only for financial reasons, but because that is the done thing. As a good Christian you are not meant to be doing anything ; ) that would require you to live with anyone else until you are married. Of course, it doesn’t mean things are not being done. Ghanaians go off to university either in Ghana or abroad and live on campuses, having all the fun that you do on campus.

Ask around and you’ll find that many Ghanaians, even after university, are unofficially living with their girlfriends or boyfriends. But would anyone ever come out and say it? No.

Coming from Sweden, the land of cohabitation, we’ve even made a word out of it (sambo = cohabitee), I didn’t realise the taboo about living together. I’d speak to a friend and he’d tell me about his girlfriend of four years, so naturally I would ask, “are you living together?”. He’d look at me as if I’d asked whether he eats babies for breakfast and exclaim “Noooo!”. After a while though, I realised, yes, people may not be officially living together, but they’d be found at their partners place four to five times a week, is that not more living together than not?

In Sweden, cohabiting is such a natural thing, nobody gives it a second thought. Most teenagers look forward to the day they can move out, and most do move out at least by the time they’re 21. And of course, if you’re going from a rent free existence to paying all your on bills, it’s convenient to have a flat mate, and who better than a boyfriend? You won’t need more than a one bedroom apartment and all the bills can be split, while your relationship grows to the next level. I would say it is very common that after 18 months in a relationship, cohabitation is the natural next step.

It is quite funny that in Ghana the pattern is probably the same, but due to the burden of being a good Christian, it is all going on behind closed doors. In fact, when a couple can no longer keep the fact that they’re living together a secret any longer, they’ll simply start referring to each other as husband and wife and leave it up to you and me to decide whether we can be bothered to go and look for their marriage certificates.

It seems in Ghana we live by the old tree falling in the woods notion: if you live together but keep up the pretence that you don't, in your God's eyes it's not happening. Hm, somehow, it seems the spiritual leaders are not being given the kind of respect they ought to be given...

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Whose country is it anyway?

We sometimes forget that people have been travelling round for centuries, it wasn’t in the 20th century that we humans became globetrotters. This realisation came to me yesterday as I was enjoying my fufu and groundnut soup (aaah, memories!).

Ghanaians, well those of a similar background to me, feel (yes, admit it, you do) a certain resentment or irritation towards the foreigners who come and settle in Ghana. I think it’s a combination of being colonised and having our most valuable natural resources stolen from us and the treatment we receive in Western countries that make us feel like, well, I’ve gone back to my country like you wanted, so why don’t you stay in yours.

Of course it doesn’t come out in every day life, we all have our friends from all the corners of the world but there’s a certain possessiveness over mother Ghana, like, I’m in my country now.

So imagine my surprise when speaking to Virgo’s Lebanese friend only to hear him say his father and grandfather were born in Jamestown (Accra) after his great grandfather came to Ghana in the 1850s. I can only describe my reaction as snopen (will try to think of an English word, but I’m sure you’ll get me) when I realised his family came to Ghana 30 years before my maternal grandmother’s family did.

It really made me think, what makes a country ours? How long we’ve been there, what we’ve done to help develop it, or whether some of our DNA comes from its people?

If I were to have a sexual encounter with a Vietnamese man and have a child by him, and I never speak to that man again and never visit the country, how Vietnamese is that child?

For me it has always been so easy to be Ghanaian, as being a foreigner in Sweden, you will never be allowed to feel Swedish, believe me the passport checks at the airport when you are coming “home” will always remind you that you are not a real Swede.

Also, my parents have always talked so much about Ghana and taken us to Ghana so many times. However, in Ghana, I’m not considered Ghanaian at all, and why should I be, I don’t speak the languages, can hardly cook the traditional dishes and have spent less than three years living here? So how dare I of all people feel any possessory rights over a country I have only recently adopted as my home land?

Until I realise what makes a country mine more than anyone else’s, I will avoid saying that any country is mine to claim against another, whether Ghana, Sweden or any other country I adopt. I hope you join me in acknowledging the global village we live in.

Party weekend

Friday night was so good, really really good. Started by going over to Ruby’s for drinks with Virgo, then continued to Monsoon for a short while before going to Reema’s where Boi’s 30th birthday party was taking place. How sweet of his parents to actually plan a surprise party for him and get all his friends involved.

The music was great, almost constantly, we danced and danced. The best thing about it was that almost everybody was out, so much fun catching up with people. The night continued at the Office, before crashing in to bed around 4.30 (for the London/Brussel crew that may not be impressive).

It’s much better to just go out once in a while and have a really good night than to try going out every weekend and just see the same old faces in same old Accra.

Actually, Saturday was also good. After recovering from the night’s fun, I went for fufu and groundnut soup with Virgo, SQB and Sad-Ass at their friend’s house. Then, home to relax, change and take my mum to a party, before continuing to dinner at the Architects house. From there we continued to Labone for a house party, briefly met little H there, but the party was dry and I was feeling tired so I left after a short while. Have a business meeting this afternoon, then, if I get home early enough, I’ll prepare some sushi for the week, and hopefully, hopefully be in bed by 21:00. Old lady like me needs to get some rest!

Got home a few minutes ago. There is no way I am getting to bed on time, oh well, will have to sleep next weekend!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Convoy of Idiots

On my journey from the client's office in Tema to the office this afternoon, I was stuck behind a convoy of idiots on the motorway. Seriously, it was a convoy, about nine or ten cars with their hazard lights on, driving at 95km/ the fast lane. They perfectly blocked us all so nobody would be able to pass.

But it was actually worse when we got to Tetteh Quarshie. I suspect one car was on the verge of breaking down, or maybe he just needed to sneeze, so naturally, as you do, he just braked. From 80km/h to 0. Of course his fellow idiots did the same thing and halted to a stop, leaving the rest of us screeching, trying to also stop in time.

When he realised there was nothing wrong with his car, he and his friends joined the road (in the curve that leads us to join the Legon cars), as you do, without looking or checking if anyone else was actually already on the road, forcing about five sensible drivers to swerve off the road to avoid an accident.

There is something about Fridays, weekends and national holidays. For some reason the driving is so much more reckless. If only it were because people were drunk, at least we'd have an explanation, but I suspect their stone sober. Is it that, when leaving the office for a few days off, people leave their brains behind, to be able to get in to that extra relaxed mood?

Before I even get started on the things that went on in traffic around Christmas (u-turns on the motorway, anyone?), let me just make a general plea: as you're about to leave the office for the week, make sure your thinking machine is with you, just like your bag, phone and keys and let's all have a great weekend!

Thursday, 17 April 2008


Found this really interesting website that talks about new guidelines for caring for babies. Have a look here if you are a new parent (or for any of us who'll have children one day)

Plastic fantastic

Between this

and this,
is it me or is the world becoming just a little too used to plastic surgery?

The whole "my beautiful mommy" story cracks me up, with the "happy ending" and the woman's son bragging about mummy's new belly button at a party. Gosh, these children's body images are going to be so messed up!

All that money

This morning I read about Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, whose will revealed that she left nothing of her £51 million fortune to her two daughters.

Wow! I don't even know how to react. Naturally I respect her for sticking to her promise of not leaving anything to them and giving all the money to charity instead, but imagine the determination it would take to make such a decision.

E and i discussed it in the office. So many people who started out poor, or well, not rich, work their way up but are adamant that their children should work as hard to get to their level in life. I completely agree that it's good to make sure children don't grow up spoilt, but isn't the whole point of making it rich to be able to afford a certain lifestyle for yourself, your partner and children? I see a clear difference between teaching children the value of hard work and wanting them to suffer the same way one may have suffered to make it.

In Anita Roddick's case, of course that wasn't issue, she resented the idea of leaving huge sums of money to children and family and all the fuss that was made about money.

It is fantastic that she could give all that money away to charity and her daughters supported her in that decision, but somehow it also feels a little reckless. I can't help feeling she could have left just £1 million for them, say for a rainy day? To have worked all those years, building the Body Shop for thirty years only to give all the money away. It says so much about her character, what a strong personality and what a desire to denounce the value of money for other things. As much as i admire her, I am almost certain I could not have made the same decision.

Would you be able to give away all your money for a good cause?

Meanwhile, whilst writing this post, a fascinating weather drama has played out outside my window as a curtain of grey clouds closed on the pale blue sky and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean that I looked out over fifteen minutes ago has vanished into the midst of grey that tells no tale of where the sky ends and the sea begins.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008


Roger and I have now been together for just over two years. It's mainly been a smooth ride, we only had a few ups and downs, first at the very beginning, we actually made a complete break between mid-January and April 2006. Since then, all has been well until two weeks ago. Roger seemed moody and un-cooperative and suddenly it was as if things were falling apart.

Until then I hadn't realised just how much I depended on him. When he shocked me with a complete hissy fit one day, I also retaliated by finding someone else, the lovely Satine. Of course Satine was never going to be in it for the longterm, she's SQB's but for a day or two she kept me so happy.

After a little action with Satine I went back to Roger but he wasn't having it so I had to try various other distractions, the wobbly one, ML and finally today, Bessie. The wobbly one was too unreliable, ML was great, but not for me (and anyway, I suspect Virgo loves her more than, or at least as much as me) and Bessie, whose always been so great, although a bit slow, went completely berserk in Makola. Just when i didn't know what to do with her, Mensah came along with Roger who completely saved the day.

After Roger's unreliable tantrums and all these bits on the side, it seems Roger and I have finally found our way back to each other. I hope this time he's in it for the long term, or at least til July when a summer crush may come along and distract me.

Cars, you've just gotta to love them. No matter how much they mess us up by breaking down at the wrong time and place, they are the ones that take us safely from A to B. Have you shown appreciation to your Roger today? ;)


Today for once I ended up going straight home from work. We, the four lawyers, were chatting for about an hour and a half before we realised it was almost eight so we all packed up and went home.

Yesterday I went to Tasty Jerk(is that the name?) in Osu. Can't believe that place, which I drive past probably three or four times a week, has existed for over twenty years! Only heard about it a few months ago and the food was as good as I had heard.

This morning, Virgo and I killed our stomach muscles, I can still feel it, as if the pain in my gluteus maximus (words of the day!) wasn't enough. Really look forward to the day when gymming is such a part of my routine that I won't feel the sore muscles at all.

Really really should shut down now, yesterday I was a good girl and left my laptop at work, wonder if I can be disciplined enough to get to bed early tonight. Will try, but somehow I think there'll be another post before the evening is over.


Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The Office

Another day gone by. I'm sitting wrapped in my pashmina (yes, I am in Ghana!), looking out over what in daytime is a view of Cedi House, National Theatre and the Atlantic Ocean, but now is complete darkness, except for a few lights from offices in Cedi House.

Sniffling with a head that feels heavy, I started wondering if I was about to get a cold. Then I realised I've had that feeling almost every week in the last few months. At first I thought it was the change of weather, from Harmattan, to hot stickiness, to the beginnings of rainy season. Now however, i suspect it's caused by the office environment. Sitting in an office with glaring artificial light from the ceiling and the laptop seems to cause me to strain my eyes all day. Add to that a central AC system that is so messed up the admin staff four metres from me have the fans going while I sit in my office, in socks and wrap, shivering. With windows that don't open, no natural light showers me with Vitamin D and no oxygen reaches me by natural means. Is it any wonder I always feel off?

If I didn't have the view of the sea, I don't know what would have saved me.

Why is it that we, in tropical, beautiful Ghana have chosen to close ourselves of from all the natural beauty of fresh ocean air, rays of sunlight and the beauty of trees, bushes and plants around us? Instead, we've created an environment, best suited for a grey, rainy London, after all there it would be perfect to have windows that don't open for the risk of raindrops coming in. If only we would nurture what we've naturally been given I believe we'd feel so much better.

I can't wait til the day I'll be working from home, in a beachfront house at Prampram, or in the deepest forest of the hills of Aburi!

Monday, 14 April 2008


It's been hard finding something positive to write about after the previous dreary post. A certain friend of mine is going through ups and downs in her relationship. At one point it seemed the whole thing was over, then a few hours later it was back on.

What was really amazing was seeing the effect this had on my friend. From not being able to work, eat or even talk properly, once all the problems were sorted out, she was back to her usual bubbly, joking self, with even more energy than usual. Within ten minutes she had said more than she had said all day.

Is that what relationships do to us? I have to ask because at the moment mine is in the plain sailing phase (no smugness intended) so it's hard to see it taking over my life or my mind. I always say love is like a fever or flu that we should avoid catching as it will take over and control our senses. A lot of my more romantic friends call me cold for saying that (Virgo looked at me in disbelief when I said it!) but those who understand me get what I mean.

If our love or relationship is so overwhelming it affects our every day life (which it usually does), sleeping, eating, working, making us lose control over how we handle ourselves, how do we know for sure that we can stop ourselves from going over the edge and completely losing our senses to love?

Let's not forget that we don't always fall in love with the right, or even with a good person. Do we know when to give way to love or do we just lose ourselves to love senselessly?

I certainly avoid headspinning, careless love like I do any other flu ;), I've had it before and just like malaria or Appollo, I learned from it and now know how to avoid catching it again.

My way may not be the best, but if you're going to fall for love, make sure it's a worthwhile cause, like getting an infection that gives you time off work but you still have enough energy to stay up and watch your favourite dvds. Don't fall for any flu-like love that comes along, for all you know, you may end up with typhoid. Once you've found the one that's worth the butterflies, the loss of control, blushing and tripping over your feet, embrace it with all your heart...but make sure your antibiotics are not too far away!


Every newspaper and almost every Swedish blog is today talking about Engla. Yesterday the ten year old girl who disappeared last week was confirmed dead as a 42 year old truck driver confessed to murdering her and another woman (yes I finally found a link that even English speaking readers can understand).

Every few months we hear of a young woman or child disappearing and then a few weeks later found dead, or in some cases never found. Each time, it's just as unsettling. First the local village going searching for the missing person, then the news dies down, only to shock us some time later with the bad news of a dead body found.

Each time the sorrow hits me as if it were someone close to me. One can only imagine what the relatives of the missing person go through. Month after month of wondering, searching, praying, waiting. To the extent that I believe there must be a sense of relief in all the grief when the bad news is given of at least knowing.

Can a parent ever give up? Ever begin to let go and think "she's dead, she's gone"? I don't know. Do the McCann's still believe Madeleine is alive or are they more interested in searching for her body to have someone to bury and say goodbye to? (that is assuming they are innocent, at this point none of us really know what went on).

I think the case of Natascha has made it difficult for any parent to ever give up, or rather give in to the fact that their child may be gone forever. For better or worse, the fact that she was found after 8 years reminds other parents that anything is possible, gives them that glimmer of hope they need, but also does not allow them to return to their lives, always keeping on hold, just in case. How many years do you wait until you pack away your daughter's clothes? Would you dare change anything, would you dare move house? The burden of a missing child holds the parent and the whole family hostage until released by the news no person would ever want to hear - your child is dead.

The release from all worry being worse than the worrying itself.

Sunday, 13 April 2008


Passed Shoprite on my way home (decided to try my luck there for seaweed since the Chinese shop was closed, did I really think they'd have it?!) I discovered an aisle I had never noticed before which had a...magazine section! Most people know me to be a magazine junkie, that's usually the first thing I ask for when anyone is coming to Ghana, so imagine my joy at discovering a whole section of magazines!

Unfortunately my headache had by then started affecting my eye sight (migraine perhaps?) so i only quickly scoured the shelves to check what was there. To my shock, British Marie Claire is selling for Gh¢20!!! A magazine that costs £3.30 in England is selling for three times the price here. If that's not exploitation, what is? How is an average, or even well off person living on an Accra salary supposed to afford that? Oprah was selling for Gh¢23 and OK magazine, a £2 magazine was selling for Gh¢16.5, more than four times it's original price. It seems by purchasing a few magazines we'd easily pay for a ticket to London, maybe that's Shoprite's aim?

Sadly for me, the irritation of seeing the prices just made my headache worse, so now I'm off to bed, hoping it will all be gone tomorrow.


Working weekend

Just about finished with a business meeting with Ruby, have so many things to sort out. Now I have to try and get stuff for sushi, seaweed, wasabi, soy sauce, etc. before the shop closes. Then see if I catch up with Virgo at the East Legon barbecue, although I'd much rather go home and rest. Have had a terrible headache all day, a proper pressure headache. Does it mean the weather is about to change or is it just because there's too many things on my mind? Don't know yet but hopefully whatever it is, it will disappear soon.

Business planning is sooo exciting, hope all goes well! If it does, it will all be revealed in a few months' time.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Movie night

Just spent the evening with Virgo and SQB watching movies. Well, I was watching, they were mostly napping. Saw half of Victor/Victoria, wish I had seen it all, must be more than 15 years since I saw it last, in Geneva, with the pretty ballerina and the real Victor/Victoria.

Before that we watched a movie (forgot the name) with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Helen Mirren, Isabella Rossellini and Gregory Hines, set in Sovjet. It was so interesting to see all these well known actors as they looked twenty years ago. It made me realise that I'm probably part of the last generation who knew of Baryshnikov (excuse spelling errors) as a ballet dancer, those just a few years younger will assume his big break was as Alexandr Petrovsky in Sex & the City!

Yesterday's sushi evening was great, so much fun meeting the girls. The most exciting part was that the New Bride is now a Mum to Be (M2B)! Can't believe she's going to have one of these very soon.

Being as cute as M2B is, I'm sure hers will be cuter than this one!

Friday, 11 April 2008

Viva il Berlusconi!

Silvio Berlusconi continues to amuse with his statements. This time he has said that while sitting in Parliament he realised that the right-wing female politcians were more attractive than their left-wing counterparts. Even if it were true - so?!

I have to hand it to him though, it’s people with his joker character that liven up politics. The Gordon Browns of the world may be sensible, keeping their countries in order, but it is Silvio who manages to make us laugh on a Friday morning!

Land of Dreams

I heard from an old friend a few days ago, apparently she’s now living in Paris. When I heard that, my heart leapt a beat, like when the person you have a huge crush on walks by. All my life I have wanted to live in France. I sometimes forget that that is my dream, until I speak to someone who’s living there and my crush for France is revitalised. I know I’m not alone. N has a crazy passion for Spain and all things Spanish, but at least she went and lived there for a year.

When am I going to fulfil my dream?

It seems I am reaching an age where I should be thinking about other things than flinging all over the world, apparently I have reached the age of settling down, or so they tell me. But does settling down mean giving up on your dreams? Isn’t fulfilling your dreams a necessary pre-requisite to settling down, once you’ve done and seen all that you wanted you can relax and settle.
I just want to live in France for a while (see, I’m not even fussy enough to specify a town), to know that I’ve been there, tried it, then I’ll be happy going back to life in Ghana. When will I do this though, next year perhaps? A three month stay should be enough to transcend me from a tourist to a temporary resident of that wonderful country of arrogance, indulgence and grandeur. After that, my soul will settle and my heart will remain calm whenever my crush is mentioned.

Have you lived in the land of your dreams?

The Heart of Scandinavia

Every few months it happens again, the feeling washes over me. This time I think I’ve caused it myself, reading too many blogs and local papers, so now it must be admitted...I miss Gothenburg!!!

In Ebbas blog she’s just gone back to Gothenburg and I actually feel jealous (as in proper sulky jealousy) as she describes sitting at Le Pain Francais, Condecco and going to all other places I recognise. Think I feel it more because she’s also, like me, not living there, therefore enjoying the novelty of coming home to what you know and miss.

At the same time, I am so sure of my choice to live in Ghana. The kind of happiness that is felt here cannot (for me) be found anywhere else. I don’t see myself upping and leaving, but I’m missing my dose of Sweden, it’s been too long! The cleanliness that shocks you when you’re coming from London, the fresh air - especially after a rainy day, the green trees, grass and bushes all around you everywhere, taking 91:an or 11:an in to Brunnsparken to meet some friends or walking to Jarntorget to go for a fika somewhere in Haga or Linne, I miss it all!

I do realise what I’ve described sounds like a very sunny Gothenburg, but I miss winter too. Three days ago, Virgo, SQB and I caught a program on the building of the Ice Hotel up north in Sweden, and even that looked appealing. I described to them the beauty of waking up after a night of snow, (on the days when I had a dog to walk), and being the first one out to see a beautiful, white, untouched canvas of snow.

The crispy fresh air that freezes your face but leaves you feeling rosy and refreshed, startles but wakes your senses. Even rainy days serve their purpose. Yes Gothenburg may be grey and unappealing, with leaves covering the pavements, mashed and smeared in mud, but what better time than a rainy day to cosy up at a cafe or a friend’s place for a cup of yogi tea and blueberry or apple pie?

Mmm, it’s time to start checking the travel sites, before the longing takes over completely.
By hook or by crook, I have to visit my Gothenburg soon.

Thursday, 10 April 2008


After another hectic day of car troubles (don't get me started) and work, I spent the evening at a funeral service for my dear friend's grandfather. The service was nice, the choir sang beautifully, but I felt out of place, as is often the case at Ghanaian funerals. Since funerals are social occasions like any other, you end up going to many funerals of deceased persons you don't really know. Well, I am here for my friend I thought, that counts for something.

Just then, her mother turned round and I saw her face. The pain and grief of a daughter who has lost her father was so evident on her face it startled me. Suddenly the sorrow of a life coming to an end became so real to me.

Often, when friends or relatives have babies we all gush, I can't believe the x weeks/months ago he/she wasn't alive! It is with disbelief that we marvel over the miracle of life. In those moments, when admiring a beautiful baby, we're amazed and grateful at the mystery of how we come to be human beings, the joy overshadows any wish of delving into what lies behind this mystery.

Tonight, in my friend's mother's face, I saw the other side of the mystery of life. Life can be snatched from us or our loved ones at any moment, often when we least expect it, leaving us in mourning and shock over our loved one who has left us. In those moments the question we ask the most is WHY? As we enter the world we gratefully accept life, without asking any questions, but as we leave we demand answers.

Perhaps it's time to accept that just as we receive new life into the world, we also need to accept that life will be taken away at any time. Let's make our loved ones aware of how much we care for them so that when that moment comes, we'll know that just as they arrived into this world in a welcoming embrace, they'll leave out of the wallows of warmth and affection.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Food for thought.

Mmmm, It's almost time...

Food is a funny thing. Generally, you would expect people in countries to eat what naturally fits in with their country's climate, e.g. hot, heavy foods to keep you warm on a cold winter's day in the North, or a fresh crisp salad in the hot Mediterranean sun.

Ghanaians seem to breach all those rules. You'd expect us to eat salads of avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, beans etc. or be living of smoothies and fruit salads, with all the beautiful, "exotic" fruits and vegetables that grow naturally here. Instead, the most common dishes are hot, heavy, often oily soups. There's light soup, palmnut soup, groundnut soup, green green, and if not soup, an equally hot, heavy stew: okro stew, garden egg stew, kontomire, red red. Each of these dishes, made from a tomato and onion base, usually cooked in palmnut oil. And are these soups & sauces served with a light array of vegetables? Nooooo! Rather an equally heavy ball of starch in the form of fufu, banku, kenke, omotuo, tz, or alternatively gari!

It is a wonder that we get anything done after feasting on our national dishes! Even the Spanish have realised that a siesta is in order after a good meal in the heat, and yet we, after eating one of our local dishes, struggle to keep our eyes open at work, when our productivity has decreased by 80% and count the minutes til the working day is over.

When Smoothys opened in Osu, I thought the tide may be turning towards a lighter, healthier way of eating, but after meeting the proper Kenyan there one Sunday evening, I realised, smoothies will not be considered a snack option in the place of a burger or Kofi Brokeman (roasted plantain), but rather a dessert for couples after a lovely plate of hot, heavy, starchy food!

Beautiful photos

The poet stumbled across a blog belonging to a talented photographer. Funnily enough, it's the guy who took our work pictures. I love the photos on January 28 and May 16 (a simple scroll down the blogg will take you there). Seeing his pictures makes me miss my USB cable even more, where could it be?

Now, back to work!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

This week

Suddenly the days are flying by so quickly, before you know it, it's time to go home. Don't know if that's a good or a bad thing. At least the social calendar is filling up quite nicely for the week, sushi with Dirty and Miami tomorrow, funeral on Thursday (well that's not fun), sushi with the poetress ; ) on Friday (see what happens when you wait several months before eating sushi, end up wanting it every day of the week), a wedding and a 70th birthday party on Saturday (both distant relatives) and possibly a lunch on Sunday in Tema (but hopefully Sunday will end up being as relaxing as it should be).

Now, off to see Virgo before we go to the gym to shape up for bikini season. That expression has no relevance here as every season really is bikini season. Went to the gym yesterday morning and did those awfully effective lower ab exercises. Will hopefully have gone from this

to a sixpack in no time!

Quote of the Day.

Vad är det för fel på italienarna?

De har världens godaste glass, världens bästa bilar, fotbollsliga, mode, design, viner, mat. De har världens vackraste språk och en imponerande historia som befolkas av idel genier och konstnärer. Ändå har de röstat fram pajasen till premiärminister två gånger.

"What's wrong with the Italians?

They have the nicest ice cream in the world, the best cars, football league, fashion, design, wines, food. They have the most beautiful language in the world, an impressive history filled with geniuses and artists. And they've still managed to elect that joker as Prime Minister twice?"

Is Alexandra losing faith in humanity as Silvio Berlusconi continues his campaign?

Monday, 7 April 2008

Nobody puts baby in a corner

When we got back from court this morning, the poet and I, from afar, thought somebody had stolen my parking spot (parking spots are very precious at our premises, but that's a whole other story), but as we got closer we realised the car was parked in the spot next to mine. However, when we got out of the car, we were in for a new shock. At the back seat of the car was a baby (my guess would be that it was a child of 9-10 months), sitting in her car seat. Luckily, to my slight relief we saw that all four windows were well rolled down, but feeling the intense heat ourselves and seeing the many beads of sweat on her forehead, although snoozing away, she was clearly getting warmer by the minute.

A million thoughts went through my (and the poet's) mind, some voiced, some not. What kind of parent can leave their child in this heat, no wait, what kind of parent leaves their baby unattended in a car park?! My motherly instinct was urging me to pick up the child, take her to the office, leave a note for the mother or father directing to our office, but at least ensuring she'd get away from the boiling heat of a car in the equatorial mid-day sun. As we were walking away I told the poet that we ought to at least inform the car park security guard that there was a baby in the car so that he'd keep an eye on her, but as we turned to take a last look at her, the poet noticed a man had gone to sit in the car, giving proof to what the poet had earlier said "this child has been left with someone other than her parents".

Our guess is that the driver (or whoever he was), after being left to tend and care for the child, had probably felt nature calling and decided that there was no risk in leaving her for several minutes while taking a quick whizz round the corner. He could easily have come back to find an empty car. I may have snatched the baby with good intentions, and leaving a note, but someone else could have taken her forever. How many seconds do you need to snatch a child?

For so many reasons, the image of the little baby girl, soundly sleeping, in a car with its windows rolled down, with sweat rolling down her tiny forehead, will stay with me for long. I wonder how her parents would react if they knew how she had been left, or do they practice the same behaviour? We'll never know.

The many different scenarios to what could have happened to her are still playing in my head. For all we know, even the man we saw enter the car may have been a complete stranger, after all the windows were down so anyone could unlock the car.

I urge any parent who reads this to give your child(ren) a big hug and show them all the unconditional love they deserve, and to all us childless people, let's make a silent promise to never ever put our children at such unnecessary risk, making them innocent victims of our foolish mistakes.

Suffering in the Land

Saturday night and Sunday can be summed up in a few words:

bed, toilet, shower, bed, toilet, shower, no internet, shivering, boiling, freezing, more bed.

I blame the tiny dollop of ice cream on my pudding the day before for causing my gut-wrenching sufferings. Well, at least I had a "restful" weekend, didn't leave the house all weekend, finally got my hair done. What made yesterday a bit too painful was not having any internet connection, but it was only one day and Virgo came over to see me anyway. It seems in my most sorry state I had ordered him to come and he knew better than to disobey.

Managed to go to the gym this morning so I am definitely back in action, albeit a few grams lighter and with a tidier head of hair! ;)

Saturday, 5 April 2008


OK, so if you didn’t get it from the end of the last post, this is going to be all about ABBA. If you don’t love ABBA, please stop reading now, you’ll just be wasting your time.

Every Friday I spend the morning at a client’s office in Tema. For some reason they are never able to connect my laptop to the internet, and whatever work I am given, I usually finish within one of the four hours I sit there. So yesterday, after doing the client’s work, then office work, as I was about to take care of my private work, I remembered I had my MP3 player with me, turned it on and felt the power of music, as in top quality, hairs raising, goose bumps creating music.

This only happens when you’re listening to either a song that takes you back to a particular event or when listening la crème de la crème – in this case: ABBA.

Don’t be confused, I am not an ABBA novice, ask my parents, they’ll tell you I have been a fan since I could stand on my own feet.

But as I was listening through earphones, a rare occurrence for me, the sound of ABBA hit me even harder, deeper than usual.

‘Our Last Summer’, which H really introduced me to and is now one of my favourites, displays such a beautiful melancholy of remembrance, particularly at 02:49 (come on, dig out the song so you know what I’m talking about). We’re meant to be wowed by the electric guitar solo but the piano steals the show and sets the tone of reminiscing. The drums at 03:20, Aw!

The lovely piano plonking at 01:37. What can be said about the almost comic “and your name is...Harry!” in the last verse? Each instrument, note, word, so intelligently thought through and put together to create magnificence.

In ‘Fernando’, H calls me sentimental, but my favourite line is the beautiful “I can see it in your eyes how proud you were to fight for freedom in this land”. Once again (as always) Bjorn and Benny display excellence by selecting and coordinating melodies and instruments to characterise each aspect of the song.

The pan-flutes, the instrument of South America, ensuring that before we hear a word of the song we know which continent to link it to. The drumming, resembling drumming your way into a battle, of course reminding us of Fernando’s battles. The chorus links to Sweden in a way only a Swede would know by jumping from the South American influence of the verse to classic dansband’s (Swedish country/folk music) beat that takes our minds to Sven-Ingvars and Vikingarna.

When listening to ABBA I feel I never need to know any other music.

Agneta and Frida personalise each song with Swedish pronunciation and enunciation as only those with English as a second language could. ("it was the age [aich] of no regret” in ‘Our Last Summer’).

E G-A made me love ‘the Name of the Game’. Once you start loving it, there’s no going back. The great base I’d expect to hear in a good hiphop song or at a crucial point of excitement in a movie, the “schu, schu, schu, schu” beat of the drums throughout the verse, the beautiful harmony of Agneta and Frida’s voices in the chorus, the “du, du, du, du” whilst Frida sings “and you make me feel...”, the desperation of “if I said I care for you, would you feel the same way too”, the background “one smile and the sound of your voice” while the chorus is being sung. The saxophone behind “ would you laugh at me" that culminates at 03:31 to 03:46 (of the cut version, actually prefer the longer one but don’t have it on my MP3, only on the original LP). So many segments to one song, my words come nowhere near describing the magnitude of it!

Geniuses! Bjorn and Benny, where did this talent that made you musicians extraordinaire come from?!

We fans really can only say thank YOU for the music, what would the world be like without the music of ABBA?

Another rainy afternoon

Today happens to be one of those wonderful days when I woke up and realised I had nothing planned at all. Took it really easy in the morning and just when I thought that I really should get out and do something, it started drizzling. My dear mum got back from Accra with a parcel for me from the London Dove, with a dress, shoes and some magazines. It really is the simple things in life that make me happy!

As lunch time hunger pangs set in, I thought, English weather calls for English food, and made a bread and butter pudding (tasted a bit different because I only had brown bread, but at least I can say I opted for a healthier alternative) ;)
Virgo is busy all day today with work matters, don't really feel like driving all the way to Accra so I think I'm just going to stay in and read my new magazines, then look for my USB cable. Where could it have escaped to?

Apparently Beyonce and JayZ got married yesterday. If it's true, they did it exactly as I would want to (if i were to ever get married). Quiet, only the closest friends and family, the rest would find out when it was all over and done with.

Actually, before I drift off even further, I think I'm going to continue writing a post about the Absolutely Best Band of All!

Fourth of the fourth

Yesterday's post never came up due to internet problems. Here it is:

Today is a day of celebration and remembrance for many. Happy birthday to the lovely Maya Angelou who turns eighty today, hope there are many more years (and books to come). My friend H also has her birthday today, haven't spoken to her in ages but sent her a text. It seems there are many birthdays out there that fall on the 4/4.

Today is also forty years since Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered. The article mentions that for years Maya didn't celebrate her birthday because her dear friend died on it.

What a wonderful legacy Martin Luther King Jr. left behind him, do you think he could imagine that already, in less than half a century from when blacks and whites could not sit together on a bus, we are on the brink of (possibly) having a Black president of the United States?

Today would also have been Heath Ledger's 29th birthday. Do you think he imagined in mid-January that he would not make it here?

And there sits a two year old girl who'll sadly not remember much of her father when she grows up. Hopefully watching his movies, that showcase his wonderful talent will help keep that memory alive.

Today I also took a step towards the end of a short era in my life. The letter was handed over, now time will tell what the future holds.

Spent the evening at H Lodge where auntie M had a little get together to celebrate her latest purchase. Just home now, feeling very tired. After shivering so much at work to the point where I earned the nickname Benazir Bhutto (how could anyone be offended by that?), because of how I wrapped myself in my pashmina, and feeling as exhausted as I do now, I just hope and wish that it is not malaria. Will see how I feel after a good night's sleep tomorrow. I say a good night's sleep but unfortunately the frog/cricket sing-along has already begun.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

The city that never sleeps

Lying in bed, trying to sleep, well I guess I'm not actively trying as I am still online. I can't help but wonder if Accra is the real city that never sleeps.

As the frogs croak (what do frogs do?), louder than most agricultural machines, it seems the crickets, who usually hold the monopoly on nighttime noise feel intimated and are trying to out-sound them. All in all, a cacophony of natural sounds. (It reminds me somewhat of the awful sound machine Berger had in Sex & the City!)

At Virgo's house, the music blasting from the speakers of nearby drinking spots drown out any possibility of peace at night, but if you were to have a party, at least you'd save on the cost of a dj. ;)

On weekend nights, the night clubs and charismatic churches compete with each other outside my window, in the battle between sinful enjoyment and God-fearing worship, a battle so similar to the one I am currently witnessing between the frogs and the crickets, until both groups seem to collapse somewhere between 1.30 and 3a.m.

It seems both man-made groups and nature's animals are scared to let Ghana sleep in peace. Why? Afraid she'll never wake up? Every now and then the frogs stop for a few minutes, to catch their breath I guess, and the crickets simultaneously lower the volume of their surround-sound buzzing. But within minutes they are back on track, making sure you never forget that there was almost a moment of silence.

On behalf of all troubled sleepers I send all you noise makers a little prayer: keep quiet for once please, let Ghana and all her residents hear the sound of silence. I assure you, Ghana, and I too, will wake up tomorrow a happier, well rested creature with enough energy to take on another day.


Rest in peace, Mona Seilitz.


Gosh what a busy day! Don't even know what I've been doing but have been busy all day. (excuse all typos, have no time to check). Had to leave the lovely Satine, (yes, I named a car I only drove for 1 1/2 day) and have realised, the only way to drive is in an Infinity. Back with good old Roger now (that's my car, not a bit on the side).

At least got myself a good laugh this morning as I was buying juice from the kiosk by our office.

One taxi driver to another (sleepy looking one)at the taxi station (fancy name for a row of taxis):

"Chale - you no sleep last night?"

"hm...I ate some banku this morning"

This conversation was witnessed at 08:57a.m. I can only imagine when in the morning this banku was eaten (and dread to wonder if he'll fall asleep at the wheel during the day)!

Must review an agreement now, before Miami comes to meet me at work in 13 minutes, somehow I don't think I'll be ready by then. Going to Twist from there and I'll probably pass Virgo's after that before I get home to write a proper post.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Changing nation

Ghana is a nation in the process of change. It is everywhere. I feel it in the air. As the lightning and thunder crash against the office window, nature is clearly telling us that the hot unbearable season is gone and rainy season is marching in.

As I type away in the office, wondering when I will find the time to draft to documents that will mean a change in my professional life, the other guys in the office are excitedly discussing the oil we've recently found and how it will change Ghana for good. I hear America, Venezuela and Norway being mentioned. Could we be the new Norway? I doubt it, but who knows, contracts have been handed to the Norwegians, hopefully they'll let Ghana benefit from it.

Darkness has struck a few minutes earlier than usual, in fact with the thunder beating against my window, the ice-cold AC in the office and the pitch black darkness outside us that prevents me from enjoying my usual ocean view, it resembles a European November day when you wake up in shock to realise that autumn is long gone and we're well in winter.

This is the year of change. I feel it in every bone of my body. There's a "fjarilar i magen" (butterflies in my tummy) feeling as I feel, no, know that many of us will be in very different places at the end of the year. How scarily exciting!

Well, it's time for the constant daydreamer to return to work, going to make myself a cup of tea (or milo?), enjoy nature's roar and continue drafting my agreements.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

April, April!

April,april din dumma sill, jag kan lura dig vart jag vill! (loosely: "april, april you silly fish, I can trick you to anywhere I wish). This we used to laughingly squeal to each other after a really good prank on April Fool's day. Luckily, April Fool's day seems to be one of those days that are still celebrated, even in adult age. Google had their prank this morning about sending emails from the past and on Atlantis radio they spoke of Kofi Annan running as an independent candidate for Ghana's presidency (I can only assume that's an April Fool's joke, they didn't actually confirm whether it was or not). It seems we adults can have as much fun with April Fool's and sometimes even take it to a level that can't be reached by children.

As a matter of fact, M told me about an outright evil prank that she and D played on their friends one year, after the same thing had been done to M the year before by some other friends. They sent letters to their Ghanaian friends in Gothenburg offering them an extremely lucrative post with the UN, but all documentation would have to be sent in that day and April 1 (the day on which the friends received the letter, of course) was the last day for calling to confirm acceptance of the job. M gave out her number but purposely did not answer, even as the phone rang frenetically all day. I can only imagine how all their friends were running up and down to get all their documentation in order, too rushed to even wonder how this job was offered to them without them even having to apply for it. They were probably too busy dreaming of the perks involved, a wonderful salary, free trips to Ghana, children's schooling paid for, all their prayers would have been answered at once.

M doesn't have to imagine what they went through, she had been through the same thing a year before when SIDA (Swedish International Development Association) offered her the job of her dreams, a job in her profession and (I believe), working in Ghana, with regular trips back to Sweden, the only trouble being, you guessed it, all the documents would have to be sent by April 1, after a successful phone call was made to accept the appointment.

And yet it seems being burnt has in no way made M sympathetic to April Fool's victims, rather it seems misery really does love company. This Friday, M, who in everyday life is the most kind-hearted, angelic person, came up with an even more evil idea: Sending letters to random people in Ghana on April 1, supposedly from the American Embassy, explaining that they had won in the Green Card Lottery AND a free trip to the US. Only problem - the trip would of course be scheduled for, yes you guessed it, April 1, and to get their green cards and make the flight, they must report at the American Embassy at 10 a.m. of April 1, with their passports, documents and packing for the trip to America. As M and I roared with laughter at the sight of a long queue of people outside the gates of the Embassy with suitcases and all, we realised our plan would fail mainly because: how would we get names and addresses of random persons to send the letters to at such short notice, and imagine the state of emergency that would occur at the embassy when rows and rows of Ghanaians were found all ready to take of to the Land of Opportunity!

As I imagined them lining up outside the embassy, I also realised the offer of a green card would be so high up on the list of wishes for many Ghanaians, many of them would in the excitement resign from their current jobs, before even setting foot on the plane to America or receiving their Green Cards, yes, the offer would be so much higher than even the jobs offered to M and D's friends on that April 1st several years ago. April Fool's Day may be a free-for-all, play-a-prank-on-anybody day, but there is an extent to how far you play with people's hearts.

Happy April Fool's day, the pranksters are all out there, make sure you're one of them rather than the April Fool.


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