Friday, 30 May 2008

System failure

Sorry guys, thanks for all comments. Bad blogging is this time caused by:
old laptop, virus, failed antivirus, new antivirus that won't work, borrowed laptop with superslow connection AND too much work.

Will be back when it's all sorted, hopefully tomorrow...or the day after...or the (you get the point).

May even surprise you with a proper post later today...;)

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Oh dear...

Don't know why allowed myself to go there. For days I've been whining on about that I miss the accessibility of Europe, being able to travel from city to city so easily (think it started when N went to Berlin). Don't actually miss any place at the moment, just miss the option of going to another country for under £100. Then I took it upon myself to book my mum's ticket back. After doing that, naturally I browsed the cheap flight companies, and of course my former frenemy, Ryanair is having a sale. Entered a few dates at which I would like to go to beloved Gothenburg and...
total price: £20.

I feel a bit sick now.

Breathe in...

Our sense of smell is such a wonderful, magical thing. I thought of this when I read through some old emails in my inbox. Realised that I was glad they hadn't been deleted, then laughed at the fact that I'm such a collector. Love collecting letters, tickets and any memorabilia that'll remind me of something and somewhere. And photos? I even find it hard to throw away the digital ones that come out bad.

There's something so wonderful about being taken back to an event, place or an ordinary day, by a picture, letter or even a song. Then I remembered how powerful smells are. The smell of food can remind you of someone's home or a time in your life, the scent of a perfume can make you think of a certain person or in the case of a pregnant woman, the smell of any - to the outside world- random thing, can make her hurl or throw up.

And yet, smell is one of the few things, along with feeling/sensation, that we can keep , take out later and be reminded of past times. How marvellously cruel! Before I moved to Ghana, I remember being hit by the scent of Ghana upon arrival as my feet for the first time in years would touch Ghanaian soil. The blend of humidity, greenery, animals, pollution and sea would overpower the senses for a few moments, those steps taken from the aircraft into Kotoka Airport. Similarly, others notice that when you arrive in Ghana, your smell is different, a certain crispness, freshness or so. (If you want to find out, when you arrive in Ghana, keep your suitcase closed as much as possible, then after three or four days open it. By then, you'll be smelling like Ghana but the suitcase still has that foreign smell).

A smell or artificial scent can thrust you into a different mood completely. Walking past a woman wearing my mother's favourite scent when I lived in London, would lead me to suddenly feel a tingling of homesickness. It seems that this natural asset of ours, the sense of smell, the one that we cannot store, can have overwhelming power over us and our actions. How else can you explain that every time I pass the beach strip between Tema and Sakumono, I must, (yes must!) open my windows, no matter how hot or noisy it is out there. And every time, the fusion of sea, salt and fish in the wild winds leave me exhilirated for days.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

A very Swedish African Union day

If you're wondering why I haven't been blogging it's because the weekend was good and long! Yesterday was African Union Day which is a holiday in Ghana. Before I get to yesterday I have to mention what happened on Thursday. Was meeting K at Koala to go and have dinner at Old Bob's Place (as per traditional directions that I mentioned earlier, that's Papaye Down and left) in Osu. When I was by Labone Junction, K calls me and says I should meet her at the Oxford street food court as there's a Swede there who knows me. The two minute ride there seemed so long as I was trying to figure out who it could be. Imagine my shock when I see T (well I know her as C, but she's shortened her name now), a woman who used to be married to a Ghanaian and has known me since I was very little. I haven't seen her or her family since the early nineties when they moved from Gothenburg to Gotland. But now T has moved to Ghana,she's been here since September and intends to stay!

When I told my mum she was here, she was equally excited so yesterday we spent with K, T and her son's friend A who's in Ghana for a few months, in Prampram (well, Ningo). It was actually a very cool day, but the water was clean (shock, horror), the sand was a lot cleaner than usual and K and I actually swam. Would love to write more, but have to leave work now and head to dinner with Dee and the Poetress. For once we're not doing sushi, but indecision seems to have hit us, where to go? You'll know tomorrow!

Friday, 23 May 2008


A new idea is brewing in my head...It makes it so difficult to think and focus on work stuff, but what to do? Once the idea is there, it's very difficult to push it aside and get back to business. I like this idea as well, it may not make me any money but will be good for mankind and Mother Earth. Ooops, sound a bit big-headed I guess. In a more modest tone, it will benefit some people in Ghana and have a positive effect on the environment. That's all I can say for now. Have to continue researching how to make this abstract idea a concrete reality. When I know more, I'll share it with you.

Imagine, what would the world look like today if we all made realities of our ideas and inventions?

Where the roads have no names

I'm now more than a week into work at my new place and so far, so good. I love the feeling of sky's the limit in terms of how much I can learn here. At times it is overwhelming, but being able to structure and organise the work means hopefully, little by little, I'll get there.

The new office is located in Asylum Down. Until I saw it in writing I always assumed it was a Ghanaian word, maybe something like Asalem Dawen. After writing it out an agreement on Tuesday where I inserted our address, the background to the name suddenly hit me. This area actually slopes down from where the mental hospital is located. In the lovely way of giving directions in Ghana I can imagine that the name originated from someone directing to another person, saying, get to the asylum, then down. Over time this would be simplified to Asylum Down!

I wouldn't have made this connection so easily though if it wasn't for a flyer I once saw, possibly for Asanka locals or Blue Gate where the 'address' on the flyer was *Papaye down, then left'. Ingenious! As much as I often complain about the lack of road names, causing us to have to give very detailed directions (how I wish we could live in an A to Z city like London!), the solutions to these problems are so entertaining! And similiarly, some areas have been named accordingly, e.g. Asylum Down and the horribly named Sodom and Gomorra.

Apparently La Bone (pronounced 'bonni') and La Badi were also named in this way. This is were the bad guys/rogues lived so they were known in Ga as the bonni people, which when the English people came was kindly translated for them to the baddies, i.e. La Badi (this story was told to me by big H so I cannot guarantee its accuracy). Jamestown as well, its full name being Jamestown British Accra, is in Ga known as Ngleshie (pronounce it and its basically 'English)!

What a wonderfully simple way to name a place!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008


I just read this and thought I should pass it on. For those of us who try and sometimes actually do things to protect our environment, this is a great invention. At first I thought of all the extra energy that will be wasted when charging the battery through the laptop, but as long as you're actually working on the laptop surely no extra energy is being used?

I wish these had been around back in the London days. After a childhood of always throwing batteries away in special battery boxes for recycling, in London I never knew what to do with them. Since I just couldn't make myself throw them in the normal bin, I'd save them and take them with me to Gbg! I can't remember throwing them there either, so there's most likely a bag of batteries hiding in an attic in Kungssten...

Whilst I am linking away, I might as well send you this article and probably give you your best laugh of the day. As Dee said when she sent it to me, it's not so much the story that's hilarious (it's actually gross when you think about it) but what the man does and says when he discovers the culprit. Enjoy!

Just realised I've written over 100 posts. Wow, maybe it's time to publish my own blook, lol! I have to remind myself though that all the blabbering that goes on here means that I have probably achieved more in quantity than quality.

More baby talk.

Continuing on from the last post, Britney Spears' little sister has come out as the surprise rebel in the wedding-before-baby race. You'd expect her of all people, coming from that small town Christian family background to have rushed to the church as soon as the blue line appeared on her pregnancy test, but as far as I know there are no marriage plans yet. Respect to Jaime Lynn, sensible thinking in the midst of being a knocked up minor ;)

Speaking of babies, I just received some fantastic news from a friend, looks like there'll be more babies on the way soon! Dee, the poetress and I also have to meet up to plan M2B's baby shower and I shouldn't forget planning Mr T's girlfriend's baby shower as well. To think I'll be planning all the way over here, for a baby shower held in Gothenburg, for which I won't even make it :(

It actually feels a bit strange that Mr. T is about to have a baby and I won't have seen any of the pregnancy, I'll probably just arrive to see a few week's old freshly baked baby in a few month's time. Thanks to all the babies popping up around me, more and more questions are coming too, of the : "When will yours be coming?" or "You'll be next you know, *nudge* *nudge*" kind. Don't kid yourself, mine are not on the way yet, I am in no hurry just because others are having them, and I'm NOT as old as some uncles make me out to be!

Look out for more on this later, for now...back to work.


Apparently Jessica Alba and Cash Warren got married two days ago. They're expecting their first child, a daughter, in June. I actually feel a bit disappointed, what is it with celebs (or is it just the American way?) that as soon as they get pregnant they need to rush it down the aisle.

In today's modern world, are people still that scared to have a 'bastard' baby? I assume that's what it is as it has happened so many times before. Beyoncé's sister (not a celeb in my opinion but will satisfy for the purposes of this 'study') had a quickie wedding and about six months later her baby was born. If I remember correctly Gwynteh Paltrow and Chris Martin also got married in the early stages of pregnancy. Just a few weeks ago Beyoncé and JayZ got married, followed by Ashlee Simpson and, er, Pete Wentz(?)(I'm having to stretch my celeb knowledge further than I'd like to here). Both couples have since been showered with pregnancy rumours.

With all that goes on in La La land, drugs, cosmetic surgeries, Hugh Hef and his girls, do they really need to protect us from such a scandalous thing as having a baby out of wedlock?! WHat century are we living in?!?

I don't see how these couples actually think a wedding will in any way change the social status of their baby. I feel like shouting at them, "you were pregnant before the wedding, the jig is up!"

To me, it actually questions their real commitment as I can't help but wonder whether they would actually have married if it wasn't for the coming child. 'Shotgun weddings' seem to be just that, a quick cover-up for a 'sinful' existence. I have more respect for those who choose to stay unmarried, perhaps marrying after the birth of the baby, when they are emotionally ready for such a commitment (and of course, respect to those who were married before they had children).

Maybe it's just me and my Swedish ways, the damage ;) caused by growing up in the land of co-habitation, but it all seems a bit rushed to me. What do you think?

I'm going to think over this a bit more as I have a burger at Frankies with Dirty (from now on to be referred to as Dee, she doesn't like the Dirty)

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Exotic treats

Sometimes when you've been in Ghana for too long, it's easy to forget the amazing things we have here that we should feel fortunate to enjoy. I realised that this morning and felt I had to take a photo of my breakfast (I'm becoming a true blogger!). Now I'm not writing this to läska (tease/tempt) you, ok, maybe a litte ;), it just looked so pretty and was delicious and filling that I felt compelled to show it off.

The breakfast was beautifully prepared by moi and consisted of mango, pawpaw/papaya, banana, vanilla yoghurt and papaya juice. All the fruits was bought from the lady who has a fruit and veg stand at the gym. I've always walked past her but after looking over her stall today I have to recommend her, all the fruit and veg looked good, nothing rotten in sight, and she has the biggest mangoes I've seen in a while (that's the fruit I'm talking about, nothing else!). I bought a huge avocado as well, but that will be devoured later.

In Sweden such a breakfast would only be possible with good planning, after buying rock hard mangoes from Billhälls (sorry, it's Hemköp now), waiting a week for it to ripen by the heater (ok, now I'm just teasing) and hoping the other fruits would ripen at the same time.

While on the subject of fruit, my mum has really gotten into using the juicer I bought her for Christmas. Since March we always have freshly squeezed juice at home and this weekend I managed to solve two domestic problems:
1) What to do with all the leftover plastic bottles from all the yoghurts I buy (the recycler is in me, it pains me to throw such things away)
2) How to practically freeze the juice as it spoils too quickly if we leave it in the fridge.

Now the juice has filled almost all of my yoghurt bottles, only those seen below are left.

Recycling has come to Ghana... for now, found in a little corner of Tema.


Had to wait around a bit this morning for someone and as usual when I’m bored and without internet, I look around for something interesting to read on the laptop. This time I found emails I had sent to friends ranging from May 2005 til last December (when I use dial up, I usually draft the message, save it and send when I’m online, that’s why I have some emails stored on the harddrive).

The ones from May 2005 were so interesting. At that time, I had been in Ghana for about a week on holiday, not knowing that just a few months later I’d move down permanently. From my observations then, it’s quite funny how little has changed: I’m still scared of driving in Accra (only now I have to do it everyday, then I was just learning to drive), I’m still amused by men holding hands, rainy season is still as rainy, more rain than we ever see in Sweden, except during Storm Gudrun, and the frogs are STILL as loud as they ever were, causing sleepless nights for everyone (or maybe just me).

The last email was a response to E G-A after she told me she was pregnant At that time she didn’t know what she was expecting, and to think a few days ago the little one was born. Aw, the wonder that is life!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Events in town

It has been really nice having a whole weekend without getting on the internet. The funny thing is if I hadn't had internet access, I would have missed it every second.

Saturday evening was spent at the International Conference Centre for the ICT Awards where SQB had been nominated for an award but unfortunately did not win. In between the awards we were treated to some entertainment, african drums and dancing, at times very acrobatic.

On Sunday uncle T was celebrating his birthday at Ben Brako's guest house (Obuama or Boama lodge, can't remember) in Prampram/Ningo.

As always it was lovely to be there, although the walk on the beach just showed that it is now even dirtier than a few months ago when we had our party.

It's fun when a few things happen during the weekend, unfortunately a lot of things happen at the same time. Most of us who went for the awards would also have love to go to the Richard Bona concert, but by the time the awards were over, we were exhausted and the concert was probably also coming to an end. K and I have earlier discussed the difficulty in finding out what's happening in Accra. I complained about this to SQB and it turns out he has a website that tries to tackle this problem. He said that he hoped people would contribute to the website with their own tips and updates on what's going on, but so far the response hasn't been great. So if you know of any events or want to find out about things happening, please check out, I've already seen a few interesting things. It seems to cover events not only in Ghana, but Ghana-related events abroad as well, e.g. kente-cloth festival in New York (I'm jealous, it's sounds fun).

Friday, 16 May 2008


Read this poem. The poet is a genius.

I take credit for giving him the insight needed to write a poem that I feel could have been written by me, maybe not as beautifully.

Yesterday evening

As expected my shitty morning was just that, the rest of the day was really nice. After my face had gone back to normal, I could start working, met some of my new workmates and discussed a few matters. Had a mini-meeting before leaving to meet K at Twist. Kofi M was also meant to meet me there. Just as I parked at Twist later than planned, I realised how hungry I was, having a numb face had stopped me from eating, and I knew there wasn't enough time to order and wait for food before heading of to the exhibition.

Got out of the car and caught Kofi M just as he was about to leave, walked a few steps only to see K sitting with a lebanese feast of hommous, tabbouleh, falafel, sundried tomatoes and pita bread in front of her, mmmm!
After eating K and I went to see the exhibition Black/White? at the Goethe Institute in Cantonments,

then as I dropped her off she handed me a plate of brownies, that were the best way to top off a good evening.

So Dirty was definitely right, after a shitty morning, the rest of the day can only be good! Thanks to K too, especially for the yummy brownies!

New Job

Yay! The poet is back with his comments, I have missed you for the last few days, my friend. I will reply in the comments section, but for now I'll answer your request of feelings starting a new job.

I am only on my second day of work and already I feel a difference. First of all, let me explain what the new job is. I have been employed as the manager/executive assistant to the CEO of an up-and-coming media company. Basically my job duties entail supervising everything and everybody, making sure targets are met and reporting to the CEO who wishes to be very much in the background. I am employed as a professional and already feel like one, as opposed to feeling like an employee.

Nobody will question whether I am ten minutes late for work or leave two hours early as it is assumed that the job will get done. I have been given targets/goalposts and it is for me to determine how to successfully reach them, then convey the same (i.e. the strategy and the results) to the CEO.

The main joy of work (I hope I'm not speaking too soon!) comes from having free hands to plan my work and being respected as an adult who will complete the tasks given, rather than being shown mistrust. Lesson to all you current or future employers out there, give your professional workers the respect and liberty required to undertake their duties and you'll find that they'll work better and show greater work spirit. After all, intelligent professionals know why they've studied for so long to get where they are and therefore do not wanted to be treated like teenagers trying to bunk off work at the local Burger King.

Now I have to draft some agreements and make a plan for next week, but I will definitely keep you updated on how I progress in the new job. It is wonderful when you feel your career take another step in the right direction!

Thursday, 15 May 2008

S . A . T . C.

For those of you who don't know, SATC only stands for ...
Sex & The City.
Yes, as the movie has its world premiere, of course I have to make a mention of it. I love Sex and the City, it's a fact. I have the complete box collection (dvd) and almost the complete video collection. No, I'm not bragging, just stating another fact, and sorry, I don't intend to part with any of the videos or dvds, even for the shortest time.

It's so fitting (for me) that the world premiere of the movie was held in London. Strange though that they didn't choose to premiere it in the City, the fifth character of the show, but hey, that's SATC for you, they know what's right before you do. SATC signifies my life in London. It started in 1998 when I arrived in London, and ended in 2004, a few weeks before I left London (obviously I did not plan my life around the serie, it's just a coincidence).

I don't remember the first episode I watched, I was generally too tired when it was on, used to half-watch it in our tiny flat in Kensington Olympia while Annika, Matilda and I would stuff ourselves with leftovers from Pizza Hut and Starbucks where we were working. About two years later, sometime early on in the new millenium, I bought season 2 (or was it three) and watched it back to back. From then on I was hooked.

As so many others, I have been longing for the movie to premiere, only to now find myself in Gh, without a cinema to go and watch it at. No worries, as true independent women, Dirty and I have given Dirty's boyf the task of finding us a copy of the movie for us to have our own premiere. The plan was to do it this weekend already, but I am realising I may have been a bit optimistic about how quickly the movie would find its way here, we may have to wait a few more weeks.

So instead, in true Swedish stylée, Dirty and I are going to ladda inför premiären (recharge, fuel oruselves for the premiere) by selecting our favourite episodes and watching them over a glass of wine and some scrumptious nibblies this Friday. Will aim to keep you posted on how our SATC evening turned out...

Morning has broken

Today I had a really shitty morning. Sorry but there's no better way of describing it.

As I got to the gym I realised I had left my patient card for the dental clinic. Thinking ahead, I called the dental hygienist I know to inform her and she said it was fine. After delaying at the gym I rushed to change and head of to the clinic. (bear in mind all this was done with a severe head/toothache).

As I reached Ridge Circle around 8.30 (which was when I was meant to be at the clinic in Korle Bu), I realised I didn't have any money on me. Rushed to HFC by Heritage Tower and to save time I wanted to use the ATM parking but it was full so I parked opposite it in the parking docket/trotro stop. Got to the ATM, naturally it was out of order. Went inside and they told me I'd have to bring my cheque book if I didn't have any I.D. They also said i should check the ATM again just in case it had started working.

Ran to the car to get my cheque book and ran to the other side to check the ATM before coming back. As I was about to run into the bank I saw a van and something yellowish on the ground. Yes, the A.M.A. (Accra Metropolitan Assembly) were clamping my car. I got there before they'd even started writing on their stupid note pad or clamping the tyre but they chose to ignore me and continue writing. What ensued is a mess of the usual busybodies trying to defend me but only making it worse, the idiot clampers exercising their power to its full extent and as always a crowd receiving their morning entertainment.

After several minutes I finally found out how much I had to pay, ran back into the bank to get the money only to be asked why I was weeping. I hadn't even noticed tears were rolling down my face, thought it was sweat (nice!) from standing in the heat for ten minutes. The manager, most likely out of pity, took me into his office after the news that I couldn't use my cheque book as it was in the old denomination led to more tears, and in the air conditioned office and thanks to his kindness and pleasant banter I calmed down and dried my face. I even managed to remember to text the dental hygienist to let them know I'd be late.

I was able to pay the clamper who stayed behind to wait for me and was not surprised when the A.M.A. rider who came to unlock the clamp told me that these guys work on commission that's why they can be a bit unkind. The rider was actually shocked when I explained I had been gone less than a minute before they clamped the car.

Anyway, I am so grateful to the bank manager for getting me into a good mood, so good that until I parked at the dental clinic I had forgotten what I was meant to dread all morning. At least they were ready for me, there was hardly any waiting before I was called in and the first stages of a root canal were performed on me. As I could feel some pain I was given a second bout of anaestetics, so at the moment I am spending my first day of my new job with a slightly lopsided face and a swollen mouth. But as the Hearts of Oaks (Accra football club) says: Never say die!

Dirty cheered me up by saying that if two bad things have already happened this morning then two good things will have to happen later on, and already I have come to the office to see a picture of E G-A's beautiful newborn baby girl Lola. Congratulations, E!!!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Sorry for a few days of bad blogging, I'm back to using my own laptop rather than the work one, which is nice coz I now have my å,ä and ö! Unfortunately the wireless function on the laptop is playing up so I am currently on dial-up :(

Dial-up really reminds you of the phrase "time is money"! Was supposed to see the dentist today about the toothache, but lack of sleep (most likely caused by the toothache) and last night's rain stopped me from leaving early and there's no point getting there after 9, so it looks like it'll have to be tomorrow, before starting the new job.

Well since I am home, I might as well start preparing my work warderobe, to make the weekday mornings a bit easier. Really liked this look...

...but Poet, can I keep the tie?

Le Weekend

These days off have been good, reasonably busy and a good mix of private work, gym and socialising. On Saturday the Kenyan and Miami had their birthdays. Miami didn’t come out but the rest of us celebrated the Kenyan at Twist where Fr was also celebrating his birthday ahead of Sunday. It was an early night though, most of us left not long after midnight. Little H was also out, finally we could quickly catch up.

Sunday was spent working hard on laying out the strategy of my and Ruby’s business and preparing for bigger ideas in the future. A trip to the mall resulted in meeting big H which was fun, hadn’t seen him in 3 or 4 weeks! Now, before I start the new job on Thursday, I’m going to try and sort out the exhaustion (could it be the anaemia or simply the heat? Either way nothing a little sleep shouldn’t solve) and the terrible toothache which always results in a headache. Meanwhile I’m a little jealous of my globetrotting cousin S who’s currently in Toronto (I think) on her 18 months of travelling the world. Aaaah, can’t wait til my next trip anywhere!

Facebook lives up to the task.

And so a friend/acquaintance dies at the age of 34. Once again we are reminded of how quickly new beings come into the world and how quickly and unexpectedly life is taken away. The friend, known and loved by many in Ghana had been living in Kenya and died there.

What is amazing is the role that modern technology and networks play in such situations. Most of us found out about his death after his sister posted a message to us all on his facebook wall, informing us of the terrible news. Never has facebook seemed to serve such a useful purpose. I can’t help but feel gratitude and admiration towards his sister who in the midst of grief and shock remembered his many friends around the world who would otherwise continue to send him messages or wall-posts, wondering why he wasn’t replying. Now, we all found out (most of us on the same day the message was posted) and we were all most likely sitting down as we received the news. It can also be positive for the family as they will avoid receiving many calls (so disturbing in times of grief) or having to repeatedly tell people of his death.

I know E G-A detested answering the phone after her father passed away and the months that followed of phone calls, phone calls, phone calls. Similarly I was with the Buffoon several times when he’d have to inform people over the phone of his father’s passing. Upon receiving the news, the caller most often screamed or broke down crying before hanging up without another word, and alas, the day was ruined.

Our friend’s facebook wall has also become an outlet for friends wanting to send a final message to G, simply speak of how they knew G or leave a little tribute to him.

I’ll use my blog to say: it was lovely knowing you for the short time that I did. What a warm, interesting, funny person you were. Rest in peace, dear G.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Crime Trends

Funny how everything follows a trend pattern, even crime. About fifteen years ago racial crime was on the increase in Sweden. Every so often, you’d here of a foreigner being chased, kicked and beaten up by skinheads, sometimes to death (remember the Klippan murder?).

Then there were women disappearing and later found dead after being sexually molested. At one time, around 1996/97 rape was rife in Gothenburg, so much so that the early morning jogs in Ruddalen had to stop.

Some countries are also known for certain crimes. Belgium is now seen as a land of paedophiles, by now we all know better than to visit a cellar in Austria and what most people probably don’t know is that Sweden is high on the list of countries in which hedersmord (honour-killings) occur. Hedersmord is the name given to the killing of women, generally of Muslim background when they are killed by their brothers, fathers or uncles for causing their family shame. Nigeria is known worldwide for 419s and in West Africa it is also known for advanced armed robberies.

As of yet, I am proud that Ghana isn’t known for any particular crime, mostly it’s known for kind and hardworking people, but even here there are patterns. About 18 months ago, one too many friends or friends-of-a-friend were attacked by robbers, making us all feel a bit scared. A year ago someone actually told me that the next crime to hit Ghana would be kidnapping as it was all the rage in Nigeria. Not knowing whether to fret or laugh at the notion of kidnapping being mentioned as lightly as this season’s must-have accessory, all I can do is be grateful that that “trend” hasn’t hit as yet and hopefully never will.


The saying goes “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”. Does that mean if I can’t stand the Ghana heat I should get out of the country?

It’s gotten to the point of being unbearable in the last few days. I can’t think of other things that are as frustrating as having a cold shower and at the same time feeling sweat begin to run down the face (happened this morning). As I got up to put my hair in a ponytail, sweat began to run down my elbows. Elbows! I didn’t know there were sweat-lymphs on the elbows until I came to live in Ghana.

As I drove from the gym at 08:00, I had to turn on the AC. Usually up until about 08:30 you can drive without the AC on as it’s around 28degrees. Today when I turned on the AC, out of curiosity I checked the temperature: 36 degrees!

I can only imagine what the temperature would have soared to now, as we are reaching the peak of sunlight when, thanks to our positioning on the Equator, the sun stands right above us (that’s right, no shade at any angle, only if you stand directly under a big tree).

How are we meant to be productive and keep our mental capacity up when we start our days in 36 degree heat???

Suddenly freezing at my desk, wrapped in a pashmina and socks at the over-AC:d Heritage Tower brings back fond memories...

Wednesday, 7 May 2008


So many brand new first experiences happening today. Firstly, I have a new nephew!!! Yes, my older brother's son saw his first day of life today. Funnily enough, this time around I haven't been involved at all in the pregnancy, not asking questions and stuff so to hear that the baby was born early this morning was such a lovely surprise! Can't wait to see the little one.

Today was also the first day ever that I went on a trotro. I think I was more excited than most tourist, this was my Everest, ;). It was actually a pleasant ride, not as loud, sweaty and crowded as I imagined, but perhaps I was just lucky. Went all the way from Mataheko to Assembly Press/Novotel in Accra Central, and for only 35pesewas! A taxi journey the same distance would have cost 4-5 Ghana Cedis!

Today Virgo finally bought gas for the cooker so we unwrapped it (think I am a sucker for wrapping, was very excited about that too!) and tested it. Finally meals can be cooked in the house, no more takeaways!

The heat has been unbearable today, completely knocked me out for an hour and a half (don't worry, I was on a bed, not in traffic!). Hopefully tomorrow will be a cooler day as we get deeper into rainy season.

For now I'm going to ponder over what my newest nephew looks like and what name they'll end up giving him. Have a good evening!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Lounging in Accra

Had a really relaxed weekend. On Saturday I went to a new spa in Tema Central Mall, 2nd Image with K, to have a manicure and pedicure done. After that we "fikade" (sat for a drink and a bite) at a cafe in the mall. It's nice to have a friend down the road and it makes it easy to socialise in Tema! We weren't too satisfied with the manicures and pedicures (the painting technique could do with some refining), but it's always exciting to find a new place.

In the evening I met Virgo and SQB at Melting Moments (in the corner between the Morning Star and TV3 roads) for a light evening meal. As always, it was disappointing to get a panini that wasn't made on panini bread and even more disappointing to hear that the smoothies were made with ice cream!!! Last time Dirty and I were there, no words could describe her disappointment at finding her "bagel" made from the ordinary butter bread (also used for "paninis") cut into the shape of a circle.

I did however enjoy the magazines that were very recent. As Virgo pointed out, despite SQB's and my complaining, we'll probably end up coming back here because of the lack of other hangouts.

Can't wait til the day I open my own place where everything will be in order and none of these common mistakes will occur.

Sunday, 4 May 2008


Whilst doing my usual bit of blogsurfing I was reminded of the fact that plants and trees are just about in full blossom in Sweden now. It reminded me of a class trip to Crete some time ago. We left on the 30th of April and returned on the 6th May. When we left, the trees (in my garden at least) were still bare, the whole area was slightly grey actually. When we returned only seven days later, it was like coming back to another city as all of Gothenburg was covered in white, yellow and light pink flowers on a background of clear blue sky. The apple, pear and plum trees in my garden where overflowing with green leaves and baby-pink flowers.

This also reminds me of lilac (syrener) that have such a short blooming period, if you blink you may miss it, but f you don't miss it, it's such a wonderful experience. The scent, the colours, white, pink and of course, lilac and the fun of sucking/blowing out the honey centre of the flower.

Most surprisingly though I realised that at this time ten years ago, I was most likely wandering the streets of Chania, Crete probably with M, J, K and A. Ten years already! I'm sure all this will be discussed at our big class reunion in a month's time, unfortunately planned on a date I couldn't make it. The first reaction of course is how time flies. But when I think about it, I have changed enormously in that time, so have my friends and my life situation.

So, for thought of the day: What has been the most important change in your life since May 1998?

Friday, 2 May 2008

Driving like crazy

Reckless driving has been the topic of the week. While having sushi on Wednesday, the Poetress described the car accident she was involved (and luckily unhurt) in close to Cape Coast last weekend. Yesterday, we witnessed a car accident opposite Shell and Golden Tulip. A car that had been swerving through the lanes, trying to get wherever as fast as possible, (or as we suspect, the two guys were trying to impress the two girls in the car), caught on to the back bumper of a truck in front of it, this caused the car to abruptly turn and flip, landing in a ditch on the side of the road.

From what we saw, it seemed as if the four people were not too badly injured, apparently one had a gushing wound but the others were ok (subject to internal bleedings of course) and they were all able to get out without assistance, but not much was left of the car. I would like to ask the driver whether it was worth it for the two minutes he would have saved going towards Tetteh Quarshie.

A few minutes ago, the actor Kwame Owusu-Ansah was confirmed dead after driving into a truck that had apparently parked in the slow lane on the motorway to Tema last night. I had never heard of him but apparently he is a well known actor.

As someone who drives on the motorway every day, (have already been back and forth on it today) and often sees trucks driving at 30km/h without any lights at all (and for those who don't know, there are still NO STREET LIGHTS on the motorway), I know that his accident and death could easily happen to anyone at any time.

I can't help but wonder when something concrete is going to be done to reduce the amount of reckless driving and accidents on our streets. When will streetlights on a motorway with an average speed of 100-120 km/h be prioritised over flower gardens at Danquah Circle, Cantonments roundabout and other places? When will policemen stop the taxis and trotros that cross over to drive against traffic on the dirt patch by El Wak stadium (as witnessed a few hours ago) instead of looking for bribes from the ex-pats in huge 4x4s?

When will we have anything other than prayer, faith or luck to protect us on a drive anywhere at anytime???


Related Posts with Thumbnails