A few years ago I remember complaining about how I missed London's corner shops, the accessibility to everyday products on practically every street corner. What was I talking about?! Clearly, if I had gotten out of my car more often here in Ghana, I would've noticed all our "corner shops".
After getting back to Ghana, and realising that certain things are harder to do with my constant accessory (that's the baby I'm talking about), I've had to give up on some of my regular spots and find other options. For example, for weeks I wondered how I'd coordinate baby and breastfeeding so that I could have my hair braided, something I usually do at Auntie Alice salon. I thought of the long queues there and told myself, surely there's someone in my area who could sort me out with some cornrows.
Then, on my way to a funeral three weeks ago, the zip of my traditional top broke. I panicked for a second before I reassured myself and my mum, that surely, there would be a seamstress somewhere on this or the next road. That day, I asked a girl in the neighbourhood to take the top for me, find a seamstress and bring it back to me once the zip was repaired.
A few days later I finally decided to explore the area myseld, and even I, with my optimistic opinions of our road, was surprised at everything I found. Less than 100 metres from us, there's a seamstress, a hairdresser (who actually agreed to braiding my hair at home, solving all baby related issues), a laundry service, a drinks shop, a newly opened corner store, a fruit & veg stand and of course the local drinking spot that keeps us 'entertained' e-v-e-r-y evening til 1 a.m.
Within a 500 metre radius, there's a pharmacy, dentist, clinic, forex, school, day nursery, restaurant, clothes shops, etc! Granted, Labone isn't exactly in the deepest of forests, but our road looks very quietly residential and in all my almost two years of driving on this road, I had never noticed many of these places.
Well, it's good to know that even without a car, most of the weekly errands can be handled in a 2 or 3 minute walk, this knowledge was especially useful to me as I went car-less all of last week. But that's a whole other story...