Saturday, 22 May 2010

Hey Vodafone, what's my number?

A few weeks ago, I was dialling my good old friend (well, if you see my phone bill that's what you'd think) ECG when I was informed that instead of dialling 021-611611 I ought to dial 0302-611611. Until then I hadn't heard about the fact that Vodafone was in the process of changing all local dialling codes, apparently to conform with international standards, despite the fact that they claim to have advertised it.

Why am I suddenly thinking of this? Well, this is the eve of the Vodafone-020-whatever party, which I am reminded of every second by a certain facebook friend/event organiser who keeps bombarding the news feed with updates on the party.

Rather than feel "oh, I wish I could make it to the party", my thoughts are wandering off to the impact of this number change. (If you haven't heard yet, Accra's dial code is now 030-2 and Tema's is 030-3 instead of the old 021 and 022 respectively, and it seems every code in Ghana has changed except Takoradi's(well, from 031 to 031-20). Here's the full list of new numbers). Imagine all the million business cards, websites, office stationery, adverts, company-branded vehicles, etc, etc that will have to be changed now that these numbers have been introduced! From what I hear (not confirmed by any authority) this number change is taking place over a three month period! I would have expected at least a year-long transition, especially considering the abovementioned expenses and the time it may take to pass on this news to personal and corporate relations abroad.

So, my dear Vodafone, I'm seeing right through your 30/30 promotion and fancy party and instead worry more about the enormous cost to Ghanaian businesses if (this is Gh after all) they decide to refresh their contact information.

What's your take on this?

Friday, 21 May 2010

Virgin in Ghana

Have you heard of the newcomer in town? Yes, Virgin Atlantic will begin to fly between Accra and London (Heathrow) on Monday! I am very excited about this as I've never flown Virgin before but only heard good things about its service. Apparently starting offers were as low as £451 for a return economy flight and later these will cost about £850. Unfortunately I don't seem able to check from Accra on the Virgin Atlantic website, but I'm sure they're office will be able to handle any queries.

After passing the building (which is kind of opposite the Woolworths/British Airways building) and curiously watching the development it was nice to finally see the sign and realise which company was moving into Airport Residential Area.

(Aren't you impressed by my driving and photographing skills?)

Monday, 17 May 2010

Rain, finally!

I've been in a somewhat delirious state all week. Why? Because rain and the cool air that comes with it has finally arrived. Just as I was dropping Virgo off (we've been car-sharing for the past two weeks) I said, "It looks like it's about to rain". Two minutes later, heavy rains poured all over Accra. Of course, it was only at this point I realised that I didn't know how to turn on the wipers of the petite Tata Indica I've been driving for most of this year!

Don't worry, it only took about thirty seconds until I found the wipes. Soon after, I pulled into Shell on Oxford Street as I had just remembered the air pressure in one tyre was low. Immediately, I was reminded of the Ghanaian's fear of rain as the air guys waved me off as if to say they couldn't serve me. Determined not to drive around in the rain with an almost flat tyre, I decided to shame them. I got down, (this was at the heaviest point of rainfall, within five seconds I was completely soaked) walked across the muddy patch slowly and confidently in lovely heels, then exclaimed "You have no air, not even for one tyre?!"

Of course I knew that once they had seen a well-dressed woman walk through the showers there was no way five men would be able to blame the rain for not being able to work, and as expected I left with a nicely pumped up tyre.

Since then, nothing major has happened, but puzzle pieces of both work and private life seem to slowly be falling into place. And it is with a smile that I am now going to bed, because for the first time in two years (note: I wasn't here last summer) I have chosen not to turn on the AC at night (usually ECG makes that choice for me) and I am actually...freezing! Is there any greater luxury in Ghana than that?!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Tired, sweet and salty

This whole week I've been extremely tired (as in lose-my-balance-and-almost-fall-over tired) and have had a pressure headache for the past 6 (!) days. Is it because of the change of season? If it means more rain and cooler temperatures, I swear, I'll happily walk around with this headache!

Of course, my fatigue wasn't helped by the fact that I went to see Date Night at Silverbird Cinemas yesterday (their movie times are not 'mummy friendly'), but I don't regret it one bit. Don't remember the last time I laughed so much and I enjoyed my mixed (sweet & salty) popcorn even more than I usually do, so it was worth it.

Today I was reminded of two things I really enjoy:
Whilst doing some business rounds, I went inside African Regent for the first time in ages. Suddenly all my great memories of sitting in there a few times a week with Ruby West who worked round the corner at the time, came back. It is still such a cosy environment with great interior, I may have to start hanging out there again.

Also, a blog I'm loving is Ghana Rising. For many reasons I don't manage to read it very often, but whenever I do I find interesting pieces on there, like now, loads of fantastic pictures capturing Ghana's history. Otherwise, the blogger, Paulina, usually features Ghanaians who are making their mark on the world. What a great initiative, and a great way for the rest of us, Ghanaians, Ghana lovers or other interested parties, to find out up this talented persons. Have a peek yourself!

With that, I bid you goodnight!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Umoja comes to Accra

During my years in London there was one show I always wanted to see and somehow always missed. And now I hear the good news, it's coming to Ghana! That's right, Umoja - the spirit of togetherness will be showing at the National Theatre on the 29th and 30th of May at 3pm and 7pm on each day. I have only heard the most passionate reviews from those who've seen the show so I'll be doing my best to find a babysitter on the day (hm, it might be a perfect time for Em and Virgo to have some father/daughter time, don't you think?) so that I'll finally be able to see it.

So now that I've done my humanitarian duty of informing you well ahead of time, let me get back to trying to sort out my hotmail account...

Monday, 3 May 2010


I was going to write about the lovely long weekend and all the things I could have done but chose not to do. Then I was going to entertain you with the drama of my latest househelp who left yesterday. But all that will have to wait because this evening a friend informed me that someone's gotten into my email and is sending the most random mail! I tried to login, but can't access it myself, clearly the password has been changed. Quickly I sought to protect my other email accounts (and of course this blog!) by changing their passwords before I lose them too.

Now I just hope there's someway of getting back into my hotmail account sooner or later, because after fifteen years together, I am kind of emotionally attached to my first ever email account with that funny username that I always have to explain to people. Also, I am really not ready to lose so many wonderful emails that have been sent to me by dear friends over the years, so please if you have any tips on how I can re-access my account, let me know.

All this has worsened the headache I've had today, I think I'm best off going straight to bed. I feel violated.


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