Monday, 26 July 2010

Visiting the DVLA

After three weeks of car-sharing, I finally got a new battery for my car and was off to run some errands. Of course before I'd even driven 200 metres, I realised both the road worthy and insurance had expired. Within three minutes I was stopped by a policeman. In the end he let me go after I, in a very bored voice explained that I was on my way to DVLA and the insurance company, but first of all the bank because I wasn't carrying any money, hint, hint (little did he know I actually had a few hundred cedis on me!).

On my way into Accra I tried calling my usual DVLA contacts but with no luck. See, I have to admit that despite driving a car for almost five years in Ghana, I have never done the road worthy myself. After hearing tales of people waiting for hours to get it done, I just didn't see the point of doing that myself. After several failed calls, it became clear that today, I had no way out. After my morning meeting, I headed towards 37, to the DVLA office.

So inexperienced was I that I drove past all the car inspection points, parked, got down and then asked an officer what I do. He looked quite amused, then probably took pity on me with Em in my arms, just in her nappy (she had poured water in her shorts) so he guided us step by step on how to get it done. Can you believe that within 25 minutes I was done? Then, little did I know, all the major insurance companies have agent offices next door, so within another ten minutes I had sorted out my insurance. Never again will I feel the need to call up my own 'agents' to sort me out!

Now, I can't decide whether to put up my new stickers or play the little trick a friend of mine, S, does: he leaves the expired stickers up, let's a policeman stop him (the policeman juicing at the idea of the hefty bribe he'll be able to take home). Then, just as the police man starts "Good morning, sir...", my friend slides his hand into the glove compartment and flashes him the valid insurance and road worthy! The most entertaining part is that the police officer is so unable to conceal his disappointment, he'll actually kiss his teeth before angrily waving him off!

I think I may have to try that for a few days...

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Fimbles & Flu

Days, weeks, months are flying by and I don't know if it's me, old age or 2010 that really is racing by? So many things happening at once but somehow in their own time. Last week started out filled with meetings, work, appointments and crisscrossing all over Accra. Of course the reward for that was getting stuck in the mother of all traffic at the end of the week, just making it in time to the doctor's before closing, only to be diagnosed with a respiratory infection (is that a fancy word for the flu?)

Spent the weekend resting, recovering and socialising. Halfway through recovery I managed another day of work, appointments and meetings yesterday. I was close to completing some very important work when I realised Em had a fever. So that meant pushing aside any feverish, drowsy feelings of my own, working hard last night and this morning, to finally be able to send of the important document by 10am. That way, I've been able to spend all day nursing my little darling who only wants to drink water, be carried by her mama and watch the Fimbles.

(Image borrowed from here)

As I walk her up and down the corridor, hoping she'll fall asleep and sleep off her flu, I don't know whether it's my own flu or thoughts that are making me dizzy, trying to figure out how we are almost in August.

And when do mothers go on holiday???

Thursday, 15 July 2010

My Tema

For almost three weeks we've been staying in Tema, and will probably be there for another couple of months whilst some issues are sorted out on our house. Of course the days before we were moving here, I continuously told Virgo of the virtues of living in Tema (as I have told you guys many times in this blog): The lack of traffic, constantly flowing water, good internet access and general organisation of the city.

Naturally, the forces that be decided to mess with me as soon as we got here. On the Sunday, whilst we were packing, I called the caretaker of the house and asked whether there have been power or water shortages since he moved in (six months ago). 'No, nothing' was his answer which I smugly conveyed to Virgo, then ordered for our water tanks and generator to go to storage.

We arrived Monday night around 7pm. I thought the water pressure seemed low and laughed, 'this means that they've turned off the water in some other community, don't worry, this is as bad as it gets'. An hour later the taps were dry. Bone dry. And we didn't have water for another 25 hours!

Friday night, the electricity went out and was off for four hours. In between that, we suffered with traffic sometimes almost half an hour just to get to the Ashiaman interchange toll booth. Needless to say, Virgo was enjoying mocking me, 'My Tema, my Tema' he'd squeak in a falsetto voice (it sounds nothing like me) any time we'd spend more time in traffic here than in Accra.

Still, all that was probably just to put me in my place for being so smug, because for the past week there's been no traffic any time we're heading out, water, internet and electricity are constantly working and this morning the mocker himself turned to me and said:
'You know what? Tema is actually a great place to live in. Once you pass Tetteh Quarshie, you just zoom down the motorway and you're home to everything you need'.

What can I say? Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Angelina Jolie in Ghana

So after a month of fun and excitement and only one topic of conversation, it seems we're back to reality. Goodbye to this:

And hello work deadlines, temporary move to Tema, cluelessly selecting nurseries for Em (aaahhh, my girl's all grown up already!) and lots of planning and strategising.

Well, at least we can entertain ourselves with the news that a certain celeb is coming to town. Yes, if rumours are to be believed, Angelina Jolie lands in Accra tomorrow! Want a celebrity spotting? My best bet is to ignore Joy's tips on where she'll go, just hang around Osu Children's Home long enough, surely she's not planning to leave Africa without another kid, lol!

Friday, 2 July 2010

The Black Stars are out

So it seems we've been kicked out of the big game. I have to say, I wouldn't have had us lose any other way, we fought til the last second of the game and we all know there's no way of telling which way penalties will go.

Directly afte the game Virgo spoke to an acquaintance who pointed out the only silver lining of losing - the streets will be safe. He'd driven out between extra time and penalties and had seen people standing on the top of moving vehicles ready to party away. If there's one thing Ghanaians are not, it is good winners. When we win, rejoicing (and drinking) takes over completely, cars can stop in the middle of fast moving traffic for the driver and passengers to get out and dance (believe me, I got stuck behind such a car during CAN 2008, and no, it's not as fun as it sounds).

Luckily, unlike our European counterparts, we are excellent losers. We take about thirty minutes to recover from shock and those are the thirty minutes within which we solemly make our way home. Once home, we realise, hey, life is still good, we had a good run and yes, it is good to be Ghanaian, and alas, the party can begin!

That's what I'm reading and hearing now, a facebook wall full of positive messages congratulating our Black Stars for a good tournament and outside the window, the closest drinking spot blasting music on the loudest volume. Usually I'd complain, but today I agree with the DJ as he just said "the party is just beginning!".


Here we go, go, go Ghana!!!

Already there's a lot of nailbiting and fidgeting going on before the Uruguay-Ghana game this evening. Luckily, Ghana has not only the whole of Africa backing the Black Stars, Anjali Rau just said "Ghana it is", endorsing CNN's support for Ghana. Everyone wants to see an African side win, right?! I've got my flag ready (I swear, it has magic powers, last time Gyan scored just after I hang it up on the wall), the Ghana decorated vuvuzela has been dusted off and I'll be playing this song (another quality Omanye production) for most of the day.

Gooooo Ghana!!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails