Monday, 25 October 2010

Marie Antoinette lives in all of us.

I think it happens to most of us, well those of us who live a 'privileged life'. At least once in a lifetime there's a moment in which, if you're humble enough, you'll realise the everyday assumptions you make and be grateful for what you've got.
I'll give two examples:

A family friend went to complain at ECG after tehy had turned off the electricity one too many times. Very upset, he explained to them "all my meat, fish and chicken are spoiling due to the lights off!".
To which the ECG man responded " Ey, whilst some of us are struggling to find food to eat, you are complaining about a freezer overflowing with meat!".
Needless to say, he walked away feeling a bit ashamed about his 'frivolous' complaint.

The 2nd example is my own (and I'm still embarrassed by it). Two years ago when we went to Takoradi, just around Cape Coast we first saw a funeral by the roadside, then for several hundred meters afterwards we saw many people in funeral clothes walking towards the funeral. After a while, completely confused, I asked Virgo, "Why did they park so far away from the funeral???".
Virgo, turned to me quite horrified (probably picturing Marie Antoinette in front of him in all her pompidouesqueness) before he answered, "they don't have cars, they're walking from their homes!".

Never before or after has it been so clear to me what a comfortable life I lead. I hope I never have such a moment again as it means I would have lost touch, then again I am grateful for it as it was a reality check and gave me a lot of giggles.

What's your worst Marie Antoinette* moment?

*Marie Antoinette's cry of, "Let them eat cake!" was the straw that broke the camel's back during the French Revolution. The story goes that Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, was informed that her subjects were starving because they had no bread. She was so pampered and out of touch with the reality of life for the poor that she responded, "Let them eat cake," which is what she would have done if she were out of bread. Marie Antoinette was convicted of treason and executed in 1793, months after her husband, King Louis XVI, had suffered the same fate.
Marie Antoinette explanation borrowed from here

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Ted Turner & Co unnoticed in Ghana

Did you know that Ted Turner, Gro Harlem Bruntland, Andrew Young and Kofi Annan were (possibly are) just in Ghana? I wouldn't blame you for not knowing, if you're not following to the news too alertly, you will only hear that 'Kofi Annan and some NGOs visit Old Tafo in Kumasi'.

I think Ghana journalism has hit another low point when our major television networks firstly waste a good ten minutes on a phone conversation with a party footsoldier discussing why he believes a certain political figure should run for president, only to then spend just 30-45 seconds on the report of NGOs and Kofi Annan in Kumasi with the camera filming, and missing to acknowledge or even better, interview these world known figures (who knows which other renowned persons may have been there but not in camera view?).

They were in Kumasi as part of the UN Foundation Board of Directors to raise awareness about the immunization against measles, a national programme that will take place between the 3 and 6th of November. I just hope that message about the measles vaccine was clear and got to the general public. After I realised their blunder, I kind of zoned out...and started blogging!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Immigrants shot in Malmö, Sweden

I read something to day which really depressed me. A young man of foreign descent has been shot in Malmö and it seems this is one of many shootings targeting foreigners in Malmö. This evening two women have been shot (Swedish) through a window to an apartment. This makes the police' advice that foreigners ought to avoid going out after dark completely useless, clearly even in their (our?) own homes they'll be targeted.

This is bringing forth memories of Lasermannen, the man who in the early Nineties targeted, shot and murdered immigrants around Sweden. It is also completely in line with the recent elections and the entry into Parliament by the nationalistic party, the Sweden Democrats. It is typical that the election result would boost some racist's confidence in that he/she can do anything to foreigners in Sweden.

I hate the idea of these innocent persons being targeted for nothing other than their features and ethnic background. Unfortunately, I have no reason to have faith in the Swedish police service, they've disappointed the country on far too many occasions. As foreigners are being cautioned to consider where they go and at what hours, I can't help but agree with Alexandra Pascalidou (Swedish), surely the Police' actions and advice would have been very different if the offenders had been a moslem 'terrorist' group targeting Swedes?

Here's hoping there's some positive news tomorrow. Goodnight.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Life is a soap opera!

This afternoon I've been tuning in and out of CNN to follow the rescue of the Chilean miners. As we are discussing the impressive planning and organisation that Chile has shown the word, suddenly a Facebook friend of mine reveals a side drama that is going on behind the scenes: Apparently the 21st miner, Yonni Barrios Rojas, has both a wife and a mistress who only learnt of each other's existence when both applied for compensation in his name.

Both wife and mistress were expected to be at the mine to meet him, but only one of them turned up. The news networks have been speculating whether it is the wife or the mistress who was there, I followed it through my Facebook friend who said:

"Conflicting news on the identity of the woman who greeted Barrios at the surface. Chilean TV say wife. CNN go with mistress. BBC reckon wife."

According to this website, the wife (of 28 years!) decided not to show up, so he will be met by his mistress.

Never again will I think that the storylines in telenovelas are exaggerated!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Introduction to potty training.

I usually let Em run around without a nappy for a bit every day to air her little botty, it just feels a bit cruel that this little person should have to wear a nappy 24 hours a day. Also, I read somewhere that children who go diaperless are pottytrained faster. This evening, she was running around, no nappy in sight, being a little busybody, when my mum - who had been taking care of her all day whilst Virgo and I were in business meetings - said "She still hasn't pooed today". We continued doing what we were doing, watching TV, on the internet, eating dinner when suddenly I catch something happening. Almost seeing it in slowmotion, I watched in horror as a solid, soft, brown mass fell between Em's legs on to the marble tiles.

"Poo, poo, poo!", I heard mysef yelling as the next few minutes turned into what looked like a well choreographed farce. I threw myself over the newly bought toilet roll, ripping of the plastic as fast as I could, as my mum tried to identify any other defacated areas (there were four in total) and Virgo simultaneously picked Em up, took her to the bathroom and washed her down.

All this took place in a matter of about 90 seconds after which we all got back to normal as if nothing ever happened. Well, it's good to know what to expect in the next few months when potty training begins!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Spare me a drop, please!

Yesterday morning around 6 a.m. my mum luckily caught the radio news where it was reported that the whole of Tema (stretching all the way from Sakumono/Lashibi to Ningo/Prampram) would be without water for 48 hours due to a fault at Kpone. Immediately we gathered all bowls and buckets and fetched as much water as possible before the taps dried up. Somehow, that day we managed our loss of flowing water smoothly.

Today, however, I am fed up. Not only has the last week been so hot that one could use a good 3 power showers a day to survive, I'm sick and tired of having to think through every step of ordinary life. Need to brush my teeth? Ok, the sachet water is somewhere in the kitchen. Want to flush the toilet? Oops, no water left? Guess I'll have to use Em's old bath water to do that.

This evening, because we're all too exhausted (and sweaty) to think of how we'll cook and clean, we've decided against a proper dinner. My mum's got some snacks out, Virgo's munching on Digestives and apple juice and I'm about to have some crackerbread (knackebrod) and treat myself to a Nescafe cappuccino. After that I'll have to open up a good 15 sachets of water into a bucket to have my evening bath. I hate this!

If the water's not flowing by tomorrow, I will need to sue someone. Who's with me?

Monday, 4 October 2010

Sushi lunch in Accra

There's been a rumour going round town (well, my circle of friends) all year. With no real facts to support it, it was beginning to sound like an urban myth. Is there really a place in Osu that serves sushi at lunchtime? If so where? It got to a point where none of us could figure out who actually said it first, where we could find out more and whether there really was any truth to the rumour.

The reason for our desperation? Ever since Noble House stopped serving sushi, as far as I know, the only sushi restaurant in central Accra (not to be confused with Accra Central which incudes Makola and its surrounding areas) is Monsoon. Its sushi restaurant opens at 7pm leaving those of us who can't be in Osu at that time, with no where at all to find sushi.

Anyways, about two weeks ago, Dee told me that she had heard that the lunch sushi joint was above Tantra, and since I'd been sushi starved for months, it only took a few days before I was there, having sushi with La Baselette, before she left Ghana once again.

The restaurant is called 3121, or something similar, for some reason the name has escaped me. It is above Tantra (the eurotechno nightclub), down the side road between Penta Hotel and Barclays on Oxford street. There's a Chinese restaurant in the same yard...but its name also vanished from my memory.

The verdict?
The food was good, tasty, but the rice wasn't as well prepared as Monsoon's. Everything was about 1 or 2 cedis more expensive than Monsoon, but there seemed to be more options available.

The interior was neat although the decor seemed heavily inspired by Memoirs of a Geisha (including actual promotional pictures from the movie), which was a bit weird.

Now, I think I've told you all you need to know, go taste it for yourselves and bon appetit!

By the way, for you other foodians out there, there seems to be a new website coming out that will be of interest to us, Eat out Ghana.


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