6 July 2012
Friday was the beginning of a long, quiet weekend at Ish. With the exception of five of us, the rest of our group left early that morning to go on the second optional group trip to the Volta region, where they climbed the tallest mountain in Ghana, visited a game reserve, and hung out with monkey pals at the monkey sanctuary (And by sanctuary, I mean a village that cohabits with monkeys. Omg.) Unfortunately, I didn’t have the means to go on both optional trips, but hey, it is what it is. It was nice to have a weekend to catch up on some much-needed rest.
That day, Ridhi, Josh, and I decided to take a taxi to run a few errands at the Accra mall. Before I say more, I need to take a second to vent how much I resent taxis. Well, maybe not the taxis themselves, or their drivers. I’ve actually met some lovely taxi drivers! What I mean to say is I resent my need for taxis here. See, I have nothing against public transportation. You gotta do what you gotta do when your hostel is a good distance from any desirable parts of the city. What is frustrating to me is that finding a taxi that will take us to our destination at a reasonable price is a bit of a hassle. Because we’re clearly foreigners, taxi drivers overcharge us every time. And we can haggle, that’s okay. But sometimes the more stubborn drivers are perfectly content with driving away when we can’t get them to budge to a fair fare. Even more stressful is when the taxi driver agrees to the price, we get in, and he has no idea where he’s going. So we’re left driving in circles around the city trying to find landmarks, streetnames, anything that will help him find the place. As I’m writing this, it’s dawning on me that this is one of those times I am asking for too much. Yeah... I am, haha. I’m extremely fortunate to have the convenience of my own car back in the States. Look at me, improving my own moral education as I blog!
Taxis aren’t as unbearable as I’m making them out to be, honestly. To get from A to B without having to sweat in this sweltering heat is a beautiful thing. Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve had conversations with a few of my Ghanaian friends who explained to me that because they work a full day every day with the exception of Sunday, they don’t have the chance to go out much... not even to see a movie. I swear I'm beating this dead horse, but I still don't think I've grasped how much I take for granted. Yet what’s interesting (and I forget this all the time) is that a good population of Americans live paycheck to paycheck in this way. It’s interesting to think about how income disparities distinguish us from one another, even within our own culture. I dunno, food for thought :)
After leaving the mall, we closed out the day with my second dinner at Cuppa Cappucino and a sleepy night watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And I said, what about Breakfast at Tiffany's? I'm pretty sure that's the only song I know by Deep Blue Something.
Nante yie, for now!