Sunday, May 18, 2008

Juapong, Pillow Country

Most people hanker after a downy, puffy pillow at night. Pillows have been lovingly related to gladsome comforts and showers of cloudless dreams since the maiden morning of life (bar evolution).

Juapong is a tiny town tucked away in the Volta Region (but sleepwalking in the Eastern Region) of Ghana. She unfurls her common clothes on either side of the Adome-Kpeve-Kpando road. Not a whole comely lot is in sight on the drive, even at a casual pace.

Juapong nourishes herself on a textile company. The by-product of the cloth-making is the loads of colourful, odd strips of fabric. It would have been lowly litter with well-employed, sensitive city folk and a hounding headache for hapless city authorities. But, here, in Juapong, the single street is as clean as a whistle.

Down the length of the town, both sides of the road are delightfully decked with simple wood stalls stacked multi-storey with portly pillows; an open-air pageant of stuffed, plump and soft pillows in all imaginable colours. I think beyond the plain question of competition among neighbours, and wistfully wonder how snug pillow pleasure could have been so underrated by such a closet hedonist as I.

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