Monday, May 31, 2010

Ambulances = Civilisation

Helicopter: an aircraft without wings that has large blades on top that go round. It can fly straight up from the ground and can also stay in one position in the air.

Ambulance: a vehicle with special equipment, used for taking sick or injured people to a hospital.

Ghana: a prehistoric country with few ambulances and no helicopter ambulances.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In This Life

You're here one moment and then you're gone. It's just like that. Be nice and friendly to all you meet.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why, China, Why?

No apologies for this generalisation. I’m informed that a particular group of people in Ghana are notorious for this. They jet to China and fly back with imitation goods with authentic labels. The established electronics companies outsource production to China for its cheap labour. Some Chinese companies secretly produce more than is ordered. The extra white goods, which are of low quality, are sold to ‘these people in Ghana’ (and perhaps elsewhere in Africa). The Chinese 'manu-fake-turers' remember to give you authentic labels. Back home, ‘these people’ sell the ersatz electronics at same high price as the real! Shame on ‘these people’ and shame on those who do this in China.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Circus of Cyclists

Something spectacular is bound to pass whenever I drive in the heat of the afternoon in the city of Accra. Or rather, I catch the extraordinary life in the everyday scenes. Today, I reflected on the Accraian impression that the rules are made for punishment and not convenience. Two cyclists would not remain in the traffic queue. Blazing down the dividing line in opposite directions, they saw each other too late. They almost battle-rammed each other as their shoulders knocked together and threw them off course. The bikes wove and wobbled between the cars into the bushy shoulders...with their riders astride.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Talented Kids on TV3

The last time I mentioned TV3, I ‘dissed’ them for not proof-reading. I have something else to say today.

TV3 has a kids talent/entertainment programme “Talented Kids”. I saw 20 minutes of it, and I’m taken.

Not like many a talent show in Ghana, the kids are not doing traditional dance and poetry recital alone and calling it talent. That was refreshing. The exaggerated drama of that kind of recital is particularly uncomfortable to watch.

TV3’s talented kids can sing, rap, really dance and even play musical instruments like drums and the atenteben (bamboo flute?).

Well done to them: TV3 and especially the kids.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Send the Bill

Blogger friend, F, has lost a white shirt. I know it’s hardly the news. He bought a coke. He now thinks it was not a coke. It was a fake. It had “something in it” which effervesced and spilled into his big-event shirt. He kept the rest of the poison. He asked me what he could sue for. I said he could claim the laundry costs. I did not say from whom.

Friday, May 21, 2010


How does real life mimic dreams! I knew I’d have gastric gas this morning from the moment I woke up. In last night’s dream, my work mates had all gathered in a windowless room. When I stood up to speak, I was freely ‘farticulate’ in their midst. Sorry for the information overkill, but it’s Silly Friday.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

3 Dashing Dresses

I’ve seen 3 dashing dresses today; all in simple, straight lines the way I like them. At 6, I saw a good (glistening!) grey dress and its girl sailing across the Spintex Road near the Accra Mall. In court at 10, was a weightless white dress on a petite, fair goddess, stopping the judge's show. At noon, I was bewitched by a blue-black dress on an ebony angel on the office stairs.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In Trouble with Men

I picked this up on the radio. What do you think?

'An 'unbeautiful woman' with a killer body is in trouble with men'.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Girl Who Left Me

Next time I go to an office and the first girl I spot has easy smiles and shining eyes and cultured speech and truthful hips, I won’t waffle and wait until the meeting is over before I trade numbers. I will cadge for her digits at once. Why risk her leaving for home while I’m bivouacked for 3 longs hours with her boss?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Remembering Names

To all the people who always remember names and put them to the right faces, I wonder how you do it. Surely it is not subconscious. And if you make a conscious effort, do you use association (and shocking mental images) or is it just relentless repetition?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Zinedine Zidane

The waltz magnifique, the fox trot, the faux step. A shimmy, a dart délicat et délicieux, a liquid lob, a volte-face. Wonderful weave, back heel de toute beauté. G-o-a-l! Incroyable! It could have been a divine dance. It's ZINEDINE ZIDANE!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thing on Wheels

I was driving past the neat office blocks at Ridge behind a spritely Toyota Corona (remember that car?) I was curious about who had kid-gloved theirs to keep it roadworthy for so long, when a balled-up mangy tissue whorled out of the open window. I overtook to see for myself who had hallmarked such a hideous habit. When I saw his/its face, I understood how the filthy tissue and the vile habit of ejecting rubbish from a moving car all fit in with his/its smutty face.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kebab-Craving in Accra

Adabraka was too far from Ridge, and the Kebab Boys at Nyaniba Estates Junction were packing up, putting out the naked flame. It was 10 p.m. Fresh out of boneless, they were too polite to my pinstripe to even entice with the almost-bones left on a few old skewers. So I pulled off Ring Road, arced the U away from the La end, hooked the Labone Junction exit and swung into the second right towards Celsbridge. In five minutes I was cruising through Cantonments, the Airport, Tetteh Quarshie and the Spintex. Three kebab sticks and three fully loaded kebabs, lay on the seat next to me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

7 Votes

My totally loud, know-it-all roommate goes to bed at 6 p.m. It is 2001. My roomie has just stood for election as Hall President at Legon Hall in the University of Ghana. I know he is infamous, derided, mocked. He thinks he is popular, famous, loved. He wins! Not the elections. He wins 7 votes out of over 5000. Take away 4 (the number of his roommates). Take away 1 (his own vote). He just had to sleep early, right?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bringing in the Girls

At college, people know full well what they are down for. Boys will not sprout wings and be humbugged with a halo just because girls are around. So if the whip-cracking Czars of the University of Ghana hallucinate that inserting girls into an all-male residence will lasso and tame the boys, then they should have rightly gone with the dinosaur, the dodo, the caveman and other creature-fossils.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Very Adult Question

I have a callow college friend – 19 is she! We have only makeshift-met two times or three. We work the cellies when the weeks between become many. Her call comes through one rainy night – I recall how pinching the air was. She says she doesn’t know where I live and thinks it overly odd. I don’t know what to say, so I limn it to her (she has imagination!). She says she’d like to see it, and school is not far from where I live. I parry it with I can only make it on weeknights. She says that’s ok. So, I raise the white flag and say “soon”.

Am I the only one with questions? Is there a lot of trust? Or am I caught in her youthful crosshairs?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mine is Bigger than Yours

I was lapping up this delicious little book on how to be “seriously good” in court. It had only three hundred pages. At an office, I met an older lawyer who looked inches impressed. He said he had a book of his own to show me ... and onlookers. He lumbered off and returned in a minute with a one-foot-thick titanic tome on the same topic! At that moment, I wanted to drop my trousers to see what he’d do next.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tyre-Mending in Accra

On a rainy evening on a public holiday, I was just zooming off from work to wolf a pizza. It was already ordered. Ah-woooo! Phhst, a tack retired one of my tyres! I’d fixed that same one the week before. The rubbish tyre men had looked thick and bungling. But it was in the middle of the Devil’s ass – I couldn’t pick and choose. They’d applied super glue instead of rubber glue and a little common sense. So I stood glued in 'Mud Acre' while proper tyre hands did over the punctured pneumatic. It’s just like that, no? So many Accraians only pretend competence.