Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bon Apetit

I should have bulls-eyed on my food at Golden Tulip Kumasi City Hotel. Or I should have focused on the horror movie of the distinguished-looking old man to my right, gouging himself with wine and enough rich food to feed a dozen pigs.

The swimming pool is just outside the restaurant. It has a terrace on which diners can eat open-air. So in they walked when I was just about to throw up for the gourmand sat to my right.

A boobs-a-spill girl likely sixteen; a fully-clothed lass maybe fourteen; then a grand papa, couldn’t have been below fifty-five. He’d brought them dining. That they wouldn’t walk together, and her curious get-up got me thinking that the sixteen year-old and the almost-geriatric were in a relationship. Well, an arrangement.

I looked around to assure myself that nobody had seen my curiosity. I was wrong. Everybody in the room must have been thinking the same scadalous thoughts, including the gentlehomme with the piggish appetite. When our eyes met, he was choking down the laughter. The moment seemed to call for words, so I said, “Bon apetit”.

I was really referring to his wolfish traits, but he burst out laughing and sprayed strawberry gateau over his table-for-one. Then, it hit me. He though my “Bon apetit” was meant for the grand papa, his below-legal liaisons and whatever pleasant pastime we thought they were headed for. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Financial Controller

There is a smutty lunatic hectoring the elbow room of the Dzorwulu Access Bank ATM. He’s a scary totem pole in the day time, still as a statue in his self-imposed straitjacket. He comes to life at night, using all the space to swing his imaginary cats. The punch buttons must be squeaky clean, for nobody ever uses them. Maybe the bank doesn’t know he stands there. Maybe they know and like it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Cat-Kicker

Inside the wooden fencing, they’re watching a La-Liga match. Outside, where the loudspeakers bellow loud, we sit among the smoking tables, each two less than a metre apart. The varicoloured bottles remain arranged on the tables when a round of drinks is done like some mating-dance plume show. A couple huddles near the perimeter opening. He’s having a drink. She’s having a drink and eating out of a plate. Her mouth drops almost all the way to the table. I’m watching the obscene curvature of her ... backbone, when I see two cats circling the table. One can no longer wait for scraps and bravely rubs against her leg. With a shout above the music, she kicks the poor cat in an airborne arc into the crowd. Who kicks animals anywhere? And who kicks felines on a date?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Triplets at El Wak on a Saturday Morning

On a twilight cruise for Saturday soccer at Labone. Aviation Road is already abuzz with busy-bee Accraians. The traffic lights fire red before I can cross Giffard Road into Cantonments. I don’t like stopping here: not fifty feet from where the runway-gobbling plane scythed through the swarming street.  Three sets of tiny feet identically shod in bright-red ladybug-like shoes pitter-patter across one lane. Their mother plods behind them. The first stretches out her tiny hand and wriggles the fingers at passing cars. Her two sisters repeat what she does. One, two, three, four, all cars are hypno-stopped. They sail across in a straight line in rhythmic step. Mother ‘walruses’ awkwardly behind them. Then, they are gone. Beautiful. Beguiling. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Automatic Car Wash

I was thrilled earlier this week to see an automatic car wash open right outside my neighbourhood on Spintex Road. My hood was far from dusty, but the elements had gnawed at the tired streets. Then, some smart person chose to cover it all with pavement blocks, and then the pavement with cement dust. Now a car can only stand clean for one hour.

Today I went to the car wash. It’s owned by two Lebanese old men. They take pleasure in pressing the buttons themselves. The car is lathered and washed with electric pompoms and semi-dried with electric dryers.

A few metres further down, four Ghanaian lads wipe the cars dry. That’s the real story of this post. They are filled with so much hate. They insult their employers from the time you drive in, and theirs is the last voice you hear on the way out – insulting. They speak in Twi, of course, and try to draw me into their xenophobia. I ignore them. When I’m ready to drive off in my shiny car, one of the owners capers up to me and asks in a friendly voice, “It good?” Although it took longer than your regular one-hose car wash, I’m going back there.

It was those boys’ attitude that needed to run through the car wash, not cars.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Foolish Get Scammed

It’s not sinister spy stuff. One contented brain, two eagle eyes and three grams of good grammar – the essential toolkit. The steed of cyber fraud will canter far from your prudent purse. I mean, what self-respecting ‘British’ CENTER has a website wriggling with worms of American English?