My initial intention for this blog post was to talk about driving tests and licensing and the hassle in getting licenses. But my direction changed after two major incidents on the road today.
I shall begin to recount the first incident.
I was meeting a friend for lunch in Osu. I made my way calmly from Kanda through the Arko-Adjei interchange and then took the back routes to Osu. I like the back routes because there's no confrontation ... or so I thought. Picture this, I'm coming down the road and as is expected, there are cars doubled parked on both sides of the road. As a wise partially-licensed driver, I waited for the car coming in the opposite direction to come so I could move on. He did. Some other fooooolish... I repeat...fooooolish driver (oh how I wish he would read this blog) decided he was wiser. He came in right where the cars had double-parked. So as a gentleman, all he had to do was to back up so I could drive past and he could also continue his journey. Nothing too difficult about that, is there? Nooooo! Ok fine, harm has already been done. I decided to compromise. I moved forward so we could inch our way past either. I move ahead, but if I go too far, there's a gaping gutter waiting to swallow up my car and a Nissan March doesn't need too big a drain to fall in. I go as far as is safe for my car and I. Now it's up to the guy to inch slightly forward as well. Along the lines of his logical reasoning, the next best thing was to take his foot of the pedal, pull up his handbrake and ease back into his seat. Yea, I know what you're thinking a real @$#&*€£1!!! I'm not sure there's a more fitting insult as that. He just sat there, beckoning me to move further into the pit. I mean if he had conspired with the witches in my family to get me into that ditch, I sure as hell wasn't going to let him...them. My word.
Thankfully, my guardian angel stepped in. He floated me on his wings and we flew to a land far far far away, a place with no mad men on wheels.
Sorry, wrong channel. Back to the hot Thursday afternoon with me caught between a fooooolish driver and a gaping drain. Well, a guardian angel dressed as a Ghanaian with no wings to carry me on, stepped on the scene and helped me maneuver the drain, the on-coming vehicle and a parked car. As I drove past the fooooooooolish (yes, there are enough ‘o’s for emphasis) driver, I told him how ungentlemanly he was. His response was: “Look at her”. Who’s looking? I believe that I am a fine piece of specimen, attractive enough for the eyes of men. Therefore, looking at me would be considered a privilege by some.
Second incident happened within 10mins from the first. Same place, Osu. There was no parking spot as I pulled up at a cosmetic shop. Don’t ask what I was getting there. It was neither make-up nor body cream. Anyways, there was no available parking spot and they had no parking attendant either. I observed that three or so cars had double-parked. I had no other choice than to park my car perpendicularly to one of the cars, thereby forming a right-angle i.e. 90˚ with the car. (For those of you unfamiliar to the territory of geometry, I simply formed a ‘T’ with the other car). I got inside, spotted a few ladies and an gentleman around the sanitary towels section, looking rather quirky, I picked up my items and headed for the counter. Half the time, I expected to be called to move my car out of the way. But no one did.
As I got to the counter, I realized that one car had moved leaving enough room for two cars to have parked. Never mind that. Just as I gave the cashier the cash, I hear a heavy THUMP! I look up and see my small car slightly tilted to an angle of about 7˚. My car! I whizz through the door and see a lady stepping out of the passenger seat of the car that hit my car. I couldn’t believe what was going on. My car had been bumped! I went to check and luckily, the bump wasn’t too bad. It had just formed a dent at the front end, near the light. Had it been any other day, I may have thrown a tantrum and hijacked their car. But the fear of God is in me. So I simply turned the other cheek. In other words say no to the devil and let them off the hook. Were the earth to be slightly off tangent that day, it would be their cheek doing the turning. She didn’t even apologize oh. All she said was: “I didn’t see it there oh”. STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!
She bumped my car and the best excuse she could come up with was that she didn’t see it there? Of course you didn’t see it when you parked. Surely as you walked through the door of the shop, opened your car door, twirled yourself around, lifted your high-heel-wearing legs to sit in your car, your eye may have caught the glimpse of a green car parked behind you.
Hmph! People. No courtesy whatsoever!
How much would you pay for a waste paper bin? I’ll give you a price range: between $3 and $30, where would your line of preference be?
You see the guys over at Flair who do the basket weaving and whatnots, I drove past about a week ago and saw some waste paper bins hanging on the tree branches that overshadow their “factory”. I decided that it was the exact thing I was looking for to help make my room “sesky” enough to live in. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop because my lunch break was over and I had to get back to the office in time.
Today, I passed by. Sadly enough, they had all been bought. I then asked the weaver guy Kojo Russia (who got the name as a child as a result of his spiky hair. Why Russia? Search me). Anyways, he told me the ones I saw a week before had been pre-ordered from the "factory". Therefore if I wanted one, I had to place an order. Yes, an order for a cane woven waste paper bin. So my next step was to ask for the price. Wait for it … GH¢25! Whoa?!!! GH¢25 so I can throw mere “bola” into it? That was my entire week’s lunch money. IMPOSSICANT! As my brother would say.
I simply couldn’t understand why a bola bin would cost so much! There’s nothing like expensive trash! All trash be trash; all bola be bola!!! Plain and simple. So why pay as much as for it GH¢25? We bargained and settled on GH¢12 after I confused him with some calculations as to why it needed to be no more than GH¢12. I think I may even have quoted the current stock market rate. In any case, I still think it is way too much for a bola bin. But I’m happy all the same. Now my life will be complete … well … momentarily.
I pick it up on Friday. I’ll take some pictures and upload them on the blog.
His body clock woke him up just as it had done for the past decade or so, every morning without fail.
But this morning different. He stirred from his bed, grudgingly getting up. He tossed a glance at his watch, it read 00:00. It must be the sleep in his eyes he thought. He reached for his eyeglasses, wore them, and took another look at the clock. Same thing: 00:00.
Maybe the lights went out in the night. Maybe his glasses were misty.
He got out of bed, checked the power cable. Strangely, it wasn’t plugged in and as far as he knew, it didn’t run on battery. He presumed the display was broken. He took the cable and plugged it back in. No different: 00:00.
He walked up to the window, the rooster hadn’t crowed, the birds didn’t chirp, even the dogs couldn’t be heard. The sky was pitch black, as though it were midnight. He resisted the eerie feeling that begun to creep over him. He opened the window to let in some air, but he couldn’t even feel the wind on his face.
He glanced back at his watch, out of habit. Still 00:00. He shook his head, picked up his towel and hit the shower.
All dressed up now, he peeped at the clock, almost afraid to look now. He remembers to check his wristwatch, he looks for it, but can’t find it. “Ah! His cell phone! he thought. Why didn’t he think of that before? He jumps unto his bed and picks it up. The time read 00:00.
He tries to make a call. No signal. Maybe it’s the network. He tries another other phone. No different. Now panic begins to mount.
One more glance at his clock. It still read 00:00.
He picks up his bag and runs out the door. On the outside, there was an uneasy stillness as he stepped out into the night … or was it day? He couldn’t tell anymore. He sits in his car, turns the key in the ignition, but the car won’t start. He pauses for a prayer. Gives the key another turn and the car responds. He revs up the engine and moves out of the driveway. As he hit the road, it could have very well been midnight as he drove in utter darkness. Did he wake up too soon? Did he even wake up at all? There was not a creature in sight, not a sighted creature. The roads were completely empty.
No streetlights or traffic lights to guide him. Now he was completely terrified, gripped with fear! He steps hard on the accelerator pedal, racing against what he was uncertain of. And yet, the car goes no faster. In fact, the odometer reads 00 00 00, the indicator of the speedometer also reads 0 mph.
Then he realized what was happening. It was true. He had heard it and it was his turn now. He had ran out of time.
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited by a friend to join a bunch of other ladies discuss some “serious” topic on a weekly radio programme called Sister Sister on Citi FM. Initially, I was reluctant to do so, but I thought I would go out there and share my pearls of wisdom that God so lovingly endowed me with.
The topic centered around a hypothetical fine fly guy who dated ladies for 2 months tops, sleeps with them once, twice and a few times more and dumps them with not so much as a goodbye kiss. His complaint was that after he dumped these ladies, they kept calling and texting and coming to his office finding out what was going on. So he asks; "are these women stupid, desperate or both?"
I'm inclined to agree with this guy to some extent, and a little beyond that. You see, girls lately ask for it. I’ll tell you why. They dress up in skinny minis and stilettos and prance about teasingly like cats waiting for the dog to run after them. They aim for the sexy look when they dress and if that isn’t a begging invitation for the guys to do whatever they want with them, I don’t know what is. When once have they actually dressed up and looked in the mirror just to look good for themselves and themselves only. Noooooooo, they must look sexy so that a guy can check out their butt. It’s outrageous and as a woman I find that insulting!
There are several other selling points other than your body. Try your brain for a change. If ladies would pay a little more attention to mind deepening materials, than they do to the colour of hair or a pair of shoes which hurt like heck, maybe, maybe, the world would be a better place.
Our women are asking for women empowerment and whatnots, in the same vein they want to be treated like the traditional woman who is cared for by the man at home. Make up your minds ladies, make up your mind!
For a change when you hang out with a guy buy the drinks or pay for the food. It’ll go a long way to show the guy just how much of an independent woman you are. Or else you are just the same old pitiful woman with no vision, aim or clue as to what a vision or an aim is.
Finally, if you’ve taken nothing from what I’ve just said, take this; marriage isn’t the ultimate in life! So stop making everything about marriage. There’s a lot more to life than marriage. Find out who you are and what your contribution to this universe is. Cos if you don’t, guess what, it affects me living all the way here and her living all the way in Mumbai. Take heed and wise up.
Don’t let every Tom, Dick (emphasis on Dick) and Harry into your life without fully assessing the situation.
It bums me out that I live so far off now. I mean, I used to live in the central part of Accra (Cantonments) where everything I wanted was 5 minutes away. Save for the noisy jets that interrupted everything from phone conversations to my precious TV time. Everything was fine…until we moved. It’s been close to three months now and I still can’t get used to it.
Now, it takes me about an hour to get from anywhere to my house. The traffic is insane and it’s never better any time of the day. Except for that one time when there was fuel shortage. Then there were as many cars on the street as there were ants in my house (by the way, I hate ants! I admire their spirit, but I don’t like them. You know you can’t have the whole toffee so why not break some off and go away with it? Why waste the entire piece?) I’ll get into that later.
Ever since I moved, I’ve been driving longer distances and even longer periods. At first I could stay out till whenever I want and get home in at most 20 minutes! Now however, I either need to be in by 5pm or stay out till 9pm when the traffic jam would have considerably cleared. I need to ask you this; what kind of life is that?!
The problem compounds further when you factor in my poor night vision. I don’t see to well at night and there are no streetlights to help me out. To make matters worse, as a result of there not being streetlights, drivers are compelled to use their highlights as such, further blinding me. You see why this is a problem? Where on earth do these drivers get their licenses from? Where do they even learn to drive? At the tro-tro station? Possibly.
We must do something. We can’t wait until we all get entangled in the poison of road rage and start killing each other on the roads. What’s ever so heart-wrenching is when you decide to be the most traffic law abiding citizen and others just whizz by over to your right on the shoulder of the road and then come in ahead of you. If everybody took to the shoulder of the road, which road would we all be driving on? It just irks me so. Nonetheless, I fully enjoy the perks of jumping the queue every now and then. But that’s besides the point.
Here’s where I am supposed to draw up some conclusion on what Ghana and the people of our land must do to prevent road accidents and whatnots. Frankly, I’m not motivated enough to do that. So please, be at liberty to conclude in anyway you see fit.
You know that feeling that you feel when you don't like the feeling you are feeling? Maybe you don’t. But I felt that feeling this morning as I drove from home to work. Some of you might know Dewland fruit juices. They are one of my favourites and most treasured natural juices, after Blue Skies of course.
Therefore, you can easily imagine my horror when I saw it being peddled on the street like common food! Inside me, I wanted to cry. But my outer man kept it bottled in.
I consider cheap, things sold on the street, therefore I most certainly do not appreciate it when my most cherished and highly favoured fruit drink is “commonized” into streetware! I take offense, immediately! They did the same to grapes. I mean I love grapes, truly, I do. But not when it is counted, bagged and sold for me along the street like "ebro ena nkate". They are grapes and by all means should be treated as royalty. Maybe I'm fussing unnecessarily over this, but if you were part of the ancestry of the kingdom of grapes, you will not encourage defaming your legacy by calling you "glips" (I italicized the ‘p’ because it is barely enunciated). This woeful pronunciation of my wonder fruit emanated from the mouthpiece of a hawker. Grapes, if I recall correctly from Greek myths, were served to kings on silver platters. Ask anyone who’s watched any of those movies.
Newspapers I don't mind; apples I've gotten used to but my Dewland, oh my Dewland. This can't be how it ends. These sales & marketing guys have gotto come up with more imaginative ways of selling their products.