Herbal Sanitary Pads Anyone?


I haven’t had a day like today since before I left the United States. I woke up and instantly knew I should just roll over, turn off the alarm, and go back to sleep. Instead, I got out of bed and wondered when I had until to pay for my ticket to Botswana. I called Air Namibia and Vera, the woman I had spent many a phone conversation with, told me that I had until… today to pay. I then asked if I could do it online, and she told me that I had to come into the office and pay cash because they couldn’t process Visa cards. Then I freaked out. To get into Accra is a day long venture, and a $952 flight converted into Cedis would equal over 1300GHC. Who wants to walk around Accra with this much money, and how would I even get my hands on that much cash in one day. It wouldn’t be a good day.

Dawn needed to go into Accra to buy souvenirs, so we agreed to split the fair, and I would help her navigate the crowded Makola market if she would protect me when I began withdrawing hundreds of dollars from several ATMs. We got a ride towards Accra with Hayford, but were dropped off on the side of the road eventually to get a trotro to the market since he wasn’t heading in that direction. We didn’t find a trotro. It seemed as though they were going everywhere except where I needed them to, and so eventually we shared a taxi with a nice professional man who paid our portion of the fair to a roundabout in the heart of Accra. There we got a trotro to Makola and got off at the last stop which was definitely close. Unfortunately high walls and wide highways were very disorienting, so neither of us had any idea where the market actually was. We got a taxi and went to the National Arts Center, where the quality of products was supposed to be good and haggling was expected.

At the market I bought a few things, even though I told myself I wouldn’t. I bartered for a good price (they still probably overcharged me), and I didn’t get sucked into every stall by the sellers. At one stall, however, we had a very interesting interaction. I went in before Dawn, and a few minutes later she asked me if I had seen the beautiful artwork on a shelf. I looked over to find a large replica of a penis. So we giggled, and the seller saw us. His response to this was ‘it’s also a bottle opener!’, and so we left the stall quickly laughing. Oh Ghana.

Next we went to the Air Namibia office. There the woman explained that I could actually book the tickets online (GRRRRRRR!) and that it would be cheaper (DOUBLE GRRR!). I left happy to not have to find the cash, but very angry that she cost me an entire day and 20 Cedis. So Dawn and I went to the Accra Mall to have lunch and sit in the air conditioning.

There I ate pizza, ice cream, a snickers bar, and popcorn. I had my fill of America in an hour, and sat wanting more. Now I know that the pizza there is amazing, and not expensive. I will probably go back…

In the end we made our way back to Pokuase after a brief encounter with the shadiest taxi ever. He asked us if we needed a taxi as soon as we exited the mall, and after we agreed on a price of 12GHC he took us to his car. His white sedan that had no taxi sign and no registration stickers. He told us that he worked for the mall and that another taxi driver could vouch for him. When we said we’d find another taxi he pulled out a sign that was supposed to prove his credentials. It was a laminated piece of paper that had ‘Moving Car’ scrawled onto it. When I told him I wasn’t getting into a car that didn’t have its stickers and walked off, he chased us down with a few crumpled up stickers that looked very expired. So we took a toy car home. It literally looked like a box on wheels, and barely made it up the hill to the house. But at least it was registered. On the way we saw a semi that was carrying Yazz feminine products. One of these products proudly displayed on its sides was the herbal sanitary pad variety. If you get it please explain it to me…

Trotro of the Day: Holy Spirit Fire

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: