Today, I went in the office to round up for the christmas. Its the first time in my working life that I have actually taken some days off. Normally I like to go into work at this time of year, no rush hour traffic, the office is quiet, its really just a waste of leave as you have more of a relaxing time than if you stay at home as you are always bound to do something around the house. But needs must, have to spend time with little sister or else I will never hear the end of the time she came all the way from England to spend time with me and I spent the whole time at work. Besides she will be gone by Monday and next week is only 3 days so I’ll only have to play driver for the week.
Today was a good day, no shriek of “m’efiaaaaa” this morning even though I woke up late. The mother has got the message that her smothering doesn’t really bode well with me. She didn’t even come for my car which I actually don’t mind if only I get the car in time for me to go home, but I am not surprised as she always goes that one step too far. For example, I said my cousins wife’s mother doesn’t like me (visibly obvious when I greeted her one day and she cut her eye at me), I don’t know what anybody else’s mother would think, but my mother took it to mean that monster-in-law doesn’t like me because she thinks I’m sleeping with my cousin (for real, I tell no lie, either do I exaggerate). I’m sure the mother is telling everyone that I don’t speak to her because I don’t want her to borrow the car. I am not surprised but she still amazes me.
But to todays events. I needed a pair of shades, my other ones had broken, they were only a cheap pair but they did the trick. I was expecting to find some in the traffic but the guy wasn’t there. You can get anything you want in the accra traffic. You need a phone charger, a case, a calculator or a pen even a thigh trimmer, its there. If you want any of those items though it has to be in slow moving traffic. The guy selling you the items will start of with a high price and you will have to bargain down. A local person will probably have to come down to half the price quoted. A foreigner, probably a quarter. If you are somewhere in between, by about a third. Somehow they can sniff the three types, doesn’t matter how well you can speak the local language they know who you are.
I usually stick to buying a newspaper or phone credit in the traffic, although I have on occasion been more adventurous and bought a couple of CD’s and a bathroom scale once when the traffic was choked.
Today I took a stroll to the Accra Mall, nearly got attacked by a little Malian kid whose mother had instructed her to approach me for money. I couldn’t understand what the mother was saying but kind of got what she said just as the kid ran up and attempted to grab my hand. Managed to dodge her just in time (I don’t get the whole coming from your poor country to another poor country to beg especially after watching a show about some Romanians in UK who made a living out of begging and bought a mansion not far from my parents 3 bedroom terrace house).
Just as I got to the mall, there the guy was, with a rack full of sunglasses, every type to suit every face. I zoomed in on the ones that I wanted, tried them on, yes, they were the ones. How much I ask. He says 9 GHS, I say 5, he says 7, I say 4. We finally bank on 6, I should have held my ground, but my last pair was bought at 5GHS and that was nearly 2 years ago, then with inflation and the fact that it was christmas I thought I could part with the extra 1. So voila, got myself a nice pair of shades at a fraction of the cost I would find it at the mall.