I don’t know how they measure the stars for Hotels in Ghana, but it should be more than just the decor and the swimming pool, food and customer service surely must go a long way. But then who am I kidding, if you have the cash it is easy to ‘tip’ the tourist board into adding more stars than you actually deserve.
Today we had a workshop at Best Western Premiere hotel, it looks nice enough from the outside and as I said the wedding reception I attended late last year was top notch, but it wasn’t a normal day so I couldn’t really measure the service provided based on my first experience. I liken the place to Premier Inn, Ibis or Holiday Inn (in the UK), it is quite low budget but as we are in Ghana it is overpriced.
We were supposed to start at 8 but the morning was surrounded by drama. My boss was still in the office approving contracts and his second in command had an incident. His wife had dropped him off at the hotel but was uncertain as to how to get back to the main road and so he escorted her to the main junction, on the way back he was met by two guys on a motorbike brandishing a cutlass, they told him to handover his bag. It contained his laptop, atm card which for some reason he had together with his pin number, his passport and cash. They would not get very far with the laptop as it is network protected, but a work lifetimes worth of information was on it. What a way to start the day. I remember when my place was robbed, he said that at least it wasn’t the works laptop that had been stolen. Today, I was in a position where what I said could make a bad situation worse or say nothing as I know that feeling of numbness, I know the feeling of being violated and it aint nice, the only thing you can be grateful for is that you weren’t hurt. That is far more important than what was taken.
He went off to the police station and we hung around in the hotel. I decided to take breakfast as I know my people, they would talk for hours and before you know it, its 2pm and the stomach is growling. Wrong choice. Cold beans, overcooked bacon, those frankfurter sausages that are just not real sausages and bread. I didn’t even go to the fruit platter or the cold cuts. I was just too disappointed by the so called full english. I thought I’d wash it down with a cup of tea. There were 5 ladies all with their backs toward me chatting away. I couldn’t “tssst” them like I was in a chop bar, so waited until someone turned around. Eventually somebody did and I got a pot of tea, a very tiny pot but you can’t really go wrong with tea. But so not worth the 25ghs tab.
During the break, some sandwiches, a chocolate pastry and watermelon juice, not a fan of watermelon but they said that was the only juice available. That’s when I batted my eyelashes and told the man I needed a cold drink but was allergic to watermelon, 10 minutes later I got a tall glass of orange juice (needs must man).
Lunchtime was a buffet. Starter was an assortment of bread rolls, all white, there was your usual lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, then there was some pasta salad, tuna salad, potato salad and then some combination of the individual ingredients. There were some dressings, a dark one (I assume balsamic vinegar), yellow one (honey and mustard?) and green (pesto I guess) I can’t tell you for sure, there were no labels.
The main meal was a choice of plain rice or fried rice, a chicken dish, beef stir fry or fish fingers with a tartare sauce. Or plaintain and palava sauce. Not much of a choice and worse still, the chef forgot to add any spices. Thank the lord for the salt and pepper condiments. If you do find yourself at this hotel I suggest you order a la carte. Desert was cool, you can’t go wrong with a chocolate fig roll, but again not much choice and nothing was labelled, fruit salad consisted of pineapple and pawpaw, there was some kind of trifle thingy but don’t know what was in it though.
All in all I think it was a pretty crap day for all, food was bad, a colleague was robbed and the discussions were worse. One of our discussions were on the team. The man child boss made a comment that someone is “spreading poison” in the team. I did a process of elimination, there is the Ghanaian mafia who can do no wrong, my Nigerian colleague who does nothing but laugh, the young Ivorian who is just excited about being in the region, the Ivorian girl who keeps herself to herself. That leaves me and the french bird. The french bird is preoccupied with a pain in the neck business head and her baby, so that leaves the most vocal person in the team, which is me. He didn’t go into details, in fact he tried to squirm out of what he said, and then started sprouting some bollocks about being in the corporate world and perception. Maybe I have been watching too much gossip girl but I feel like I’m starting to live it. Funny thing is I made up my mind not to say anything today, and I was called moody. I just can’t win.
I am now tucked safely in bed, the events of today behind me. Tomorrow is another day. Roll on tomorrow.