Fast Service…not in Ghana

As I told you earlier, I went to get a kebab on Friday as a treat for myself, it was the weekend, the mortgage payment had gone out so I was giving myself a treat before my last pesewa left my account and it was another long wait until the end of the month.

I called ahead, that way I could just pick up and go, well that was my thinking anyway. I ordered a beef doner kebab, but was told that they only do them on weekends, my weekend starts from Friday but ok, each to their own. I ordered a kofte instead. I get my kebabs from DnR in East legon, I like them because they do them the way I like, Turkish bread, green salad and fresh pepper sauce. The shawama that they do in Frankies are find is not a great alternative and they put pickle in it, on the occasions I have asked them to remove it, they never have and I don’t like the sauce they put in it. There is another one in East Legon which do a nice Shawama but they use spicy ketchup, this one is just right so on the occasions I go I get it from there. Plus if I want just the meat and salad I have that option and not told that I will be charged the same price regardless. Lastly its a turkish owned business and a lot of their customers are turkish people they say their own people are their worst critics so if they are patronizing the place then its cool.

I got there about 5 minutes later and was told to sit down. A few minutes later the water comes out with 2 bag full of food, I only ordered a kofte and chips I tell the guy. Wrong order.

There were only about 3 people waiting but I still ending up waiting an age for the food to arrive, so much for calling ahead.

I also went to do my hair a few days later. I did what I thought would be the sensible thing and take the weave out myself, it saves me a fiver and 20 minutes off my time in the salon. I hate going to the salon, all that sitting around in one place for hours isn’t my idea of fun although the end result does make me feel better. But anyway I digress.

I’m in between hairdressers at the moment, my issue with my original hairdressers is that the owner takes her services a bit too far. I pay my money for the style I want and while I appreciate advice on what style to have, I don’t want to be forced into a hairstyle she thinks I have and I although I have a lot to say on this forum in reality I am very respectful to my elders to the point of being mute, I will just smile and go with it and then two weeks later I will change the hairstyle again. However in my present economic state I just can’t do that so I would prefer to just run away from the problem. I found another one close to the A&C mall run by a lebanese lady, I wasn’t that impressed the first time around as I ended up with half an eyebrow and a parting where I wanted the hair all pulled back (it’s a girl thing).

When I find somewhere new, I always speak English and not let on that I understand twi however bad my ability to speak it is. The reason being I like to see what kind of people they are, if they are the type who will insult you while doing your hair. I find that Ghanaians will rush around for an obroni person but for an obroni-bibini they are not so willing to provide such a first class service. Once they find that you are a Ghanaian though, they start to warm up to you. I get it all the time. I’ve been mistaken for a Nigerian, Guinean, Senegalese even an Egyptian. The shock on ones face when they realise I am a true blood Ashanti is priceless. I remember one day, I used to order food on occasion at a chop bar under the guise of a restaurant near my office. A short lady used to make comments implying that I was having a thing with the barman at the poolside. I didn’t say anything out of respect for the old man, he asked me to keep cool and really she wasn’t worth it. Anyway one day I was greeting somebody and she overheard and asked the person if I understood twi then I heard “oh Jesus”. I looked at her and smiled, just content in the knowledge that I knew all she had been saying and watching her squirm and avoid my gaze was a best form of revenge as it did not involve any energy from me but rather effective.

But I digress again. I decided to go back to the one close to the A&C mall as I was on limited time, maybe if I spoke a bit clearer this time I would get what I actually asked for. I was the first one to arrive and a young lady was there tidying up. I told her want I wanted and she washed my hair. Then she started braiding the base. I could tell she was new because when you are doing a clients hair, you are supposed to walk around the client not spin them around like they are on some kind of merry-go-round, that’s just basic hairdressing 101. I was starting to get rather dizzy when a more senior person came in. Strange ducky, asked me if I knew Mrs Amia, and the way she asked, quite sternly, like I’d shot her or something. She then proceeded to ask the girl what style I wanted (would have been quicker to ask me, because the girl asking me then answering the lady and of course the young girl did not have the ability to walk and talk at the same time).

So I sat there while this young trainee did my hair, the senior girl glanced over once in a while but pretty much left her to her own devices. When the young lady wasn’t too sure about something she would pause as if she was rehearsing in her head what she would ask (more extra time). It was about 2 and I was still nowhere near finished when after another 3 way conversation, I just decided to let on that I could understand the language. Now bare in mind they can all speak English in fact it was a lebanese woman who owned the business so it was a prerequisite to the job and senior girl was giving me American slangs when she asked me the initial question, but for some reason, this charade was going on. After I started speaking my broken twi, the conversation started to flow better and senior girl actually started asking me questions directly instead of through the middle girl. Things went slightly quicker after that, senior girl cut me a fringe and started to show the junior what needs to be done. She even ignored the two known girl who came to show off in the shop to finish my hair. I have to take a minute to talk about this particular girl. I liken her to a lebanese IT girl. She was born here from what I could tell and a regular customer with a bit of cash, brand spanking new beemer parked outside and the owner sucked up to her somewhat. She was going on a date apparently as she came to announce, had to have her eyebrows waxed she also announced and wanted to know how much it would cost to have same tracks put in. She was quite irritated that the staff didn’t jump to attention when she came in and kept wandering over to where I was seated to see what time I would finish. Trust me, I was just as tired of sitting down in one place for 5 hours as she was for the 5 minutes she had been waiting.

Finally it was over, 3pm remember I was the first customer and I had just come in for a wash and weave, if I had come in to braid I guess I would have been there the whole day.

The end result is one fine, but tired chick, the moral of the story, this is the kind of continent where speed is not of the essence.

About efiasworld

A British Born Ghanaian navigating her way through life.
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