I always enjoy my time in Ghana, even when I have been frustrated in the moment, coming back always gives me the post-holiday blues. In particular this trip, I have said it once and I will say it again, it was one of the best trips I have had in a while. I think it’s probably because I had a lot of me time, instead of following Dad around saying hi to family. As much as I love spending time with my Dad and my extended family, how much fufu koraa can one eat.
Today, as I was navigating my way through London underground my thoughts turned to the driver we had in Ghana (as you do when people are bumping into you trying to catch their tube).
Our host provided us with a car and a driver, I will start of by saying that he was a lovely guy with a heart of gold, who was willing to drive us around no matter what the time was. Unfortunately, he lived in Cape Coast and had only just arrived in Accra. Hence, he didn’t know anywhere in town. On the flip side, he didn’t know Accra and that was a whole drama in itself.
I believe it was the second night we were there when some of the girls decided to go clubbing. The drama began when two unauthorised passengers decided to go with the car and leave the other two behind. The club was in the Airport area and we were in the Trade Fair area. The journey would take 20 minutes tops at that time of night. Two hours later and my guy was wondering the streets of Accra completely lost. In the end, he had to call our host, who was not happy, firstly the two girls were not supposed to take the car out, then they left our friends and although I was fast asleep, I heard the next day that our host was just spitting bullets at everyone in the room.
The following night, we went out to get a KFC, again we were in Trade Fair, but this time travelling to Osu, the journey should have taken us about 20 minutes maximum. Over an hour later we finally reached our destination. Now Accra is the type of place that you step out for a minute and you lose your bearings and I don’t tend to travel much around the labadi area. However, what was really annoying was that although this man had no clue where he was going, he must have thought he was racing Lewis Hamilton. Before you knew it, we had missed the junction, and we missed the junction again. We did however go the very scenic route, we passed the stadium twice, we drove through Jamestown and we even ended up in Accra Central at one point, thankfully KFC was open until late, so we got our chicken before the sun came up.
My guy was slightly amusing at first but when we had to start paying for the diesel suddenly, it just wasn’t that funny anymore. I remember one day we were driving to the Shell Petrol Station near the airport, I said he should keep going straight, he was in the wrong lane, so he was forced to take a right turn. Then he says, “oh Madam, I was supposed to go straight eh?”, and then he proceeded to reverse back into the main road. Thankfully there were no cars behind us and there was a path for him to get back onto the main road.
Then there was the time we were travelling to East Legon, I must have said take the right turn at the main road about 5 minutes before we got there. What did he do, he went straight, so I asked him if he knew of a short cut? Again, he says, “oh I was supposed to go right at the junction eh?”, then he stops and then put the car in reverse but this time we were on a freeway, I think I may have screamed at him to go forward and take the next turn before he killed us all.
After that he was more cautious, like a bit too cautious, I remember we went to see an aunt in the mountains, and she said to keep going until we got to the Mobil filling station before turning left. He would drive a couple of metres, stop and ask someone where the filling station is. They would say keep going straight, he would say thank you, go a few more metres and ask someone else. The story never changed, keep going straight. It was painful and I had to stay awake though all this because I was the one getting directions from my aunt.
It wasn’t all bad though, he drove us to Cape Coast, and he was in his element because he was the area champion and knew where he was going. There was also that sense of pride when he finally made it from Trade Fair to Osu without unintentionally taking the scenic route, I think that’s when he really got his confidence so much so that he offered to take me to National Theatre one evening, but I passed and took an Uber as I was on a deadline.
There were quite a lot of incidents with our driver, he drove to fast, he didn’t listen, a journey that would have taken 10 minutes took two hours, but he was just a really nice guy so I couldn’t stay too mad at him. I hope he has found his bearings by now or he has got GPS or something.