I have just come back from a short break away to the US. My aim is to do a trip other than Ghana in any given year, but now that I am back in my office, I wish I was going back to Ghana and not the UK. It could also be that I hate my job but hey that’s a story for another time.
On the way back I was thinking to myself, once again, what’s the hold up. In the UK, if you are not careful you end up existing as opposed to living. Everything is so expensive, and you pay for just about everything apart from the air that you breathe. So, you end up going from work to home which is why I am trying to get to the gym (the mind is willing, but the body is tired), and my star 100 events so I don’t get stuck in a rut.
I was telling smother, that I gave myself 3 years and then I was going back to GH, after telling me all the cons and none of the pros she topped it off by telling me that when she first arrived, she gave herself 5 years. In 3 years’, time she would have been in this country for 50 years.
So why is it so difficult to go back especially in a country where you are not favoured and the people like the weather are mainly miserable. Why is it that the intention is to come to England for a short while and live out this dream and even when it turns into a nightmare, end up existing.
My theory is for the fresh newbies, it is paper matter. You can’t leave the country without documentation and well I am not going to lie that little red book does carry a lot of weight.
Then there are the kids, the amount of times my dad said he was waiting for us to finish school and then he was off (he’s still here although he does have the luxury of going back for more than a month a year).
Then by that time, you get to middle age awaiting pension and if you are lucky to get to that age, before you know it you are old, and a stranger in your own country. Let’s not forget that Ghana is not for the faint hearted. It is a country that you don’t realise the crazy while you are in it but step out for a minute and going back can be difficult. Things that we take for granted here become the biggest frustration. For example, you could be standing in the queue waiting to see a cashier when one big “oga” comes in, jumps the line and you are waiting for half an hour just to get your little cedis out of your account.
I remember one day wanting to change some money from cedis to dollars, I don’t know why I didn’t just go to the forex bureau down the road, but I went in to my local bank (Ecobank) thinking I have an account there it shouldn’t be a hassle. I was asked to write a letter explaining what I was planning to do with this money. Now I wouldn’t mind if it was a large amount, but it was $200 hardly enough to start money laundering.
It is a crazy, frustrating country but it is my crazy frustrating country. To me, be the change you want to see. Unless we go back in our numbers (which you know you want to), nothing will change. For me, I don’t want to see myself here 10, 20 or 50 years from now so hoping an opportunity comes up. At least with all it’s issues, Ghana still has the sun.