Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We Are All the Same, If You Are Brown

Well, folks the honeymoon is over.....with the internet that is. It has been down the past few days, but over the past few weeks, I have come to learn that nothing works in Ghana all the time. LOL. However, I am sure in 20 years that will be completely different. In the meanwhile let me get this blog out before it shuts down again.

I figured this blog I would share with you simple things I have observed that illustrate to me when you have melanin your skin, we really are all the same.

Observation Number 1- Black kids get their asses beat, worldwide

In the States, black kids have been getting their butts kicked for centuries. But not in conventional ways, our parents whip us with switches, shoes, extension cords and anything else they can put their hands on. This skill is obviously inherent from the motherland because this kids, get tore up. I have seen kids get beat with empty Coca- Cola bottles, wire hangers and well just the plain old fashion muff against the head. In the States we call it child abuse, but here it's discipline. I must admit though, the kids in Africa know their place. It definitely makes me think the US should bring whoopings back with a vengeance. I think it would make all of our lives easier and probably reduce the stress level of a lot of parents. After all, who needs a stress ball for your juvenile delinquent, when you can whip the hell out of them. 

Observation Number 2- Black People Worldwide  Do Not Live Their Lives By Time

In the States, we have CPT; colored people's time. For those of you not familiar, this is a running joke in the black community that says if you are within 30-1 hour late, you are not really late. In Ghana they have GMT, Ghana Maybe Time. This means I will be there within two hours of our meeting time, and don't bother me to rush; I have other things to do.  Guess it goes to show, if the majority of your invitees are black, you should tell them to arrive at four pm for an event that starts at six pm.

Observation Number 3- Black People Love Their Weekends

Most people like to have a good time on the weekend, but some black people live for the weekend, literally. People will spend all week saving their checks to get the best bottle and limo service for the weekend only to be on public transit on Monday. Sad, but true story. However, they are not alone. It is the same in Africa. People will work all week to go spend almost every cedi (pronounced CD) in their pocket over the span of three days. Crazy yes, but hey, we all do what is best for us. Plus, who am I to complain....I like free drinks.

Observation Number 4- Only Black People Can Dance to Reggae

This is my final observation, but yet one of the truest. I have traveled throughout the United States, the Caribbean and now Africa and have noticed when the reggae beat comes on, all the white people in the room are on a completely different beat. This past weekend we went to Chez Afrique, a must see while in Ghana. It has a live band on Friday and the place is soo packed you can barely move, but the music is good. It just so happens it is a tourist spot as well, so of course there are plenty of ubrinis, as whites are called here. It never failed they were on their own beat every song that was played. Perhaps, we just hear different rhythms, whatever it is, it doesnt seem to stop anyone from having a good time and it provides even more entertainment for those of us in the room dancing with them.

I haven't uploaded my pics yet, so expect them the next blog. In the meanwhile, if you are offended, get over it. You know everything I have spoken is the truth. :)

Smooches.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The View From Up Here

I am very fortunate to stay in a nice apartment during my adjustment time in Ghana. I have the option to eat breakfast everyday, made-to-order, I have a reliable internet connection, and its well secured community. The best thing about this apartment though, is the view.
  
I have learned that the internet connection is significantly faster on the balcony, so as a result many of my days and nights are spent in the covered refuge of the apartment's balcony. It not only makes for a great internet connection, but great people watching as well. As you can see from the picture, I can see almost everything that takes place in this complex without ever having to leave the comforts of my favorite chair. I feel like that nosy old lady that watches the block. The only exception is I have superior taste in my clothing selections.

Now during the day, there is not much to see. People come and go and occasionally friends meet and plan their daily excursions or try to rent a car and driver. The real watching comes during the evening hours when the sky becomes black and people turn on their lights.

Now, the third balcony down, on your far left, is the apartment of some Indian guys. They spend their eve sitting around smoking cigarettes and surfing the net. Occasionally, one drifts out to the balcony in their wife beater (yes, they wear those world wide apparently) and surveys the situation, but they never stay long. Perhaps it is because they see me watching.

The balcony above is that apartment belongs to a middle-aged African guy. I don't know what the hell he does, it appears he doesn't have a job though because every morning about 11 am he draws his curtain back and looks outside. He then comes to the balcony periodically to see what is going on. Weird......but he probably thinks the same about me.

In the second row, the last window is the bedroom of an Asian guy. Recently, has started drawing his curtain at night, but before then it was like walking in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, free peepshow. He showers every night about 9:30 pm, hangs his clothes up in his closet and climbs into bed. The funny thing is, is this fool has a big white musquito net around his bed. Perhaps, you are thinking many people sleep with musquito nets around there bed in Africa, after all, malaria is still a rampant disease on the continent, and you are correct. The issue is, is that all of these apartments have air conditioning in every room...and if you turn it on, the musquitoes don't bite. I guess some people believe in eliminating all risks in life.

Now to the right, the second balcony below me belongs to some Lebanese guys. They own some shops here in Accra. They are both swinging bachelors so I am never surprised that almost every morning there is a new young Ghanaian girl sitting on the balcony soaking up the good life.

I mean, hey I even saw the security officer take a piss on the back wall last night. He would probably die if he knew that I saw him. I mean, he did spend like four minutes surveying the area to ensure no one would come around. I guess he just forgot to look up. SMH. But hey, I'm sure most of us have been caught with our pants down somewhere in life.

Well, its time for me to get out. Today is Africa Day so its a holiday and people are starting festivities early, so I might as well join. I mean after all, it is almost noon here. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dammit, I forgot the camera

Well, yesterday was a great day for picture taking, but as you can see I forgot my camera. Part of me thinks it subconcious.. After all, I really prefer not to walk around Ghana with my camera in tow, looking all touristy and shit. I  mean I do have a reputation to keep up.

But I must admit it was a good day. Sundays in Ghana are quiet up until about 2 pm; people are either going to church or sleeping off the alcohol from the night before. Not to mention, this past Sunday morning it rained. Now this is rainy season in Ghana, but fortunately Accra doesn't get a lot of the rain, but when it rains, it definitely rains. It really reminds me of one of those cheap waterfall pictures found in Chinese restaurants and your Aunt Keisha's house, but it definitely makes the stillness even more still.

Fortunately, the rain tapered off just in time for me to get to see the city come alive. So I decided to venture into Osu, which is the downtown area, and indulge in the most American cuisine imaginable, a burger and fry. After fulfilling my gluttonous craving I decided to venture down to a pub I had previously been to up the street, but of course I didn't quite make it.

At the first corner I came to, I looked down to my right and saw a big sign for Star beer. It was not the sign that drew my attention though, I mean its not an unusual to see a  Star sign, it is one of the local beers, but the numbers of cars coming and leaving the parking lot. So, I thought to myself why not. If nothing else, I knew my pretty American face would score a few free beers. and what unemployed girl can resist that.

Three hours later and four beers later, I was sipping on Hennessy VSOP with my new friends. A Firestone tire distributor, a banker and well just some regular old locals.Hell, I even had some local ice and didn't get sick! Check that out for a playa immune system.  Yep, I'm feeling like Ice Cube, "Today was a good day."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Setting the Pace

Well, it has been one week and, I must admit, Ghana has been better than expected. I mean, after all, I figured out that I could access the internet every day, for free, and I got to do all of my favorite things. For those of you who really know me, we know what that includes. LOL. But, yes it has been a great experience. I think the most important thing I have realized in this first week is that there is no rush in life. For the first time in forever, I got to wake up and just be. I never had a real itinerary, if it worked it worked, if it didn't it didn't. I left the house when I felt like it, and heck some days I didn't leave at all.

I think this is definitely the good life. Heck not to mention the moisture in the air has done wonders for my hair and skin. That's right take in that flawless brown skin. I guess it goes to shows happiness is good for not only the soul, but the body as well.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Arrival

Well, I am here safe and sound. The flight went well and so has everything else. I must admit, I am totally amazed by the warm welcome I received from everyone; it is as if I never left. I would love to put some prolific message or thought into this first overseas blog, but lets be honest, I have been here right at 24 hours and although I am exciting and aware, there have been no real revelations yet, but I am sure that will change. Plus, I am at an internet cafe, I only have 16 minutes left on my time, and I have a host of other things to do. Thank God, I mastered my homerows or else this blog wouldn't be possible.

I promise it will get more interesting in time and I promise to have pics next blog. Well, people as Porky the Pig used to say, "That's all folks"