Friday, June 24, 2011

Liquid Gold

Growing up, I used to suck on the end of honeysuckles thinking that I would eventually get honey. Where I got that idea from, who knows, but I think it was my first obsession with honey. Since then, I love honey on anything, well almost. So when I moved to Memphis and discovered honey gold wings, I fell in love.

Unfortunately, DC could never produce good hot wings. I mean there were your commercial hot wings, found at the various food chains, but nothing like the real hot wings; like the ones found at Memphis Best Wings. Now, for those of you who know this spot, you are licking your lips and saying Amen. For those of you that don't, put it on your Memphis to-do list. 

Well life came full circle today, as I enjoyed great honey hot wings at a place called Honeysuckle. Who would have thunk it; great hot wings in Ghana. To make it even better they had happy hour from 5-7. Yep, I fortunately arrived at 5:15. Yes, it does get better though. Friday is Ladies Nights, so as a result, all cocktails are half-off, all night long.

"Another Hennessey London, please"

Plus, they are open to 2 am. This means, I can have wings almost anytime I want them. I can definitely say locating one of my favorite foods just made my life in Ghana even better. Now the next step, join a freaking gym.......

Until Next Time. Smooches.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Village Welcome


 




Well, last week I got a chance to go to the village. I would tell you it was some horrible, shocking social experience but it wasn't Most people know I have friends from all walks of life, so I have seen extreme poverty at its best. Not to mention, during these tough economic times, I am sure we all know someone who is on the verge of village life.


It is a simple place, but yet it was so beautiful. It sat on a lagoon so there were palm trees and sand everywhere. The structures were your standard concrete buildings and most people had mats to sleep on versus beds. However, we know that many folks in the States dont have beds, so don't be too appalled. In fact, the most tragic thing was the roads we had to use to get there. Thank God, the driver had an SUV or I am sure I would have been forced to get out and help push us out of the mud.

I went with the Queen Mother of the village, or the woman that the villagers seek counsel from. She runs a program at the school there that imports American teachers to work at the village so they had a fantastic three hour welcoming ceremony that including singing, dancing and a few skits. Side Note: I was slightly disturbed that the only white girl in the program brought her fiance for protection,  yes, seriously, she did. I cant believe she allowed her ignorance to follow her to Africa.

Anywhoo, it was excellent. The dancing, of course, was my favorite parts and trust me they were getting it. In fact, when I went to the club Friday, I totally stole some of the moves. Need to say....I was the hot shit in the club. Well enjoy the videos and photos.

Until Next Time. Smooches.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Full Moon..Maybe A Quarter

Well, I know it has been a few days since I have blogged and I know you miss it. Let me give you a 30 second synopsis of what you missed so we can move into the good stuff.

I started driving in Accra. Its an interesting experience, because there are no street signs, street lights and sometimes drivers dont want to give me directions. I secretly think they hate me because I am American and driving..true story. Not to mention the traffic here is non-stop. It's crazy, I thank God for my defensive driving (of course, those who have ridden with me call it reckless) and my spirit of determination, without it, I would never get anywhere.

I also went to a village on Monday. Interesting experience, stay tuned for the blog and pictures on that. You will love it. Especially the video. I am sure most of you recognize many of the dance moves as the ones you do in the club. Drop, drop, down low and scrub the floor with it, shake, shake it like an alley cat. Beyonce is def stealing her moves from the village. LOL

Anywhoo, on to the good stuff. Yesterday I have dinner with a phenomenal young man who does business in Ghana. We had a fabulous dinner discussed our general business prospects and morals and even had some brief relationship talk. After all, those who know me know although I can't maintain my own ish, I'm pretty good at helping people keep their love life in tact.

At the end of dinner, I go to the bathroom before I get on the road. I must admit, during dinner I had an epiphany so I was super excited about it. Obviously so excited that I tucked my dress in my underwear. Now this has happened before, but this was the first time I didnt notice it. So I leave the bathroom, strutting like a peacock, singing to myself, some gentlemen are staring me down and as I round the corner one of them *psst*. Well, we know I am too bougie to answer, so what is my payback, mooning my dinner partner. Yep, there I was bare backed in front of at least 10 people thinking I am the shit. Fortunately, a French woman came over and told me of my horrible faux pas. But wait it gets better, after pulling my dress from my underwear, she comes back a second time to let me know that I still didnt get it and she gracefully offers to pull it out. I guess the French arent nearly as rude as they are made out to be. I am also thankful that my dinner partner had his ipad, which he used as a tactful distraction or maybe he really didn't notice, but somehow, I find it hard to believe that my pink laced leopard thong was showing and he had no idea.......hey its life.

Thank God I have learned to laugh at myself.

Until Next Time. Smooches.

Friday, June 10, 2011

We Are All the Same, If You Are Brown: Second Edition

I figured this Friday, I would continue with my observances that bring all black people together. I think these observances are important, because, hey, there are more brown people in the world than any other race; yet for some reason we think we are all completely different. Although, we may have certain cultural differences certain things are engrained in our blood. Check this week's following observations.

Observation 1: Black Folks Love Chicken and Watermelon, worldwide

While here in Africa, I have noticed two things. Africans love their chicken and their watermelon. Now for them there is no social stigma associated with it, so yes, they eat it in large quantities all day. A restaurant in Africa is hard pressed to survive if they do not serve chicken and rice..or so I am told from some restaurant owners. It is a staple of our diet, hell, in fact, we probably brought watermelon to the States. (Someone research it and get back to me). So as the Fourth of July approaches, I want my brown skin folks in America to know, it is in your blood to love chicken and watermelon, so do not be ashamed this holiday to cut the biggest, juiciest piece of watermelon you can find, after eating your bbq chicken.

Observation 2: Black People Like to Back in When Parking

This observation has been cited before and I at first was skeptical. However, after a few years of observation, I have noticed it is true.  For some reason, when we park we want to reverse in. We don't care if we are holding up the traffic behind us, if the street is narrow, or if there is a pedestrian. We will find our spot, whip the car forward and then effortlessly (for some) back in. It is the same here in Ghana. Although there are four million people and traffic is horrible, it always amazes me how people whip their car around and back it on in. It looks like slavery has taught us all, be ready for a quick get away, just in case.

Observation 3: Sisters Don't Like to Get In The Pool

We all have that friend, who will go to the pool, but do nothing but dip a toe in. They insist they cannot get their hair wet or the chlorine is bad for their skin, whatever it is, many refuse to get in....and will be mad if you splash them and the water falls above their shoulders. In fact, some of them don't even own swimsuits, yet they still come out in their shorts or capris and lay out on the chair. They will eat your bbq at a swim party, drink your liquor, but they wont get in the pool. Ghanaian women are no exception. They will also come out in their non swim gear, sit next to the pool or beach and never think about getting in, but I think this is indicative of my fourth observation.

Observation 4: Black People Are the Most Creative Race in the World

Coming to a developing country, has reaffirmed my belief that black people are some of the most creative people in the world. Hell, we have figured out how to use every part of the pig as a meal, we created cornrowing and we have been making ends meet, when there are really no ends. Living here in Africa, I have learned that there is always a creative way to fix a problem. If you have strings hanging off your shoe, burn them off. The shoe will look brand new again. Need a small item, dried quickly?  Iron it, it creates a steam cleaning effect. We turn our every day talents into viable businesses and most importantly, we can survive in any circumstance and be happy. Wow, we are such a great people.

So this Friday, remember its good to be brown.

Until Next Time. Smooches.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Almost a Winner

I believe in serendipity to the fullest. After all, there is nothing like an unexpected surprise. However, I think my life is way too valuable to risk it to this thing called chance, so I hardly wait for it. As a result, I find that I often push for things to happen. Now, I must admit, I haven't had the best luck with this strategy. I mean, I do typically get what I want, but once I get it, I find out I really didn't want it. But yet, it never stops me from pushing again. I mean after all, I have been hard headed my entire life.

Which brings me to today's debacle. I have decided to get a job because of course I need a social life and working is the easiest way to get one, guaranteed. Not to mention, I need access to certain information that is more easily gained if I work in a particular industry. So, it just so happens I run across a job that seems a perfect fit for me. I mean, it uses my previous skills and talents and most importantly it gives me access. So what's the next step, find an inside plug. After shooting out a few emails and lunching it up, I find the perfect avenue. Wait it gets better though, not only do I find the plug, but the person literally drops right into my lap during my lunch. Of course, I have my 30 second pitch together and she buys it. She is definitely interested.

So what is the next step, a thank you email of course. I had gotten her email and office number from another contact, so I thought, seal the deal and send a cute email. Then not only will she have your name on file she will be impressed. So I send the email, but it comes back.

No sweat, I will call the office and confirm the email. So the phone rings, and a woman picks up, but I dont get the greeting I was expecting. After all, I was expecting a good afternoon, thank you for calling_______. Instead, I got a hello. My mind racing and I instantly started blubbering on my words like a horny teenage boy talking to the head cheerleader. Hi _____ I'm sorry, I didnt realize this was your direct line, so and so gave me your information. I tried to send you an email, but it came back so I wanted to verify your email. Of course, in writing it sounds smooth, but over the phone it was a hot mess especially since I said it in 10 seconds. How do I know it was a disaster, because I was met with silence. After a minute of her processing the information, she replies, "Oh, hey, yeah nice meeting you too." She then verified her email and said, "Well I hope to talk to you again." However, the one thing the Hill taught me how to recognize is the sincere blow-off. Although she was very polite over the phone, she probably hung up and thought, stalker.... LMAO.

I guess God is telling me to stop meddling, he has it under control.

Until Next Time. Smooches.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Signs of a Long Night

Yes, this is a pink lemonade combination. Yes, I was fly.
First, let me start this blog by saying I do not endorse getting stupidly drunk. I believe in getting responsibly intoxicated.  I take pride in the fact that although people have seen me in public being loud (which really for me isnt a true sign of being intoxicated, because, hell, I'm just loud), noone can say they have ever seen me act belligerent, vomit on a street corner or fall down. However, I have noticed that after a long night there are certain habits I have.

First, I have noticed that the morning after a long night, My personal belongings are typically strewn about in a 50 foot radius of the front door. This means, purse, earrings, shoes, and perhaps an article of clothing or two. It is guaranteed, half the contents of my purse are sitting nearby, because of course, I have to find my blackberry so that I can do some drunk dialing. Unfortunately, here in Africa I have noone to DD...yet. I would have called to the States, but hey those calls are too expensive to discuss random buffoonery.

I also have noticed when I wake up, I instantly start to replay the evening in my head step by step. Checking my mental notes to ensure I didn't offend anyone or just say something rude. We know my sense of humor is crass and in Africa it is consider even more crass. Don't worry though, I have added that to the habits to change for survival list. Yesterday night I was successful in not offending anyone, in fact, I was the belle of the ball..or at least with the other boozers that is.

The car is leaning harder than me
Now for my last observation,  I must put out an additional disclaimer. I don't believe in drunk driving, but I do know we all have different tolerance levels, so I do not prescribe to the conventional limits set by law enforcement. We all know, if you put a group of people in a room, some will be drunk after one drink and others after 5. I am definitely an after five type drink girl,but I also stop drinking about two hours before I leave. Despite this fact, I have learned, another sign of a long night is the way I park the car. When I lived in DC, I would wake up and my car would be a foot away from the curb, but it was straight. Then there were a few times, where I just didnt pull all the up and my tail, on the car that is, was sticking out. But I am only willing to admit that this has happened a few times.

I did crack up though this morning though, on my way to breakfast, when I noticed the car was parked in between the lines, but leaning to the right. SMH. I guess some things just never change. Well, let me get on my water and afternoon nap. After all, it has been a long night.

Until next time Smooches.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

What Am I Missing....Oh, That's Right A Life

People ask me if I am homesick yet, and I must be honest the answer is no. The one thing, I do miss is having a social life though. Now, during my time in the States I lived in 5 different states and the District of Columbia, so I am very used to restarting my social life. I mean, after all, I am a social butterfly and I am convinced I can make a friend anywhere.

Now don't get me wrong, I do have some sort of social life here. After all, my boyfriend lives here so I get to hang with his friends. The issue with this is, is that my boyfriend is 46, and although he is cool, many of his friends aren't. In fact, some of them definitely remind me of the perverted old guy who acts like he has never seen a woman before. Sometimes, I definitely wish I would have worn a longer dress. So as of late, I have been opting to stay in the house and spend my time doing more productive things, like hand washing my laundry. Yes, sometimes it is that bad.

I have also decided a major challenging factor to my social life, is my lack of a vehicle. I left my vehicle in the States due to exorbitant duties here in Ghana so currently I am forced to take a taxi. Which leads to the whole other issue of getting a fair price. Of course, like most places built on cash and negotiation, someone is always trying to make an extra buck on the perceived tourist or Doris ( an African-American woman who has relocated to Ghana). Somehow the news has yet to get out about the failing American economy, so many Africans for some reason think all foreigners, particularly Americans are rich. I also blame my great taste in fashion for this. I mean, I do look like a million bucks everyday. I just thank God for my shrewd negotiating skills and small knowledge of twi, that helps me, often times, get a below market value price, but in week three I am learning, I just really need my own vehicle.

So this week, I will embark upon the adventure of driving in Accra, and it will be a true adventure because the car is a stick, and of course, I can't drive a stick. However, I am determined to to build a social life, so if that mans me sputtering through traffic, with a car that cuts off because I have it in the wrong gear, well then so be it. Now on to the next feat, learning enough twi so that I can ask people for directions.

Until Next Time Smooches.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Girl Scouting: 101

From the ages of 8-14 I was a Girl Scout. Being a Girl Scout made me love the outdoors and encouraged me to try new things. Girl Scout camp, is where I learned to tie a square knot, build a fire and ride a horse. Heck, selling Girl Scout cookies even awakened my entrepreneurial spirit. However, now since I am living in the motherland, I know the most important skill I learned was how to squat.

My arch enemy- The squat toilet
The squat toilet, is a very common thing here in Africa and in European countries. Though we American have become used to the luxuries of regular bathrooms everywhere we go, much of the world has not. I must take the time to say though, many of these squat toilets are far cleaner than some of the toilets people encounter in establishments in the US,and  yes, they even smell better with the help of moth balls. I must also mention that they are not found everywhere, any establishment here that caters to tourists not only have bathrooms, but water to flush the toilets with as well, which is not always as common.

But when I encounter one, I must thank God for my time as a Girl Scout. If it had not been for the long hikes and camping settings provided by this organization, I would probably leave the bathroom with my shoe sopping wet....yes, it happens. Instead, I am able to gracefully sit on my laurels and handle my business and that is priceless for so many reasons.

And although the lack of toilet paper makes me consider the squat toilet my arch enemy, I must admit it has its advantages. I have yet to join a gym here, so it does ensure I get my daily exercise. After all, people do say its not about how streneous the exercise is, but the consistency of the activity, and at this rate, I will have the legs of Tina Turner in no time.

Until the next time. Smooches.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

6:30 AM....Is This a Wake-Up Call

When I was growing up my mother stressed to me that I was never to call anyone before noon on the weekends. As I grew up, I took this notion with me, even in business. When I lived in the States, unless it was extremely important, I never called anyone before 10 am during the weekday. After all, people like to get into their offices and relax a little bit.

So imagine my surprise the other day when my phone rang at 7:49 am. Now, I am not gainfully employed here, so yes, I sleep until about 8 or 9 am; a regular waking time in the States.  Of course, I picked up because I am thinking there is some type of emergency. You can tell I was still half asleep because in my right mind, I would have realized I dont even know enough people in Ghana for someone to contact me for emergency purposes. But I quickly bolted out of bed, and in my sexy froggy voice croaked hello. It was a friend I had hung out over the weekend, just checking in. Although, I tried to act like I had been up for hours, my friend knew I was just waking up and told me that we should talk later in the afternoon. I must admit, I was slightly embarassed for being such a slacker, but hey I deserve this sleep. I am coming from America the land of worka

Then today, the phone rang at 6:30 am and again at 6:57 am. Each time, my raspy voice greeted the callers and they both exclaimed, "Oh, are you sleeping?" The American in me wanted to say, "Hell yeah,  and in the future dont call me until 10." But the shame of sleeping so late grasped me, so I did what anyone else would do, lie. "Of course, not, " I replied. " I am just lying here thinking" It wasn't a complete lie, after all, I was just lying there.

So it appears my days of sleeping in are over. We all know that I have a big ego, and I cannot stand the thought that people may think of me as a slacker. On the bright side though, I can always depend on a wake-up call in case my alarm doesn't go off.