Tuesday, August 11, 2009

window shopping

I thought I would share some of the things one can buy on a drive round Accra by merely winding down one's car windows... ... by no means an exhaustive list...

plantain chips
in-car phone chargers
yam chips
toilet roll
apples (appow appow)
flashing koosh balls
fan yogo/fan choco/fan ice
car footmats
those plastic butterflies that are on long handles and when you roll them along the ground their wings flutter

steering wheel covers
meat pie
car seat covers
ground nuts
pyuaa watter
tampico (juice)
map of Ghana
map of the world

phone units (credit)

car air freshners
alphabet chart
counting chart


Thursday, August 6, 2009

musical snobbery

I’m going to New York in September with a couple of friends… a spontaneous girly trip to do some shopping, some sightseeing – and the Sex And The City tour. We also decided we should go to Broadway to enjoy a musical, but I informed my friends that I have a bit of musical snobbery, and some of them I refuse to see. I blame my logical engineering brain. I mean, musicals aren’t real are they? They tell plausible stories (ie not science fiction), but come on, who breaks into song in the middle of a walk to work in real life? Or does a full scale dance while they’re cleaning the kitchen. It’s just silly. Plus they have no plots, and are highly predictable anyway. I remember when I first vocalised this theory as to why I don’t like musicals my friend Em spent three days conversing with me in song. Hilarious.
There are a few exceptions. Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, I absolutely love, due to many a car journey when I was younger when the soundtrack would be playing on repeat the whole way to our destination and back. My younger sister and I can recite it, with all the oos, aaahs, pauses and inflexions. I was taken to see it at Christmas and I was irrepressible. And Grease, what girl doesn’t like Grease? And I saw Chicago at the cinema and thought that was pretty good, though to be fair a little silly.
But Mamma Mia was firmly in the snobbery category. It just sounded like a musical for the sake of being a musical. But a friend invited me to dinner the other day as her husband was travelling for a few days, and they have the film on DVD, and her seven year old daughter loves it and sings and dances along to it, so I agreed, with a good natured smile, to watch it. And enjoyed it sooo much! It was such fun, and didn’t pretend to be anything else. It was what I’d call a ‘romp’! You could see how much fun the cast had whilst filming it in Greece, and that sillyness is really infectious. Julie Walters is fantastic and joyful, Piers Brosnan can’t sing, Colin Firth is, well, Colin Firth. I was totally converted and even, at one point, during Dancing Queen, had a bit of a dance with my friend’s daughter. But don’t tell anyone. I mean, who bursts into song when they post a letter for goodness sake? Ridiculous.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

twiddling my thumbs

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not really doing much at work at the moment. It’s a bit of a lull, the company is in the process of getting new work, plus I have decided it’s time to go home anyway, so I will be leaving Ghana in a couple of weeks.
So today I have:
· Had an argument with an Indian guy about English grammar (I knew I was right, but my gut feeling was nothing against his dictionary definitions), into which I then dragged friends and family, my Dad eventually shocking me with his knowledge of the pluperfect tense.
· Written a couple of lines of work
· Had many conversations with various people in the office about the dress I am wearing, which was made by a tailor one of the girls in the office knows, and is rather nice
· Stood for a while looking in the full length mirror in the lift and considering how the skirt on aforementioned dress moves like a dairylea cheese portion
· Emailed the lovely Lindsay about river modelling, why men marry African girls and English Grammar,
· Emailed the lovely Sarah about life plans. Mine involves getting a house in the pennies for my adorable children and husband (fictional as yet) with a vegetable patch, chickens, and a composting toilet. Hers involves travelling, puppies and an aga.
· Got upset about this article http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8185221.stm on the BBC website and wondered what I can do about it
· Vowed to do something ethical like join Amnesty when I get home
· Discussed with some guys in the office why men marry African girls (I have my theories)
· Looked at shoes online and debated what kind of trainers its appropriate to wear these days
· Considered I hope my dress sense (?!) clicks back in when I get home and I don’t end up a) looking like mutton dressed as lamb, b) being TheGirlWhoWentToAfrica and ending up on ‘What Not to Wear’ in a few years thinking I look great in a tie-dyed boubou with concerned friends gathering round saying ‘oh she went to Ghana for two years and lost her self respect!’
· Thought about work
· Written a few lines of work
· Thought about work again.