Published: January 10th 2009January 10th 2009
Barber shop diections.
Trim a bit off the sides, & make me a breadboard too!
Life is frustrating! Beteen the internet & trying to get anything done, it drives me nuts! But this entry is about a few of the favourite things I have enjoyed in the last month, not venting my frustrations - there's too many.
My shaving experience - i have shared with some of you already, so i'll recap.
The Barber shop is a 6' by 8' ramshackle wooden shack on the main street with three plastic chairs for waiting customers. The appointment book is not anywhere to be seen, so i sit & wait for the previous victim to be shawn. On the wall is a sun faded selection poster of about 30 hair styles to choose from - but i studied it for 10 minutes & i couldn't spot the difference between any of them! I guess it's the ghanaian eye test - Fail ! The imfamous speakers are blaring radio results of the "run off" of the national election being debated - still. I'm gestured to take my place on the centre chair underneath the ceiling mounted oscillating fan. The No 3 clipper is selected without a word being spoken between either of us. My "stylist" is
Market Speaker Stack
What a cool dude. Loves his music - I just pity the street seller next to him.
effeminate (that hairdresser feature doesn't seem to change no matter where you are) - wearing a black "see-through" loose weave shirt with a Hugo Boss logo up-side-down (?), & a white singlet underneath. And the smartest bowling shoes I've seen in Ghana. After the hair trim, a new razor blade is loaded into some form of plastic holder, and dragged over my remaining hair to trim the stragglers. Then........ the shave. No shaving cream needed here! Ahhhhh! Another new blade installed, the hair underneath my nose is trimmed to leave a very neat/thin moustache, side burns and goatee tidied to suit. I'm not sure if i was sweating from the shave or the heat. "Hugo" uses rubbing alcohol to agrovate my raw skin. My forehead hair line is straight across, i realise look just like the poster! This all took about 30-35 minutes, and cost 1 Cedis (CeeDees), or $1US. Wandering home, the sting starts to set in, I'm headed for the shower.
Another favourite thing, tropical fruit, especially - MANGOES! The have fantastic flavour and not fiborous. The fruit in general is great. Papaya (or Paw Paw here) which previously I had to fight the guards for. I
Fast Food Stall
Lots of these liitle food stalls on the main street.
now have in place a system with the guards; I tell them not to eat them - so then they pick them way too green & bring them to my door. New system; I tell them to come & get me when the paw paw is ready...... & they are picked green & left at the door. In a country where nothing seems to work, this system seems way too efficient - & I wish i wasn't!! AGHHH.
Custard apples appear occasionally, sweet, sweet pineapples from the south, tangerines and some form of hard orange skinned guava like fruit that is quite sweet, but dry fleshed and gritty.
Next favourite thing, the PARALELLAGRAM. I see this shape everywhere. It is of course... a rectangle... gone wrong. The stalls in the market are the most common paralellagram, often leaning against something, a cinder block (Bessa brick in Aust.) & in danger of falling over. All the wooden doors of our house have taken on the new format, and each has its own idiosyncrosy on how to shut them. One you have to lift, another I push until it catches, another jams in the door frame (is that why they're called
Lots of goodies here!
a door jamb?)
But more frightening is the paralellagram on the road - the crabbing truck! The trucks are always overloaded, piled 1-2 meters high above the side frames. As a result, they sway on their frame, weave all over the road, break down frequently, struggle with & stall on the smallest of hills, & cause crashes. On our last trip to Accra, we encountered a head collision on just 3 Km from home. An early departure for us, 5:30am - in dense fog, revealed a timber truck that had hit a Nissan van carrying about 20 people to market, and carreered accross & off the road into a 6ft ditch. Very frightening. Fortunately it was over before we arrived,and no one appeared seriously injured. It never ceases to amaze how quickly a replacement parallelagram can be found, the crashed truck was being unloaded and the goods transfered.
I remember the movies in Africa I watched as a kid - the missionaries were always driven mad by the jungle drums hammering all night. "The drums... the drums!" Nowadays it's monster speaker stacks pounding out rap - all night. And often competing. My catch cry is " the PA's ...The
Delivery going to market on the road to the village
All for now, I have to return a DVD I bought on the main street for $2 cedis, Mel Gibson's "Apocalypse" but it starts 5-10 mins into the movie, has no menu or subtitles & is in Mayan.
Next Blog will be all about Morocco, our first real R&R.
Chris & Helen
There are more photos below