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Published: January 2nd 2014
The tentative plan for today was look at land and go to the beach. Sounds great to me.
Rosemary, Frank, and I hit the road. I drove the whole time, including on their version of the freeway! When I was 11, my aunt Helen taught me how to drive a stick in an old Samurai on back farm dirt roads. I use that skill once or twice per year. This is real life practice. Downshifting in traffic, watching for motorbikes to come out from behind you, dodging taxis… Crazy. I think I did okay though.
We picked up another guy to guide us to the plots of land that are for sale. I did fine driving until he started being the one giving directions. He would talk to Frank and Rosemary in another language, then tell me “turn left” after we’d passed the junction. I had to turn around several times. Or, he’d say, “this way” and point, but he and his hand were in the back seat where I couldn’t see. Frank took over driving from there.
We looked at houses in a place called Millennium City. It’s basically a housing development of new construction. Lots of
houses in a row, very close together, that all look the same. Wealthy people are buying these on the outskirts of town and creating a township. I get the purpose, but they are looking for suburban living, and I’d rather country living. Kinda cool to see how they did it all, though. We drove a little father to where there wasn’t much of anything. These were the plots Frank was looking for.
Frank talked with the realtor as I took pictures and asked questions. Go figure.
The kids were at home while we were out. They were tasked with cleaning the house, including my room. They did a great job, but the moved some stuff to weird places. And some of Frank’s stuff ended up in my suitcase, and mine in his. Oh well. We’ll get it all sorted out. Alex also “borrowed” by hard drive so he could watch a movie. (When I got home and found out, I told him that he needs to ask next time.) Really, who was I to complain? They did our laundry. Both of us packed enough clothing for the whole time, but Frank only has one tank top, which he
has been wearing for 10 days, and our towels were getting crunchy.
It was around 4 by the time we got everyone dropped off and went back home. I told Frank that I was tired and wouldn’t really enjoy the beach. I took a nap, and he went to meet some friend from high school. Scrapping the beach was a great idea. When I woke up, I showered, and the kids and I played Dutch Blitz. Because it’s faster paced, Alex paid better attention. They both enjoyed it quite a bit. We all took turns winning even.
Right at the end of one round, the power went out. I asked if we should stop, but they wanted to continue. We played by the light of a laptop and the LED on my phone. It reminded me of playing with head lamps in Uganda and Kenya. Fortunately, the lights weren’t out very long, so we could resume our game.
Frank spent the evening with some boys he went to high school with. They ate and talked about girls. Well, that’s what he said. The boys were curious about life in America and what it’s like to date a
white girl. Are the rumors true? I guess they are as curious about us as we are about them.
The kids and I were going to go to the internet café, but right before we left, Alex pointed out that it was probably closed. Frank called to say he was going to meet me somewhere so we could go to a café. Due to traffic, he didn’t want to come all the way home and asked if I could pick a taxi to Mallam Junction. He told me to have Alex help me.
Alex and Rita were still playing, so I went on my own. I called a taxi on the main road in our neighborhood. Frank told me it should cost 5-7 cedis. I asked the taximan what it would cost, and he said 8. I told him no, how about 6. He said no. I said no thanks and kept walking. About 3 steps later, he said 7 was fine. Win! (I didn’t want him to think I was just some obruni who would take the first offer or that he could take advantage of me. There were plenty of taxis around, so I wasn’t concerned
about getting a ride. At Mallam, I paid the taximan and met Frank. He laughed when I told him I haggled with the driver on my own. I think he was a little impressed, actually.
We were going to go to an internet café, but first we needed to meet a friend of his who would show us where to go. The friend gave us an MTN modem instead. It just need to be plugged into power and have airtime on it, and we can be online from anywhere. As I write this, I am browsing from a moving car. It’s really nice having this flexibility!
One week down, one week left! In some ways, it feels like we’ve been here forever. In others, it feels like too short a time. I’ll take what I can get though!
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