September 21, 2010

Postcard From Ghana

Greetings peeps, or if you prefer the vernacular, Akwaaba!

After a very dodgy five and a half hour drive, I wanted to marry the receptionist at my hotel. He was as surprised as I was at the emotional arrival. I have a challenge for the laundry boy. If he can remove the stains he can keep my undies. (I really don't want them back. What with the associated memories, and the screams. Oh, the screams. I had to have the "Jesus Handle" on my side of the car surgically removed). I have suggested that he uses Semtex instead of Vim and a chisel. I'll let you know how he gets on.

My hotel seems to be next to a fish factory, judging by the odour. It is difficult to describe just how bad the smell is.

I took a couple of photo's of my view for you, but blogger doesn't seem to like anything over 10Kb.

I had imagined that getting into Ghana would be tough without a Visa. It was actually tougher getting out of Nigeria because I didn't have one. There was talk of deportation but I managed to convince them that I accepted all responsibility and in any case, if the Ghanaians wouldn't let me in, they were apt to deport me back to the UK, not back to Nigeria.

The plane from Lagos to Accra was three hours late in departing. As is usual in Africa, no-one explains why, no-one apologises, and everyone just shrugs and says "T.I.A". (This is Africa).

On arrival I had to blag my way in, making excuse after excuse as to why I had no Visa. After a hard-sell lasting 15-20 minutes they relented and let me in. They pointed me at the Diplomats & V.I.P's lane in Immigration and I was in. 30 minutes later I was chugging down a cold one at my hotel in Accra.

I was disappointed on the drive down not to see any of the women of the ShoUsYorBeva tribe. These stunning women don't wear any clothes. Not a stitch. They brighten up any jouney but they were not around. Mind you, it was pissing down so maybe they don't come out when the weather is inclement.

Another week and I can go home. Not that I can relax all that much, I have to fit in a trip to Libya and a trip to big, fancy London before the end of October.

Deep joy.

Be well,

CR.

19 comments:

fraser said...

Fucking hell Ranty,your like Indiana Jones on your travels...

I reckon if you stay in that bar for another cold one,someone from the ShoUsYourBeva tribe will make a show.

Captain Ranty said...

I tell you Fraser, travel in Africa is not for the faint hearted.

Just had a couple of swift G&T's in the bar. You can smoke just like the good old days in the UK. YAY!!

I will go back down later for more...erm...medication, (It prevents malaria, you know) and will check out the chix.

Mind you, the sort of girls that arrive, en masse, are the charging sort. The ShoUsYorBeva tribe do it for giggles.

The bar girls will want to see folding money before they show you anything.

CR.

RantinRab said...

Interesting stuff Cap'n.

Keep telling us all about it!

Captain Ranty said...

Rab,

Are you sure?

For the sake of decency I did NOT tell you about the dysentry.

Some filthy fucker in my Lagos hotel thought it was fine to pick his arse just before handling my food. I was ejecting red hot soup at warp speed from my southern end for 6 days. I ate two meals in those six days. One bowl of vegetable broth, and half a cheese sandwich. I tried to keep my fluids up because dehydration is a killer.

Oh, and just by the way, Immodium is fucking useless. I may as well have shoved it up my doody for all the good it did.

I settled for a cork in the end. But only after it had been in the freezer for five hours.

CR.

Oldrightie said...

"My hotel seems to be next to a fish factory, judging by the odour.

Or where those lovely girls were, Cap'n?

Bucko said...

Jeez Captain. Rather you than me :-)

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

You love it really eh?

Been down there on and off since the 80's - If you haven't seen them Peter Biddlecomb's travel tales from Africa are a small teat, I mean treat for the initiated - damn the ShoUsYourBeva thoughts.

Chuckles said...

Glad to hear you survived the journey, Ranty. Any road travel in that part of the world is not for the faint hearted. The biblical quotations on the taxis and buses are NOT a random choice of decoration...

Captain Ranty said...

OR,

My first draft said "...a fish factory or a brothel..." but I wimped out.

CR.

Captain Ranty said...

Bucko,

The laughs outweigh the odd and the dangerous stuff, which is why I can retain my sanity and keep coming back.

CR.

Captain Ranty said...

Gordon,

You will understand everything I write then, and no doubt have some great stories of your own.

As you know, not a day passes when something bizarre does not happen.

Today for instance, I saw a young girl (18-20 years old) get knocked down by a car. After being helped up and walked to the side of the road, an older woman, (her mother?), rushed over to her and started punching her in the face. For disrupting the traffic flow! The girl looked okay but in shock. I still cant decide whether it was because she got knocked down (it was at slow speed-10 to 15 mph, but enough that her shoes travel 10 yards without her), or because her mum laid into her.

I followed your link and had a peek inside the book. It looks good!

I might write my own one day. I have a thousand stories in my head. Most funny, but some tragic.

CR.

Captain Ranty said...

Chuckles,

The one nationality I see pretty much all over Africa are the Dutch. They are fearless travellers and will, it seems, go anywhere.

Those signs on the mini-buses. Man, they make me laugh some days.

Today's favourite was "I Love My Mother", across the top of the rear windscreen. Down near the bumper it said "Really". I noticed, when we overtook, (at seventy, uphill, on a blind bend, natch), that his bus was full of the matronly type. Coincidence? Or just good marketing?

But the journey doesn't end until I walk in through my own front door. With all of the parts I left with, and no additional germs or diseases!

CR.

Chuckles said...

SUre the Dutch are not Afrikaans?

I think all overtaking there is done at seventy on uphills near blind rises or corners. Some years back some work colleagues were in a similar overtaking situation on a blind rise, and met an oncoming minibus at the crest, which their driver somehow missed by microns. EMblazoned across the front was 'Holy Christ!'

Captain Ranty said...

I am sure.

I speak Afrikaans, and some Dutch. So I can tell the difference.

Most of passengering is done with my eyes closed!

CR.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

I recently talked to a visiting corporate elf and safe tree man who was training African drivers for a multinational - he gave the chaps a scenario:

Normal two lane black top road, you are going faster than a minibus in front and there is a truck coming in the other direction - what do you do?

The unanimous response from the trainees - "press the horn and accelerator at the same time and pass that damn slow junk minibus"

I did like the story in the 80's about Nigeria changing to driving on the right from the British Empire left - trucks on the first Monday and cars the next Monday...

Chuckles said...

Very simple highway code, the bigger you are, the more right of way you have.

Another colleague mentioned the Tanzanian approach, which was to always stop at green traffic lights, to check for vehicles jumping the red, as 'accelerate on red' was universal.

Captain Ranty said...

Gordon, Chuckles,

Lol. What you both describe is entirely normal. Frighteningly, it is the way things are.

Not that Africans have a monopoly on the crazy stuff.

20 years ago I left my Dublin hotel at 5:30 am for the first flight back to Manchester. My taxi stopped at a set of traffic lights and opposite us was a Garda van also stopped on red. After 20 seconds the Gardai nodded to the cab driver, the cab driver nodded back and we both set off through the red light!

Just this morning heading to my first meeting my taxi driver went straight through a red light only to be overtaken at speed by another taxi. Apparently we had set the precedent.

We passed a building called The HolyFire Church. The roof had been involved in a fire and was non-existent. Don't you just love the irony? I didn't have my camera but I will get the shot before the week is out. One for the funny files.

CR.

James Higham said...

Sounds like a barrel of laughs where you are, Cap'n.

Captain Ranty said...

It usually is James.

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world. (According to the movie of the same name).

It's also full of surprises. I just discovered today that a new airline flies between Takoradi and Accra. The flight is just 45 minutes and costs only £66. It cost me over £100 for the car and driver that brought me here.

A happy, happy day!

CR.