Saturday, November 29, 2008

Reckless

I finally did something kind of reckless. I accepted a ride from a complete stranger. I mean, I guess it’s not that reckless, but I felt that familiar thrill of adventure that has been so elusive lately when I got into the car with him.

I haven’t quite been myself lately. Normally when I travel, I’m fearless... a brave woman, Asanetwaa. I usually follow wherever my impulses lead me, because I’ve noticed that when I follow my impulses, only good things happen.

Here, I hardly ever go out by myself. This fear of wandering alone is SO unlike me! I don’t know why I’m so afraid here, but today, I had no choice. I needed to go back to the clinic to check up on my leg, and I had to go alone.

I hadn’t even walked to the end of the street in front of the school when a man pulled up in a car to ask me if I knew where David Street is. Of course I had no clue, since as far as I’m aware, none of the streets here are marked with names. He asked me where I was headed and offered me a ride. I hesitated for a few moments. This man was a complete stranger. Should I really get in the car with him? Oh, but he seemed nice, and for some strange, unknown reason, I trusted him. I followed my impulse and opened the car door.

“As long as you don’t kidnap me,” I said, as I buckled up.

It turns out the man is a neighbor. He lives in the same house as Williams, the bus driver, and Monica, a friend of Hannah’s. He was very nice, and we had a really good chat as he drove me to Legon. He’s from Nigeria originally, but he moved to Ghana four years ago to escape a failed relationship after his ex-girlfriend cheated on him. Apparently, he hasn’t gotten over his heartbreak, and he hasn’t been able to trust women since.

“You sound like me!” I said. “I used to hate all men!”

“You hate men, and I’m scared of women. We should get married!” he joked.

I was really bummed when I learned that he planned to move back to Nigeria in a couple weeks time. I think that since we’re neighbors and we got along so well for the fifteen or twenty minutes we drove together, we could have become good friends. He dropped me off at the clinic, and continued onward to a wedding for which he was already two hours late.

As I waited at the clinic to be seen by the doctor, I realized how much I miss being a little bit reckless like that. The truth is, I used to accept rides from strangers all the time. I don’t accept rides from every stranger, obviously, but if I have a good feeling about the driver, I trust my intuition, and it has never lead me astray. I thought back to the time I hitch-hiked halfway across the country, and you know, I’ve been way too cautious lately. I think the reason why I’ve felt frustrated is that I’m scared of a world outside I should go explore.

The doctor said that I don’t have an infection, which is good. He also said it won’t leave a scar. I don’t believe that for one minute. I think what he meant is that it won’t be a raised scar, but I’m sure there will be some kind of mark.

That night, I took two trotros by myself to get to Antis junction, and walked from there to my house. Now that I know how to get back by myself, I feel much more confident about setting out alone. Now, with my newly-regained sense of recklessness, all of Ghana is open to me!

1 comment:

Mom said...

Kate, this blog scared the heck out of me! You be CAREFUL young lady!