Friday, May 8, 2009


Something SO GREAT happened to me today!

Yesterday I trekked through the mud and rain to get to the Achimota post office to see if my birthday package arrived (That was an adventure in itself, sloshing through the mud under my umbrella, fiercely determined to make the forty-minute journey and to get to that damned post office if it killed me.) and found a slip of paper telling me to go to Accra North post office, which is an hour away and kind of a pain to get to.

Today, I boarded a trotro headed to Circle. It’s a big traffic circle surrounded by bus and lorry stations from which buses and trotros depart to all cities in Ghana. I don’t really like going there because it takes about fifteen minutes to walk from where the trotro drops you off to the post office, and the whole time people call out to you, especially if you’re an obruni, to buy the things they sell from their stands or blankets on the sidewalk. It’s hard to walk because the vendors are everywhere, taking up over half the sidewalk, and there are so many people pushing their way past.

Anyway, there is one place in particular where some creepy guys sell secondhand shoes, and every time I pass there, this guy sitting on the railing reaches out and grabs my arm or wrist and holds on tightly. I hate it so much! He was there on the way to the post office, and sure enough, he grabbed me, calling out, “Obruni!” It took a few seconds for me to free my arm from his grasp and keep walking. I made it to the post office without too much hassle and was delighted to find a wonderful birthday package from my family waiting for me. I sat on a seat in the post office in front of a Western Union counter and opened my package then and there, already having waited two months for it to come from California. As I left the post office, I bought a sachet of pure water. Water here comes in plastic sachets, by the way. You bite a corner off and drink it down, like this:

I drank it as I walked but didn’t finish it, holding it in my left hand. When I passed by creepy man again, still sitting on the same spot on the railing, what do you know? He grabbed my wrist AGAIN, my right wrist. But this time, I was ready. In one swift motion, I yanked my arm away, which caused him to lose his balance somewhat, and with my other hand, I raised my sachet of water and squeezed hard. It squirted all over his face, and he let go of my wrist to cover his eyes with his hands, almost falling off the railing into the street behind him. I didn’t stop to see if he made it. I kept walking, very determinedly. As I walked, however, I heard everyone around me shout and cheer. I can just imagine what they were thinking. Look at that obruni, showing that man!

I felt so powerful and awesome. It so great! Plus, I had a bag full of lovely gifts from home. It was a great day!


Justin Rowland said...

Must admit, I cracked a big smile reading that.

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