We are having airconditioning installed in our little car. So, I was following a driver from the mine where Bill works to the aircon shop. This is lucky for several reasons:
:: He gave me a lift home, and helped collect the kids from school.
:: I unknowingly drove through the busiest roundabout in Ghana. It was best not to know what was coming up. The cars, lorries and logging trucks were 5 abreast and heading in 7 different directions. Horns blaring, and with the window down (remember no aircon, and it’s like an oven over here), it’s an intimidating sensation staring into the wheel of a logging truck 2 feet away from your face.
:: Francis, the driver, later congratulated me, boosting my driving confidence. Saying “You know, when I saw you drive through that roundabout, I knew you were a good driver.” High praise indeed, but I still feel vaguely nauseous thinking about it.
:: I would never have found the aircon shop.
We crossed town, along roads new to me. Pulled off the road, and drove through several smash repair shops, across (but importantly, not in) a broken drain, past a small selection of lean to stores and several women shelling peanuts and making Kenkey (boiled maize, wrapped in banana leaves to ferment). And there we were. 100m off the road, surrounded by all manner of cars.
But, back to the mystery item. While I was sitting at a traffic light I spotted these interesting objects:
I think they are quite fetching, and I particularly like the hot pink paint detail, but I have no idea in the world what they are for. Any suggestions?
All manner of things are sold along the roadsides of Ghana. And indeed, one of my favourite pastimes is checking out the roadside vendors. Out at Konongo, it is really limited to fruit and vegetables, palm oil, sachets of pure water, sometimes honey and always popcorn at the toll. As you move into Kumasi, the items become more manufactured: car chargers, foam and flannel squares for car washing, delicious Fan ice-creams sold in sealed rectangular plastic packets (how they don’t melt I’ve never know), shoes, hairclips, sunglasses, I’ve even seen bras (!) and always, plantain chips. But head to the sophistication of Accra and roadside vending comes to a whole new level. Tummy trimmers, DVDs, bathroom scales, giant maps, copies of English Vogue (how tempted I was), and (wait for it!), iphone 5s. Freaking amazing.
But I have never seen these mystery items before….tell me, what do you think?