Ghana, February 25, 2005
Here the market comes to you easier than you to it
Its Accra, Ghana, and you need sponges, or pans, or some other domestic item. You could spend half the day at the market, looking for just the right item, or you could be much more efficient, and let it come to you. Here, like the rest of Africa in general, the market comes to you as easily as you go to it.|
On every street, at all hours of the day, people are walking around with all manner of domestic items, traveling salesmen looking for a sale. Up and down the street they go, thankfully rather quiet, showing their wares to all they pass.
Men's shirts? That's every two hours. Mops and buckets? Twice in the morning and once at night. Cobbler? Once an hour at least. Phone cards? Every thirty seconds!
Now these traveling salesmen do have an interesting way to present their wares. Like babushkas in Russia, they hold their items in front of them, but then they also balance their inventor on their head. Men and women, with all those pots, shirts, even pyramids of bananas and onions, all piled high on their heads.
I'm always amazed they can balance so much, so artfully. Of course, after a while I noticed that quite a few things fell. Not often, but they did. Yet the poise that balancing ten kilograms of cassava on their head pays off in more than just a sale.
Young girls walk like models, even when free of loads, from all that good posture. Me, I felt downright hunchbacked in comparison.