Ghana, February 27, 2005
On Sunday don't even think of shopping for anything but sun and sand.
I always felt that my Sunday Boring Sunday in Belfast was the extreme in Sunday shop closings. There, nothing is open on Sunday except church. Well Accra now ties with Belfast in its ability to roll up even the sidewalks on the seventh day.|
Its 11am, its hot, its sweaty, and I am hung over. After last night's party (thanks Ross!) and the long taxi ride home, I didn't sleep much till the morning woke me. Now my head is pounding, my body is aching, and I want a big breakfast and cold juice to ease my pain.
I also need a good book for the two-day, two-flight, journey back to Washington, DC and a laptop plug so I can work during my five hour Amsterdam layover. That and an aspirin, a massage, and a bit later, a cold beer.
None of which I could find after two hours of fruitless searching of Accra's main strip, Cantonments Road in Osu. Only a grocery store and an Internet cafe were open, while everything else, from bookshops to pharmacies, was shut tight. I couldn't even find the usually ubiquitous African traveling salesmen!
I had to resort to the obscenely overpriced shops of the Golden Tulip hotel for my needed supplies, or at least the first few. That cold beer I took at the one place where all of the shops were open and in full swing, Labadi Pleasure Beach.
There, beer was not in short supply. Nor were traveling salesmen, this time with all manner of what Ian calls 'Afri-crap'. Also on display were the beach loving Ghanaians, who surprised me with their love of the sun, sea, and sand.
While I lazed in the sun with a good book and a cold beer, all manner of fun freaks wandered by. Kids playing beach soccer, couples on horseback, iterant photographers capturing beauty, even someone flying a kite.
The crowd was an interesting sight. Mainly African, they sported the latest in Ghanaian beach attire - underwear. From lace panties to white boxers, Ghanaians don't seem to think dedicated beach attire, bikinis and trunks, are needed here. Anything will do, even full on jeans and long sleeve shirts. Of course, I was partial to those lace panties.
Against this African backdrop, the dollops of white to pink European and Asian flesh were almost comical. Sporting the worst in tourist burns on ass-white skin, you could easily spot the tourists among the locals. Yours truly, with my three-week African bronze tan looked very much the local.
Compete with the locals I couldn't however, at least not in physique. More than in Dakar, I could see why Yana would fall in love three times a day here. The men, stripped down to shorts, were stunning.
Night-black bodies with bulging muscles and tight abs, even I was impressed. I'd have to double my triathlon training, give up eating, and do manual labor to get a body like theirs. Even super tan I'd still be much lighter, and unless I bathed in Nair, much hairier.
So with my book, my beer, and my beach, I enjoyed the only thing happening in Accra on a Sunday, loving life at Labadi Pleasure Beach.