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The Semi-Regular Newsletter


Ghana, February 27, 2005

Sunday = Labadi Pleasure Beach

On Sunday don't even think of shopping for anything but sun and sand.

here you are
Sunday crowds
nice blues
Stepping out in style
a horse?!
Even with horses
the hard life
My kinda Sunday
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.

Ghana, February 26, 2005

Yep, Lost Yet Again

Where am I now? Where are we going? And why doesn't he stop and ask for directions? I know this could be said to me on any number of occasions when I'm driving, but right now I'm asking it of my taxi driver and the response isn't heartening. He's clueless.

Continue reading "Yep, Lost Yet Again"

Ghana, February 25, 2005

African Home Delivery

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.

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Ghana, February 24, 2005

Traveling on the Gov'ment's Dime

It's 10:14am on a Thursday here in Accra and I am poolside with a beer and and a fellow business traveler. She, like me, is here for work and we're both soaking up the sun and the suds as we whack away at our respective keyboards and key ideas.

Ghana, February 23, 2005

I Wanna be African Happy

What can I say? I love Africa. Sub-Sahara Black Africa. East and West Africa to be exact. The people are so nice, the land so rich, the life so good, I feel very happy here. I now know why Africa is Africa and by Western standards, undeveloped. By African standards, I think we in the West are the undeveloped ones.

Continue reading "I Wanna be African Happy"