Friday, August 09, 2013


A week in Accra and I can't wait to go home. The food is a mix of remarkable amounts of salt and, when you dare ask for anything curried or spiced up, truly astounding quantities of spices. Then there is the water situation. I don't know about you, but every morning when you see lines of people carrying twenty-litre jerry-cans to fetch water, your faith in the absolutely persuasive exhortations of your hosts that tap water is safe to drink ring a wee bit hollow. Please don't get me started on the sheer lunacy of driving on the right. Or the fact that their matatu crews are as tame as church mice.

Of course, I jest (but not about the water; drink it out of the tap at your peril). Accra is a surprisingly sedate town. I find it difficult to refer to it as a "city" when is so small. The people, for the most part, are indifferent to the visitors amongst them. However, when you engage them in chatter they prove warm and welcoming. Maybe a week is too short a time to be absolutely certain about their nature, but they seem almost Kenyan in their attitudes. Our fellow Ghanaian students though, are a bit of a handful. Loud, very opinionated and quite frequently, annoying. Maybe this is the "Oga" lot that we see on West African TV shows and movies.

The streets of Accra are quite busy. Traffic jams almost rival those of Nairobi the only difference being the orderliness of Accra drivers, even those of their matatus. Public transport though, is not on the scale of Nairobi; hundreds, it seems, of taxi-cabs proliferate. The innocuous hoot of a taxi driver looking for a fare has become ubiquitous for us by now.

We are yet to truly sample the local cuisine; the fear of ending up with snails or monkeys on your plate is a powerful deterrent. We are making do with the rice/chicken combo for now sometimes varied with the KFC and Galitos fare at the two fast food joints on Oxford Street, where we are staying.

The Ghana School of Law, for all its continental fame, seems a rather small outfit. They are just joining the Twenty-first Century digital age and it remains to be seen whether the material on offer by the school stacks up against the likes of the Kenya School of Law or not. The faculty, though, is top-notch, taking care not to overwhelm us with their erudition and skill. Prof VCRAC Crabbe is a joy to listen to; he makes the business of drafting legislation seem so ho-hum. But then again, he's been doing it since the days of Moses, so there's that.

The down-time is exhausting. With only one lecture a day, and about an hour of one-on-one time with the faculty, our days are quite long and boring. Ghanaian TV is dull; as is their music. But tomorrow's Saturday so perhaps we may get an opportunity to sample some of their clubbiest night joints. So far so-so. Let's see how the 12 weeks unfold, eh?

No comments: