Ghanaians Actually Make Me LOL

What the title said. And this time, it’s not just about sanitary pads, although some of the things being said on the radio are pretty funny… but I digress. I’m not here to talk about M-Pad.

There are two instances over the past week that have caused me to laugh out loud as much out of humour as incredulity.

Episode I: The Airport

I came back from South Africa on Wednesday, and I’d travelled alone, so when I got to Kotoka airport, of course, it was I who had to drag my two suitcases out to the car park, where my mother awaited. So that’s the background information.

Now, are you familiar with the ramp? The one that leads out of the airport building. I was going down that ramp with my two suitcases in tow, when this middle-aged guy showed up. He was wearing one of those orange-and-yellow vests that people in this country don to look ‘official’. You should know that I wasn’t having the easiest time with my luggage, so I was, no doubt, grateful when he offered to assist me with it. I graciously accepted.

Two feet. That’s about almost half the length of my body. That is also how far this vest-wearing, middle-aged man carried my suitcases before he asked me, “Do you have anything for your father?”

See, now, as far as I knew, my father was lying on his bed in a little house in Labone, and whether or not I’d gotten him a gift from my travels was surely my affair, and not his?

“My father?” I asked, confused.

“Me,” he clarified, and in hindsight, I should not have been surprised in the least, since with Ghanaians, everyone you meet is your relative, regardless of whether you are related or not. “Do you have something (read: som-tin) small for me?”

Finally, I got his meaning. He wanted money. Oh, how I wished Grandpa Charles was here to give him a good telling-off (I’m referring to a story in a previous post, What Happened to Grandpa Last Saturday). But Grandpa, unfortunately, wasn’t here, so I replied, “I don’t have anything on me.” This was not entirely true, but I wasn’t about to take off my heavy backpack and begin to rummage around for my wallet. It was too deep in the middle of other things, and I’d have had to practically empty my whole bag. Simply put, ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.

The vest-wearing man did not have the sense or the decency to disguise his money-seeking motives even a little bit. He said, forlorn, “Then I’m sorry, this is my last one…”

Last one what? I wanted to ask. But before I could get the words out of my moth, he had abandoned the suitcases and gone in search of wealthier luggage-draggers. Now, I suppose ‘last one’ mean t last tile, as in a single tile on the floor, because that’s how quickly he was gone.

Say it with me now: shameless.

AS you can see, it was my amazement that made me LOL this time. When I got outside, some random guy was hovering around my mum’s car as she created space for Aunty Gifty and I to put the luggage in the boot. Given my encounter a couple of minutes earlier, you must understand that I was not at all in the mood to accept the help of another gold-digger.

“It’s okay; we can do it,” I said to him, referring to the transferring of the luggage into the boot. They weren’t heavy enough to warrant a struggle, anyway.

This hard-headed idiot continued to hover around with the pretence of directing my mother as she tried to park. Ain’t foolin’ nobody. As soon as my mother turned off the engine, he was back, about to offer his unnecessary assistance.

Louder, and more angrily, I said, “I said we can do it ourselves!”

He was startled by my straightforward brashness. But I had bore. The guy backed away quicker than mom could open the car door. That’s right. Vana like a puma! Penniless (or shall I say pesewaless), he departed. Good riddance.

When I told my mum the story, she laughed at me all the way back home.

 

Episode II: On the road

On Saturday, I’d just gone to Dzorwulu and was on my way to East Legon to get something for my brother.

There we were, innocently cruising, myself and my mother’s driver, Mr. Wisdom (you don’t even have to bother asking if he’s Ewe), and all of a sudden, some rogue black car shot past us and promptly stopped. I began to wonder, which maniacal idiot has Ghana allowed to wield a licence this time?

Then the driver of the car stepped out. My imagined maniacal idiot was a policeman. I will not, however, take my previous conclusion back, because his next actions did nothing to change my opinion.

Mr Policeman started waving his arms about frantically like deranged person. He was just a bit short of jumping up and down; he was so excited. Then he began to rain insults on Mr Wisdom, while yelling, “Is for you? The road is for you? The whole road is for you? Aboa,” and other nonsensical, improperly-structured sentences and profanities.

Mr Wisdom was super cool. I’m sorry, sir,” he said, and saluted.

The question is, if this policeman had somewhere to be, that was undoubtedly more important than where we the normal civilians had to be, he could have at least given an INDICATION that he wanted to overtake us, perhaps blowing the horn, instead of almost killing us by collision.

Mr Wisdom did not, in fact, think the whole road belonged to him, but Mr Policeman obviously did – judging by how he had no qualms on stalling traffic for no reason. You may wonder, like me, that if he truly had somewhere to be, shouldn’t he be focusing on getting there, instead of stopping to yell at innocent drivers? Questions of the century…Anyway, when his mouth was satisfied that enough spit had flown out of it, he returned to his vehicle. As he drove away, Mr Wisdom and I had a good laugh over it.

This is our peace-keeping force, people. Quite peaceful, they are, huh? #GodBlessOurHomelandGhana.

-‘Vana

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