Addy and Nunu’s Excellent Road Trip Across West Africa To Ghana
Accra, Kwame Nkrumah’s City
We rolled into Accra around 8pm. We had spent practically 10 hours on the road. We first went to the hotel just in front of the presidential villa called The Africa Regent. Now look at that sentence again (in front of the presidential villa). That just screamed expensive but I was like let me just walk in and scope the place out and find out how much May be as the sliding doors open, I will be the dream girl that one Chaley has been waiting for. I walked up to the counter, there were two fine boys standing as though they were in line. Now I knew they were not in line, but read my sentence again (fine boys) . I decided to ask if they were in line, just so that they can hear how sweet my voice is and we can make eye contact. They said no and I went ahead to ask the lady at the counter how much a room was. She said $250. In my mind I was let me quickly respect myself and turn around before these boys feel the vibration of my shudder upon hearing the price. I made a u-turn quick quick. Back to the van. I was like ‘Messter George plis another hotel. It is not like I will see the president from the window.’ We made our way to the next hotel, La Palm Beach Hotel. Now here’s the part that stumped me and changed the whole sequence of our adventure. Just as the hotel door man open the door and I looked up, I could not believe who was walking out of the hotel lobby about to hop into the van behind ours. A Party animal co-worker friend and his FRIENDS who were in town for the weekend. We were all tripped and were like ‘WHAT DA HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE...AIN'T UR ASS S'POSSED TO BE AT WORK?’ After exchanging our Ghana digits I went to ‘FIND OUT’ how much this hotel was now that there was actually a compelling reason to stay there. Meeeennn…here’s where the story changed. So the lady said it was $200 per night, we had only $700 and we were going to spend 4 nights, travel around town, do some tours and buy Ankara, akosombo and Woodin. You do the maths. We needed a miracle to solve this problem. So Enuka and I put our heads together and began thinking. Considering the fact that my friend and his friends are true blooded Nigerian boys who get a major plus for generosity (just by virtue of what many often call 'traditional social roles in Nigeria') if we spend our money on securing accommodation, chances are that we would not only have fun hanging out and tripping with them, but we can also guarantee safety and that when they order their food they will include us, so feeding too would be covered. Not to make it sound like a parasitic relationship Lol. We can go to Tejuoso Market and buy Ankara. But then again how can one come all the way to Ghana and not go home with anything. The other option was to go to Hotel Wangara for $80 a night but that would mean we would have to transport ourselves, roll around town alone (unsafe). We decided to cut our days short and do three nights. That left us with only $100, which we would manage VERY VERY well. We would make sure we get to the FREE breakfast at the hotel on time and eat plenty of food, find the Ghana version of Bojangles or Mr Biggs and microwave our food in the hotel. At worst we'll chop Ghana bread and coke and go to sleep. By the way a meal there cost like $200 and the food was not that great. So Enuka and I said a prayer that nothing wil go wrong and it will all factor in and work out. Then I begrudgingly counted the money and gave it to the lady. At that point everything could go wrong but I swore that I would have a great time in Ghana and not THINK too hard. And as God would have it everything worked out perfectly. We had a great time with the boys at the empty club that night just cracking up and yabbing every thing and talking smack about some busted chicks we saw. There was one in particular that my friend insisted on calling ‘Ekaite’ because she looked like a housegirl. We all didn’t get back till like 5am and you can imagine how sluggish everyone was the next morning. But not us…we were up by 10am reading to have our breakfast just incase. After breakfast, we PSYCHED the boys, who ordinarily would not leave their hotel room at that time of the day (considering the fact that they'd done some serious SHAYOING) to follow us to El Mina Castle in Cape Coast. Why did we discover that the journey was 4-5 hours not 45 minutes. The Ghanaian accent must have confused me when I was getting that information. Upon further verification it turned out it was only really 2 and a half hours. We decided to go to the Independence square and the Kwame Nkrumah museum instead. We all got some education and in the short traffic made friends with the hawkers selling artwork. Those guys really saw dollar signs written all over our van because they kept bringing ugly masks to get our attention. It seem the uglier the better. The boys kept on buying and I did all the haggling. I took the opportunity to practice my bad ghanaian-slash-sierra-leonean-accent (the later courtesy of Desmina and her extended Salo family in the Triangle) By now it was already 3pm and we had walked around town a bit and everyone was pooped. We then went out to find Local cuisine and found Vic's Chop. The food was good and I swear it's the cleanest buka I've seen. I mean we could have gone elsewhere to a fancy middle-purse type restaurant but the shuttle driver didn't know anywhere esle. So we were like 'Oh well what the heck... we are experiencing the culture.'
We went back to the hotel and Enuka and I slept till the next day. Watching Nollywood films in between. The next day Saturday, the boys had to leave and we had some change left to each buy a 6 yarder of fabric for ourselves so we decided to go to the market. Now I came up with the brilliant idea to shop for the boys so they would take something back to their wifeys and girlfriends. Now ya’ll don’t get mad, there’s no way you expect a bloke to go and buy Ankara in the market. They have no clue what to do and are totally helpless in that department. I mean it was either that or a Ghana flag necklace from the airport. So i say ya'llowe me... 3 yards 'eash plis'. LOL. We ended up buying stuff for some who had given us money, but one or two didn’t. When they saw how pretty the fabrics were and their friends by now were rubbing it in and saying 'oh Sarahtu would love this...and Janatu and Elizabetu can share this', they got jealous and felt left out. Determined not to be outdone or 'out-ankarad' they ended up buying mine and Enuka’s for...get this... DOUBLE THE PRICE. Trust Igbo girls to find every opportunity to do business. We each ended up going home with 12 yards of 4 different fabrics (we split them into 3’s) instead of 6. Sounds like a hustle to me. Naaaah!!! I am sure they were just INDULGING us for the sake of it after all these are Nigerian dudes we are talking about. LOL. But that was so totally dope because they really didn’t have to and it meant a lot to us cos we were stumped that we'd come all the way to Ghana and were leaving with onext to nothing(THANK A LOT PALS.. YOU RAWK MAJORLY!!). Don’t worry when my tailor is done, I will show you the sturvs men…VERY lovely shiny Ankara fabric. When I got home my mom and my sisters were already bribing me with FOOD to trade my Ankara. Lol. Can you imagine? My mom was like ‘Addy, I will make goat meat pepper soup for you.’ My sister and her friends have decided to go to Ghana in two weeks to buy their own fabric, so I will definitely be buying more. The drive back was depressing so I will not share that part of the story. Well here's the best part we all love. Here the PICTURES FROM OUR ROAD TRIP and stay in Ghana. Where next do you think Addy should go. I am thinking I should do all of the ECOWAS countries. Or may be you’ld like to guess where my next destination will be. Ok why don’t we do that… the prize for the correct guess will be between a souvenir from that country or 5 yards of superior local fabric (eg Ankara, adire, woodin, printex). Make sure you leave your email in the comment section of this post.