You Know You’re In Ghana When. . .

1) You are referred to (often) as “Obama’s people”

2) a female gets picked up by a taxi driver who immediately calls her his wife, teaches her how to say I love you in Twi, and proceeds to play romantic slow jams all the way to campus

3) you find a physics major who believes in witchcraft

4) a devout Muslim, praying 5 times a day, describe his (apparently many) sexual escapades as a “smash and dash”

5) hissing at someone an appropriate way to get their attention to: hail a taxi, buy food, tell someone they dropped something, or try to get you to shop at their store

6) you can be asked, “So, how is Obama doing?” and be expected to give a honest response of his current welfare

7) an Asian-American is considered “white”

8) a completely untrained volunteer watch 15 eye surgeries take place on his first day at work

9) You can urinate in public and no one will even notice

10) There’s more dust in your dorm room than oxygen

11) homosexuality is widely considered a sin while men walk around holding hands freely and joyfully

12) you have to worry about your pet cat being hunted down with a slingshot and roasted for dinner

13) you see people wearing American T-shirts from your home town, only to realize when you ask them about it they have no idea what the words on their clothes mean

14) you show up 15 minute late to a lecture and still get there before the professor

15) you find a Jewish community of Ghanaians named “Shalom Shalom”

16) you watch an 8 year old boy climb a 40 foot coconut tree to smack down some coconuts as snacks for arriving guests

17) you be asked by complete strangers sitting near you if they are invited to eat your food with you

18) complete strangers invite you to eat their food with them, sometimes using your hands and eating out of the same bowl

19) females gladly accept dates with other guys even though they have a serious boyfriend

20) having a boyfriend back in the states meaningless to guys that seem interested

21) a taxi driver accept a half eaten piece of yam that you offer him, and then say in Twi, “God Bless You!”

22) a friend who can hardly afford to pay his own school fees refuse to allow you to spend a cent on anything while you visit him

23)You see a middle-aged man dodging traffic while crossing a motor-way divider with a full-sized refrigerator balanced on his head

24) An event starts at 6, but you know it’s 100% acceptable to show up at 10….and you may still be early.

25) You call any of your elders “Auntie” or “Uncle”

26) Ah! Oh! Chale! Daabi! Become necessary components of every sentence.

27) 9am is an appropriate time to eat anything.

28) You have to watch where you walk in order to avoid “obruni traps”, which are open gutters

29) your car door in the taxi can only be opened from the outside. Not because it’s on child lock, but because that’s just how it is.

30) Flashing a friend has no sexual connotation to it at all.

31) You’re better off taking a tro-tro to the hospital than waiting for an ambulance.

32) Not remembering someone’s name and calling them either Nana, Efya, Kwesi, Kwame, Kofi, Ama, Adwoa will elicit a response 92.67% of the time.

33) You Azonto to any song, any if people see an obruni dancing Azonto (or trying to) they get extremely excited

34) You have an anxiety attack when you realize you left your toilet tissue in your hostel.

35) You know the hand signals for tro-tros.

36) You can buy water, a table, plantain chips, airtime, grapes, fabric, and more out of your car window at one traffic light.

37) Sleeping at your workplace is expected, and sometimes in the contract.

38) Not having a substantial amount of pesewas (cents) ruins your day because exact change is almost always necessary.

39) A meal that costs more than 5GHc ($3 US )is entirely too much money.

40) It’s perfectly normal to answer your cell phone during class/church/meetings.

41) Hearing women yelling “Ice pure wata” during high heat is like the second coming of Christ.

42) You drop everything you’re doing to take advantage of a shower while the water is running.

43) You’ve given up on having clean, dirt-free feet.

44) you sweat more in your sleep than when you exercise

45) You stop exercising because washing your clothes by hand is enough of a workout, and, if you worked out, you would just have more dirty clothes to hand wash yourself. Plus, it’s simply way too hot to exercise.

46) You can’t shower every time you feel dirty because you’d never end up making it out

47) You realize right before you are about to get dressed that your clothes aren’t completely clean and it’s 100% your fault because you washed them

48) you put the the clothes on anyways because within 30 minutes you’ll be dirty and sweaty

49) “I’m coming” means: Hold on, one second, give me a minute, wait for me, be right back, be patient, and, of course, I’m coming

50) a store is out of an item that you ask for they will tell you it is finished

51) You can say absolutely nothing, but get too much attention because you’re “Obruni”

52) Describing your issues with bubble guts is normal.

53) Gypsy begging children are the only thing keeping you from shopping at Accra Mall.

54) Watching Chinese and Ghanaian students interact is the highlight of your day

55) A brigade of cars mean there’s a party going on tonight.

56) You can hear the songs Kolom, Agyeei, Over Again, Lapaz Toyota, Sweetio, Sorkode, and Oliver Twist multiple times in one night at the same club/bar, and do the same azonto dance to all of them

57) You’ve rescued a friend from being married on multiple occasions.

58) You order plain rice and stew and are brought jollof rice, shito, indomine, and coleslaw, and you can’t do anything about it

59) Internet peaks at 100 kilobytes per second.

60) you get laughed at when asked to speak in class because Ghanaians don’t understand a word you’re saying when you speak fast

61)Your professor threatens to “kill the student”, or “fire the class”

62) Your taxi driver gets out of the car to ask for directions ten minutes after telling you he knows where you are going and you agree on a price

63) Pidgin is a spoken language of broken English and not a bird

64) You know what day of the week people were born on by their name

65) You let someone know they look nice by saying “you are looking so sweet.” Male or female.

66) You don’t notice the “oh” at the end of most sentences.

67) You can open sachet water with your teeth without spilling a drop

68) Pineapples are white, oranges are green, still they’re the best tasting fruit you’ve ever had.

69) if find toilet paper in the bathrooms, you assume that someone left it there

70) you have to wash your bar of soap by itself because it gets so dirty

71) you take taxis not because you are lazy or to save time, but simply because you don’t want to sweat through all of your clothing

72) your ice cold beverage that you bought is lukewarm after your first two sips

73) your blog posts be delayed sometimes for days not just because the internet is down, but because the electricity is out on the entire campus

74) you cross the street, you have to look both ways, behind you, and the both ways again.

75) You complain about the small things, but genuinely love GHANA!

10 thoughts on “You Know You’re In Ghana When. . .

  1. 76. The skin on your hands has been chemically/physically removed by Omo soap and your shirts still smell like sweat.

  2. Love it, Jeremy, especially your last comment about you loving it there. Good Adaptability quotient for you! Good to talk to you today; let me know what you come up with for your birthday weekend. Even though it may not be a big milestone in Ghana, 21 is still a big milestone!
    Have fun, be safe, enjoy it all. xoxo

  3. Hi Jeremy…you don’t know me, but I work with Ryan Devlin’s Dad at Harvard Pilgrim in Boston. He has been forwarding me your blog posts because I was anticipating a trip to Ghana. I was there from the 7th to the 14th and sang in a choral festival with numerous African and U.S. choirs (and one from Benin)…the event was on Saturday, March 10th and it was pretty amazing. After the two-day festival our group (the rest of the gang is from Maine…the whitest state in the union! No, we didn’t stand out much…….;p) got to travel to Elmina for a Cape Coast Castle performance and tour, a trip to the Kukum Nat’l Forest (canopy walk…holla!), an awesome naming ceremony at a village in Suhum. I totally fell in love with the place….flickering lights, hot humid weather, traffic like I have not seen even in Boston aside. The people are what makes it so great! Ghanaians are so friendly and open…you have captured the essence of the place with your witty and insightful blogs. This last list was great because even though I was only there for 6 days, I experienced at least 58 of your 75 things! You nailed it! Thanks for your observations….you’ll go far in life with your sense of humor and ability to appreciate things around you (Ryan’s dad thinks you should be a comedian…he said he would pay to see you talk about stuff). Good luck, and if you come across a vendor selling necklaces (I know you’ll totally be able to zero in on someone like that in Ghana *wink*) named Yaya, tell him to check his e-mail and write me back! (And no, I didn’t receive a marriage proposal from him. Only the old dudes at the village told me “You are my wife!” Awesome….)

    Take care! Stay cool!

    Janelle Jette

    • Thank YOU for your great comments about Ghana, and about Jeremy. I am his lucky mother and very much appreciate your comments about his writing talents, and Ryan’s Dad’s about paying to see Jeremy as a comedian. Jeremy has always loved making people smile and laugh, from as far back as I can remember; maybe being a comedian is somewhere in his future:-) Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Hi Janette! Thanks for your comments and for your kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed your stay here. It is a magical place. I’ll keep an eye out for Yaya and demand that he e-mails you back ASAP.
      Thanks! Hope all is well!

  4. Seriously? Which part of Ghana have you been? And Pidgin is a language; not a bird. The bird’s pigeon.

  5. This retard is so obsessed with Ghana. The fvcktard actually sat down and wrote SEVENTY FIVE (75)… almost a hundred aspects of society that are different from Americana. Hey ASSWIPE, America is not the only place on earth ya know. I’m sure anybody can come up with 999 crazy things about that goddam country of yours.

    • Dude…I hope you’re kidding. If not, you sound like a jealous, angry, small-minded person.

  6. You know you are reading Jeremy’s blog about Ghana, when you find yourself laughing so hard that everyone around you looks at you like you have lost your marbles.

    I never thought about going to Ghana before you went and now I can’t imagine not seeing it. Love the pictures too! Ghana’s Department of Tourism really needs to put you on staff.

    Don’t ever lose your sense of wonder and humor. HBD

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