Notes and Observations

Hey all,

Sorry for the wait! Been busy. Easter break was nice! I made it to Kumasi for a day, and then went to a Jewish community in the Western Region pretty close to Ivory Coast. I’ll write a post on that soon. For now, here’s some notes and observations I have made recently to keep your aching stomachs satiated:

I’m at the point where if I see any Ghanaian food, (99% of the time) I’ve tried it.  Since my try it diet is practically over, I’ve tried to order healthier, except most of the food sellers look at you like your crazy. If you tell them you don’t want rice and only salad, they give you this look like you’ve ordered urine flavored ice cream. Most vendors also don’t understand it when I try to explain that I want my food, and then a little dressing; not eight spoonfuls of dressing with a little food hiding underneath it. I’ve compiled a list of foods that I want to try before I leave: snail, dog, cat, snake, and bush meat. We’ll see if I can be successful. Cool/interesting/gross/exciting foods that I have eaten: Cow intestines, cow liver, cow feet, cow tenants, (they don’t waste much meat of any animal….I’ve probably eaten more parts of the body than I realize) goat, chicken kidneys, frog legs, squid, mini crabs (shell included), clay, ants (those were an accident), fish brains, oysters on stick, and a lot of mystery meats that I am told are “Beef” or “meat”. I’ve probably eaten human at one point too with out realizing it. Okay that’s disgusting. Sorry

There’s an old lady named Luisa that sells food out of a cooler down the street from my hostel. I pass by her almost everyday, and she’s always yelling “BUY MY FOOD! I HAVE PIZZA, MANGO BREAD, COOKIES, BUY FROM ME BUY FROM ME!” If you ask her to prepare something special for you, she will. Her banana muffins are luscious. I told her she was like my second mother, and she responded by saying that I was her husband. I think we gotta clear that up. I walked passed with two of my female Ghanaian friends once and she yelled at me saying I was making her “Jealous-Oh!”.

Her daily routine goes like this. She wakes up at 6 am and goes to the market where she buys all of her flour, vegetables, rice, and stuff fresh. Then, she goes home, where she cooks and bakes all morning/afternoon. She takes her food in a magical cooler container that somehow manages to keep her food warm all day long, and she usually gets to campus around 3 or 4. She sits on the street, selling her food to students (she advertises for herself) who walk by until about 9 o’clock where she goes home to go to sleep and repeat the same schedule the following day. She repeats the same routine everyday, except for Sundays. On Sundays, she goes to church first, and then proceeds with her daily schedule. She’s amazing, and when you ask about item of hers, she tells you it is “tantalizing!!”. You can place an order for a future day and she will make you what you request. You can also tell her what time you are coming back so she will stay late enough so you buy from her.

She also sells T-shirts with her own face on them. (I hope to do that one day!). I’m pretty sure I learned a rule in an Econ class that if you have to be the one selling the T-shirt with your own face on it, then you probably won’t be in the market for long. Sometimes she wears her own shirts and says, “Buy my T-shirt!” and points at her own face on her own shirt. She couldn’t pronounce Jeremy (she doesn’t know about Jeremy Lin), so I told her to call me Rejemy. She decided ‘Rejemy’ sounds like ‘Benjamin’, so I told her it was okay to call me Benjamin. She recently gave me the ‘OKAY’ to make a video/documentary on her. Once I gather a production crew we’ll make a vision. Can’t wait.

Some of the local sellers will loan you some money if you are short. I find that pretty neat. People seem to be very honest and trusting here. I walk passed them every day anyways, it’s good that they trust me. I bought a can opener at the grocery store at the mall; except when I got home it wasn’t in the bag they gave me. I went back the next day and it turned out they found a can opener left unattended and they gave me a new one when I showed them my receipt. Locals have also hissed at me (they do that here to get people’s attention) when money had fallen out of my pocket.

One night, I got a ride home with a friend, and he ended up getting stopped by the police. It took about 30 minutes to get out of, but he got away with no ticket and didn’t have to bribe the cops either. I was kind of embarrassed because I think the only reason we got pulled over is because there were white people in the car. Though our Ghanaian friend didn’t admit that to us.

Stay tuned for a post about last weekend soon!

Miss you all proportionally!


Jeremy Kwabena