So I’m alive and kicking. It. In Accra. (Really) witty puns aside, I got over my cold. Bam!
So Friday night after work I met Matt and Julia for dinner at Frankies. Frankies is the place expats go in Ghana for a cheeseburger, pizza, and Chinese food. It may as well be called Charley’s. Though if it were called Charley’s it would (obviously) turn into a dance club at night (playing a mix of Bob Seger and Wale), offer golf lessons during the day, and show reality TeeVee shows on all the flat screens (So You Think You Can Dance and anything from BravoTv).
(By the way, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m listening to Alicia Keys as I write. And it’s amazing!).
Anyway, I don’t know if a club sandwich has ever tasted better. Frankly it was super mediocre and super expensive (for Accra, anyway), but I dipped each bite in Ketchup and loved every second of it. So we went to Frankies primarily to watch the World Cup (apparently So You Think You Can Dance hasn’t taken Accra by storm). But we ended up watching most of the game on the street. Say what?
So Oxford Street (previously the sight of NaNa the Fanta Prince et al.) is more or less shut down during the World Cup. They block off a couple of blocks, put up a huge big screen (maybe 20ft by 20ft), and everyone and their mother comes to watch soccer. It’s. Intense. It’s intense because Ghanaian’s don’t watch sports like Americans watch sports. Or at least they don’t watch sports like I watch sports (I won’t generalize my tendencies to all of America, seeing as how I can’t speak for all of America. If only, right? Charley 2038! Jokes).
Anyway, every play, regardless of what happens, people go nuts. In response to a pass, people jump and down in jubilation. In response to a good header, they blow their horns and shout. They must lose weight watching sports.
Saturday I went to Seattle. Or, well, I went to the Accra Mall, which felt like a mall in Seattle, or Boston or (enter American metropolitan mall here). It was kind of crazy. There was a huge grocery store, a Puma store, a Panasonic store, a movie theatre, a Nike store, a food court—all sorts of jazz. I bee-lined it to the grocery store and bought (nearly) a lifetime supply of coffee, peanut butter, bread, and cereal. That way I can make the same dinners I used to make for myself back in the States (sorry, mom!). If only they had lean cuisines and I had a microwave!
Saturday night I watched U.S.A play England with a bunch of awesome co-workers. Afterwards, we grabbed dinner/drinks and bonded over what we were like in high-school—a subject I brought up because I find that a little self-deprecation can go a long way. And if you knew me in high school, you would know what I mean by self-deprecation. For those of you that didn’t know me back in the day, just know that High School Me= golf team + fat + musicals.
Sunday I watched Ghana play Serbia. The city went nuts. I can’t describe with words what the reaction looked like or felt like. A more talented writer could. But everyone spilled into the streets, some singing the World Cup song, some dancing, some honking horns or chanting something in Twi, some thanking god for blessing Ghana, others just smiling. It was pretty neat to see.
Anyway, tomorrow I’m off to the Eastern region for the day. Hopefully will have some pictures to put up. In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves!