Sunday, September 28, 2014

Evening Aug 13, 2014 - Ashale Botwe

I'm sitting under an empty stall, waiting for the Indomie woman to finish my order. After a day criss-crossing town, catching power naps in trotros and avoiding death at the hand of Accra Metro bus drivers, I am finally able to pause to take in the details. My feet ache from walking and I feel badly in need of a good bath.
The Indomie woman has 3, maybe 4 kids from the look of things. I'd put her age at 32 at the very oldest. She's smallish, maybe 5"6, no taller, but with an almost child-like form, she looks shorter. The youngest child, a toddler is tied to her back as she cooks in a large Wok over a tabletop stove 10feet from a busy road, where even at this time, cars and trotros speed past, on their way to Madina.
Her 6 or 7 yr old son comes round to me and raises himself on his toes, supported by the plastic chair on which I sit. He peers wide eyed over my shoulder as I type these words. He calls to his sister. She must be about 13. 
"herh! Look" He cries, half running off, half-darting back behind me, too transfixed to the screen to actually tear his eyes away, let alone himself.
Then he calls to his mother,
"mommy, mommy, look at the big phone!"
She does a half turn, 
"it's not a phone. It's an iPad". She looks from him to me and smiles politely before returning to her cooking, her movement as delicate and disposition as accommodating as a Geisha. The baby, its mouth open at an angle, remains completely undisturbed, enjoying the sleep of the innocent.

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