Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mid morning, Oct 1st, 2014 - East Legon

The taxi driver is trying to explain to me that the way to American house through Ajiringanor has traffic congestion at the curiously named '69'. We would be going through Ashalebotwe instead. 

It seems like we're driving in the exact opposite direction from where I need to go, but I blame that more on road planning than on driver navigation. 
I catch sight of a quite-prominent discoloration on the lower end of the driver's fore-arm as he explains the route to me. What looks like an extreme case of stretch-marks or the result of some strange accident - not fire. But I'm no expert, and I decide I should probably stop staring. 

He has this peculiar tone of voice; thin, not quite nasal, that comes with a slight lisp, and he speaks in this fashion that gives the impression everything you tell him is an education, and he mulls everything I say over with an enthusiastic nod of his head as though I were dispensing deep wisdom. It all makes him seem, for some strange reason, innocent and welcoming, but today's trip requires a stop at Bawuleshi for about 15 minutes and then, across a 3rd of the cross-section of Accra; to Dzorwulu, to a place I've never been before, and at a time that may put us there at about lunch hour. welcoming or not, I cannot let my guard down when it's time to negotiate my fare. So I keep my earphones in my ear and stare at my iPad screen with a deliberate air of indifference. 

He stops for breakfast. Coco, and there's some food in a black rubber bag, but I can't tell what. He offers me some of it, and I politely decline with the slightest shake of my head, so he puts the car back in gear. He holds the steering-wheel at 5 o'clock with his right hand so he can methodically shake his bag of coco in his left, as per the one eternal Instruction of all local beverages, 'always shake it first'. 

It's a beautiful day; not too much sun, not a hint of rain, an amicable driver, and light traffic. We've had dark clouds and rain all this year in Ghana, but there are these few days in between where clouds part ever slightly to offer the world a gentle filter of sunlight, and for those few hours, if you take the time to savor it, things are pleasant for a little while.