Friday, November 10, 2006

Africa - Day 3

After waking up in the morning to the sound of roosters crowing, not as nice a way to wake up as you'd imagine, we headed for Makola Market. The market is huge, there are some buildings, but it's mostly alleys of stands. The vendors gave us fair prices and were much less pushy than the market from the day before. It was actually pretty funny to see how information travels in these markets. The first store owner I spoke to in the entire market had this fantastic patterned cloth, with skulls on it, that my boyfriend was just going to love, but I only needed two yards of it for a shirt and not the whole 6 yards that's a standard unit of measure for African dresses. Understandably, the seller didn't want to cut 2 yards off and not be able to sell the other 4, so she declined. She got someone to show me to the wholesale store instead. It was very helpful of her, I got just what I wanted, but for the rest of the time we were in the market, whenever I walked up to any of the cloth sellers and looked at their wares, they asked me if I was looking for 2 yards of cloth. In the enormity of this market, it's hard to imagine that their word of mouth communication could possibly have been that good, but I saw it with my own two eyes.

After the market, we popped over to the post office to buy stamps for the equivalent of 20 cents each.
After we headed for the gare to find a cab to take us to Anomabo. The gare experience is one that you absolutely have to have at least once if you go to West Africa, then if you have any sense you'll try to avoid it. I think in our case it was worse because we were trying to hire out a whole car and not get into a car filling with others. So, a driver who might have to wait a long time for his car to fill up for a long trip can have his car filled and out of the gare in a very short amount of time. This causes the drivers to be much more competitive with eachother, this doesn't mean you get a better price, because it's a group negotiation, it just means that there's a huge argument over the kickback your driver has to pay to the others.
Ashley had earlier announced that she loved Africa, so while we were standing in the middle of the gare mayhem, while Dan and K were negotiating a price, and everyone was yelling and pushing, and Ash and I were watching the luggage, I turned to Ash, and asked, "Do you still love Africa?!" We laughed. For the rest of the trip, every time the going got tough, I asked Ash if she still loved Africa and then we giggled.
After we finally hired the car, we set out for Anomabo, I slept in Accra's afternoon traffic and woke up an hour later while we were still in the thick of the traffic at the outskirts of the city. The road was ok to begin with, but conveniently deteriorated about the same time as the sun started going down. People in West Africa don't generally like to drive at night, this probably has something to do with the crumbling roads and the lack of streetlights. K had mentioned this no night driving thing already, and pointed this out as we were still driving at dusk and were only about half way there. She asked us all if it was ok with us to keep going. Dan looked out the windows at the wilderness we were driving through and said, "No K, I don't want to keep going, I'd way rather sleep in the jungle tonight!" After a very dark, very bumpy ride that was supposed to take an hour and a half, we arrived at our resort 4 hours later.
But after we booked our mud hut bungalow and headed over to gorgeous dining area on the beach, we all felt better. So, we got drunk on double sized local beer and ate fresh caught grilled lobsters. Poor Ash had a cheese sandwich. This area is very difficult for the vegetarians. Although, I thought her sandwich looked quite tasty, but I had half a crustacean hanging out of my mouth while I was thinking that, so it was maybe just a lobster induced hallucination.
After our drunken meal, we wrote drunken postcards - so if you got a postcard with some questionable content from any of us, I'm sorry, it was the booze - we closed the bar down, ran around on the beach and then staggered back to our mud hut and slept. If anyone is curious, I can tell you why Dan is making that gesture in the second last photo, but I have no clue what Dan and Ash were high-fiving in the last picture.

No comments: