Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Part 2. The journey back...

After a day of long back-breaking hours, the journey back home seems quite as arduous as that of the morning’s. I’m observing the sunset in the distance and wondering why we don’t yet have cars that fly. I’m beginning to wonder when technology will catch up with me – teleportation, time travel etc. Oh well.

My mind moves on from one memory to another, stringing together scattered thoughts that seem to go nowhere. I glance at the digital clock on my dashboard and it’s been 12 minutes since I last moved. Just then a guy walks past with pillows. Please hand me a few of those. Perfunctorily, I draw out my purse and pay him off. No bargain. Don’t have the energy for it. I ease back my seat, position the pillow at the base of it, and start humming to the tune from the radio as I turn it up. Just then these mobile CD/DVD/Cassette vendors blast away their music. One of those gospel singers. Can’t tell the difference. They all sound the same. These young guys come my way displaying the latest album recording of whichever artist it is. They shove it in my face and I look aside with disapproval. As though to spite me, all other pirated DVD sellers hustle me with their wear and my powers are no match. I end up rolling up my window to make sure all my doors are safely locked.

The logjam gradually inches forward and I respond. My feet hurt with all this half-clutch business.

Before I know it, I’m in the den of the onion boys. “Madam ginni, ginni.” (they say in their Hausa accent). They beat down the price themselves in an attempt to persuade me to buy it. I shoot them a stern glance and a defiant “Dεεbi” (no). Can’t they tell one who cooks from one who doesn’t?

Peddler after peddler, hawker after hawker, the traffic is still moving at government pace. No joke. I might as well use my time wisely. Need to make a few calls. “…you’ll have to recharge with a scratch card…” Darned that computer voice! Reluctantly, I call out for the 'credit card' peddler (Yes, ‘credit card’. That’s what we call it here. Deal with it), who seems to have every network’s scratch card pinned on himself. A decorated member of the Ghana Hawkers Association I suppose. I start to make my call. No MTN Zone. I'll make do.

I’m thinking that very soon traffic hawking will develop into a fully fledged industry and they'll be required to wear numbered uniforms just as the taxi drivers do. Just a thought. First it was just newspapers and iced water. Then we had Refresh (gosh, I miss that drink). The rest came in torrents. Now we have a whole assembly of household and office items. Amazing what you can get in traffic. Sometimes I feel sorry for the hawkers. I thank God that as bad as things might get, it won’t get that bad. Other times, they annoy me; no, I don’t want plantain chips; no, I don’t want cocoa drink with tea bread and no I don’t want a red bow tie nor do I want a laptop bag!
Home oh home come nigh unto me...

No comments: