My week in Accra is coming to an end and soon I’ll return to Singapore to pack up and close down our lives there. It’s been a tiring week, a lot of time has been spent in traffic with beggars at the window. The extremes of rich and poor are always hard to deal with, some of the nice large houses we saw were just round to corner from areas where people are living in shacks with no sanitation.
I think it is difficult to not be upset and shocked by this, instead you need to find a pragmatic approach, to help a small number of people in a small way.
This will be a whole new adventure, understanding the people seems the best place to start. It may seem annoying that they are out to scam or make money but if this was en-grained into your way of life, as it it theirs, you won’t even notice. The apartment hunting has been a prime example, they show you all the crap stuff they can’t shift first in the hope you go for it. It got to the point where we didn’t even need to step out of the car to see it wasn’t suitable. To me this is a complete waste of time, and not just mine, the 3 agents and my driver, but I’m guessing this doesn’t bother them one little bit. I’m in their world on their time now.
This may well be the way of things, now that we have found somewhere we like there are a lot of checks to be preformed. Electrical checks, security checks, negotiations, and maybe 10 weeks later if every little box is ticked we might get the property! I also love the fact that our driver doesn’t just drive us around, he gets involved in negotiations and trying to make sure we get the best deal.
It’s safe to say Accra is growing on me and already I’m getting used to the fact that driving anywhere takes time. We have found some nice places to eat and once inside the doors you could just as easily be in London’s west end, which admittedly messes with my head a little. I’m feeling ready for this new adventure for 2016, till then Accra!