Tema Fish Market

Today Steven took me to Tema, a port city just outside Accra. It cost 1 cedi (20p) to get there on the motorway and another to get back, I’m not sure why as this road is as full of bumps and holes as all the others seem to be! Tema was buzzing with industry, concrete and aluminium factories, tuna processing, lots going on here. We even seemed to drive past a spot where forklift trucks went to die, or maybe just be repaired, it’s always hard to tell here. Due to the volume of trucks going in and out of Tema I saw several truck drivers removing tyres from wheel rims right by the roadside. Here in the dusty African sun this looked to be an exhausting affair. As we approached the port the roads got busy and I commented to Stephen on the age of the boys selling water at the junctions. He tells me they are often taken from the villages, promised an education in the city, and instead made to sell products at the roadside.

The fish market was a tad intimidating. Before I could get out the car baskets of various fish were thrust towards the window and I had to ease myself out and through the crowds. Stephen took me to a lady he knows, just a case of trusting him in this instance! She was determined to sell me a much as possible, I had to admire her tenacity. Now, I have to confess, that usually when I buy fish I am used to it being filleted already so when she held a big Tuna up in front of me I didn’t actually recognise it as a Tuna. I guess this is an education in itself, I probably should be able to pick a Tuna fish from a line up. I was offered a seat on a wooden bench while they organised my order. I watched all the ladies at work washing and preparing squid. A man appeared, singing loudly and walking through the stalls, I caught the word God and Stephen confirmed that he was preaching. A little while later with my prawns all peeled, my tuna de-headed and some money exchanged we were ready to head off with our fish bagged up in some ice (time to invest in a cool box I think). The fish lady promptly asked when I was coming back and whether she could have my phone number, which I politely declined. She suggested that I take friends so that I could have a special discount, I told you she was determined!   I got my obligatory free item, a sole fillet to try, presumably to encourage me to buy some next time. Stephen also got his obligatory free fish along with my Tuna head, he can’t understand why I don’t want it but it has probably made his day!

 

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