Journal Entry from Day 12: Sunday May 31
So, I cannot complete my journal entries without discussing our shopping excursions. I was not excited about the whole negotiation process, I have to admit. It did not go well for me in Jamaica and when I have to go through it at the Exmore VA annual yard sale it wears me out. But now, I have to say it's the best system ever for shopping. We're doing it all wrong in the states. I dread going home and not getting to look at the shop keeper and say, oh no, this is too much, I'll give you (insert 50% asking price here). And then hearing, no no that not good price, you give me good price in response. It's great! Of course knowing that I'm getting the foreigner price in the first place add another dimension to the whole process, as does the Ghanaian shopkeeper assumption that because I'm American, I have a limitless amount of cash to spend. We were even able to get some dresses and skirts made for us using some fabric we purchased from a woman in Adoteimon and at the Makola Market. I love shopping abroad, love it, but it's hard to do so in developing countries without thinking with each purchase that the small amount of money you spent on some souvenir, is a large amount of money to any number of residents in that country and would have potentially made an enormous difference in their lives had it been used there instead.
Second, I would be remiss to not discuss the food I have enjoyed while here, because, well, I love eating and I haven't had a single bad meal here! First I have to say that Fanta is fabulous, I never drink orange soda at home, but there's something about Fanta and being abroad that just seems so right, and an Fanta orange on a hot afternoon, when you're about to crash because you've only had a piece of bread and a granola bar to eat all day, is just a life saver. Also, I have had fried plantains with just about every real meal I've had here, I'd say I've had my fill, but I don't think that's possible. And after much failure (I order fufu three times at the hotel and at first I was told, it is finished, which is fine, so the next time we ate there I ordered it and was told it is finished, maybe Tuesday, so on Tuesday I came back and ordered fufu which by the way is a standard item on the menu, and was told it is finished) I finally got some fufu. It was so worth the wait! Made of mashed plantains and cassava, fufu is like a big doughy dumpling that gets served in a soup (I had palm nut soup, yum!), with or without meat, whatever floats your boat. It's SO GOOD. But the best meal ever was the hotdog in a pita. It was an accidental order, I was totally going to order a Ghanaian dish that night but then I saw it on the menu and I just had to have the hotdog in a pita. It's a hotdog, wrapped in something more like a wheat tortilla, stuffed with slaw, pickles, and fries, and ketchup. It sounds gross, and was totally confusing when it arrived on my plate, but it was so great I found myself singing about it the following day. If you're ever in Ghana, you simply have to have the hotdog in a pita at Paloma restaurant! And wash it down with a Fanta Orange, it's the only way to go. On the whole I have to say, dining in Ghana has not been too much of a change-- I've eaten a lot of rice! The hardest thing to get used to is having only one solid meal a day and then having a cliff bar for breakfast and then another cliff bar, granola bar, plaintain chips or bread for lunch. For a while there the two granola bars a day thing was killing me-- if I ever see another granola bar it'll be too soon. I've settled in to the toast and butter and jam for breakfast and plantain chips for lunch and then something most likely served with rice and fried plantains for dinner.