Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Best Laid Plans (Part 7)

Alicia and I were recently in Times Square to change money. She for Canada and me for Ghana. Two things occurred on our little jaunt that were surprising. The first shocker was that, apparently, you are not allowed to get Ghanaian money outside of Ghana (surprise!). Doing this is, from what we were told, in fact, illegal. I have not even stepped foot into the country yet, and already I seem to be unwittingly attempting to break laws. The second eye-opener was that our teller – yes – the dude behind the counter – was actually from Ghana! I knew something was up when I asked if they changed US Dollars to Ghanaian Cedi’s and he looked at me like I had an arm growing out of my forehead. He politely asked why I wanted to do that and I looked at him with no small amount of bewilderment on my face and said, “Because I’m going to Ghana.” With that, a big smile crossed his face and he announced that he grew up there. After that, I had not a care in the world about not being able to fly to Ghana with a few Cedi’s already in my pocket because I had something better – an actual Ghanaian to talk to! He was wonderfully friendly and informative. He soothed my worries about Customs and we talked about food (fried fish, corn dishes), the weather (very hot, but lots of breezes) and he advised that Joe and I be on the doorstep of the Ministry’s Office when they open to get our press pass. He also recommended that we check out the Art Center in Accra but said to do my shopping on the roadside from the locals. I must say, if he is any indication, Ghana is going to be a very friendly place.

On a different note, I should also mention that I did my press pass dance today because (drum roll please), the documents arrived!! I even made Joe get up and dance a little. He attempted the poor man’s Macarena, but I’m sure he was dancing full out on the inside.

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