Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ghana Day 14, 8/16/14

I have severely underestimated the prevalence of alcohol and how deep the love for it runs. Every night except the first night they were here, the medical brigaders from Loyola have cleaned out the alcohol fridge, and last night, when they made a drinking game out of entering data informatics about their brigade patients. Each time they came across a patient with malaria or other diseases, they would cheer and drink. It was tacky and while I understand that it’s not fun to enter data into a computer, it’s also very disrespectful to make a game out of it.

Today was another free day, so we spent the morning in the market in the nearby city/town. We’d stopped at the entrance of the market many times before, but I didn’t realize just how expansive the area was until we walked through it.

Overall, their market seemed a lot like the night market in Taiwan combined with a farmer’s market and the urgency and crowdedness of a Chinese market. As we walked through it, we could see all different stores along the sides, selling things from fabrics to jewelry to fresh produce and fish. There were so many different things that you could buy, it was almost overwhelming. And the thing is, the streets were very narrow, so we would have to walk single file to effectively move from one area to the next, and letting other people pass by when we wanted to stop and look at a stall was a little uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I bought some really pretty fabric with sparrows on it and some jewelry, so I was really happy with my purchases. Honestly, I had forgotten how fun it is to spend money.

A couple observations to note:

  • ·         Once again, there were a good number of people that called Ed and me, “China.” I’m still curious as to the existing knowledge about Asia and why they assume that everyone is Chinese. One seller even went as far as to say 你好(hi in Chinese), which surprised me a lot! But I smiled and said it back.
  • ·         They sell both fried (cooked in oil) and fresh fish, but since most people only have the means to cook their fish in oil, I wonder why they have both.
  • ·         The shopkeepers will flirt with you shamelessly or shove stuff in your face to get you to buy from them.
  • ·         The clothes that they sell look they were taken from Goodwill.
  • ·         They have flies everywhere on their food and no one actively tries to keep them away, so I hope they have great cleaning procedures (but I doubt it).
  • ·         The same designs on cloth are sold in almost all fabric stalls

After we’d bought what we wanted, we came back to the lodge to eat before heading out again to a pool. It was part of a resort that looked extremely classy and beautiful and I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

We were able to walk along the beach a little bit and explore:

When we came back to the lodge, we were able to try fufu, a traditional Ghanaian dish that is a lot like mochi, but not sweet. The mochi-consistency food can be put into any kind of stew for flavoring, and by itself doesn't have much flavor but could be quite good. When I tried it, however, it was in fish stew with a ridiculously strong taste of fish (my Mom cooks it with ginger to lessen that taste, always), and I couldn't eat more than the small bite I'd taken. I wouldn't be opposed to trying it in a different context, but it was not very good with the fish.

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