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Shopping Ghana style

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The 'profession' of street hawking is alive and well in Ghana.

Today, I 'snuck' out of the office to run some quick errands during business hours, and found myself in a quagmire of traffic, taxi drivers shouting, the sun beating down relentlessly, in a snake of cars longer than a few CN cargo trains chained together. Completely stagnant and unmoving.

1. Shoes for boys and men

2. Magazines - Ebony, Time, Elle Decor

3. Brightly coloured soccer balls - with a head bouncing display by the seller

4. Shears for shaving your head (I must be having a really bad hair day to be offered these!)

5. Kitchen knife sets including the extra large cleaver for those bone cutting jobs

6. small coffee tables - inscribed with the Ghanaian symbol Gye Nyame 'Except God', and polished with red and black shiny shoe polish

7. Soy milk, in a bowl of water (for chilling?)

8. Homemade peanut candy, cut in triangles and arranged in a bowl on the seller's head

9. Chinese branded pineapple crackers... hmmm

10. Bathroom scales

11. Men's leather belts

12. Lanterns

13. Socks

14. Cufflinks

15. Television remotes

16. Suit ties in fancy silk lined boxes

17. plantain chips

18. bread

19. water in clear plastic sachets (sold for biting the corners, sucking the contents and throwing the non-biodegradable shriveled remains on the side of the road - very popular)

20. Chinese New Year decorations for hanging on rearview mirrors (I have a feeling I'll be seeing lots of these in taxis soon)

21. wooden walking canes

22. Pleather steering wheel covers

23. Rat poison and cockroach chalk (same seller)

24. Chinese Eth-a-Sketch boards

25. A textbook called 'Americans in Literature'

26. Yams

27. Bottles of coke

28. Chilled tins of Milo (malted chocolate drink) in cooler box

29. Bathing sponges in rainbow colours

30. Wind-up toy spaceships

31. brass bracelets

32. Ghana maps

33. Nail clippers

34. Mirrors with ‘I Love You’ inscribed on the bottom corner

35. keychains with expensive car logos

36. mobile phone prepaid units scratch cards

37. Sunglasses

38. Pleather passport holders

39. bath towels

40. The Real Life of Barack Obama – somehow I knew it was a matter of days before these books would be at every traffic light

41. toilet paper in 2 roll packs and 10 roll packs

42. ice cream

43. toothpicks

44. laptop briefcase style bags

45. hankerchiefs

46. lawn chairs (I’m not kidding)

47. The History of Rwanda (I wonder where the guy found this book?)

48. oranges

49. earbuds

50. shoe shine kit

51. green apples

52. Red grapes

53. Chinese fans – for all this heat!

45 minutes later I emerged on the other side of the traffic light, waved through with 4 or 5 other cars by the military men in full gear and white gloves. I was finally headed to my destination, knowing that shopping malls are the silly construction of foreigners and take so long to get to, one could just buy everything along the way and turn back upon arrival.

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Holli New member
Member since 31 May 2008
Accra, Ghana
4 Comments
lucarcand
lucarcand
4 years ago

Been to Ghana twice in the last year and going again next weekend for a couple week. Your description is so accurate, you just forgot the sim card and cell phone credit vendors lol Thanks, I had a good laugh!!!

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jayne24
jayne24
5 years ago

i luv your patience to write all these. thank you! :)

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latavkant
latavkant
5 years ago

I am from India and it sounds so much like India...

Reply
Ifetayo
Ifetayo
6 years ago

This is so so true. It made me laugh

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