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DRIVING IN GHANA - DO TO OR NOT TO DO?

Author:
Kumatupra
Date:
2008-03-17 00:45:34


Back in the old days, "in the time before, before", as my old paddy man Cole Younger would say it was the dream of many of our people to be able to drive around in a "myself" -- one's on personal automobile.

Many people here on SIL daily worry about armed robberies and such in Ghana but as prevalent as that may be(not so common in Sek-Tadi) the aspect of Ghana today that gives me the most worry is the pell-mell vehicular traffic. There is now almost a dare-devil aspect to it -- a veritable game of chicken and in some instances a game of Russian Roulette -- with all the implicit danger.

Long gone are the days when every round-about was manned by a traffic police officer resplendent in his black and white and dutifully ensuring the efficient flow of traffic. In the last few years, especially last year, I was just blown away by the ever-increasing number of taxis plying the streets, honking their horns like so many wild geese. I couldn't walk down the street without braving the constant honking of cabbies looking for a fare -- try as I might I suppose certain aspects of my habitments must be dead give-aways of my 'abrokyirness". I'd ignore them and continue on my way. I must have looked an interesting sight -- someone who very much looked like he could afford a cab but was happily walking along in the rain soaked from head to toe. If only they knew. Nobody and nothing ever gets me out of the warm African rain. It has and still remains a treat to be caress by the cool rain drops that turns into vapor as they hit the hot-axx Ghanaian pavement. Somehow the rain in Africa feels very different to me.

I understand the fact that these young brothers are "hustling" to make a livelihood but their heedless driving style makes me quite nervous and uncomfortable. My friends back home who drive themselves and have seemingly mastered the dangerous art tell me not to worry too much but after seeing the way people act like the Accra-Cape Coast-Takoradi Highway is a NASCAR race track, I am not so sure.

I am contemplating sending a car home for my personal use so as to ensure that I don't tie up the paddies whenever I need to go somehere out of town during my time at home. For those SILians who drive at home, what say you ?. Do you have the same trepidations?. Is the sense of independence that comes with driving oneself at home worth braving the dangerous driving patterns back home?

With regards and much respect,

Kumatupra
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