Taxi Drivers!

24 11 2009

Each time I am saying to myself that there is nothing more that could surprise me in Ghana something happens. On Sunday I was going to William’s place for Thanksgiving. I took a tro tro and I stopped in Shoprite to buy some things. Because I didn’t remembered how to get to William I decided to take a taxi. Taxis in Ghana are/look really old and once you are in one, you have the feeling that it will fell apart. The doors are broken; the chairs are in a bad condition and so on. In other countries in this world you wouldn’t be allowed to drive those cars because of public safety!

I got in the car and in that moment my big surprise came. The taxi driver started the engine and music filled the car… Classical music! I asked him what he is listening and he said Mozart. He had a tape with Mozart and some other tapes with other composers!

In 5 months here I have been in lots of taxis and tro tros. I listen to religious ceremonies, really bad music, really stupid radio shows and so on. I have never imagined that I will listen Mozart on the Spintex Road, in a taxi. My shock was huge… And then the driver told me to wait in the car until William comes to pick me up from Oando Filling Station because there is too much dust outside! Wasn’t that nice? So for 5 cedi I received a taxi ride in a really nice atmosphere 🙂

When I got to William’s place and told him about it he told me his own taxi driver story. About 2 months ago he forgot his favourite pair of shoes in a taxi. On Saturday the taxi driver came back with his shoes. He would have come earlier but he was out of Accra for 2 months, visiting his family in another region of Ghana… Why is this so incredible? Because if you lose something in Ghana, you never get it back!

These 2 stories restored my faith in Ghanaian taxi drivers. 60 % of the time I was annoyed with them. I walked to Circle many times because I got angry with taxi drivers asking the triple of the normal price to take me somewhere. My favourite sentence: “Thank you very much but I would rather walk than pay you that much!”

My time in Ghana gets shorter and shorter but I feel ready to leave. I want to go home. I miss my home. I will not be the intern that is sad in the airport because he/she is leaving!

Me very sad and asking myself why life is so unfair sometimes… One minute you are young and owning the world, the next you are gone!

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4 responses

24 11 2009
Dora

Alexa, i love reading your stories, somehow i wish your internship won’t end to keep reading them 🙂

I’m glad you are having an overall good experience.

Miss u girl, hope to see you again somewhere sometime somehow 🙂

Dora

24 11 2009
alexandrabirladianu

Thanks a lot Dora 🙂 I am very happy you like them 🙂 I am planning to visit Amsterdam in February 🙂 Maybe we can meet then if you are still there 🙂 Hugs :*

24 11 2009
daniel

taxis are always fun and annoying. same for cairo, they have those ladas, peugeot 306 or fiat 318 which are almost breaking apart and since 1-2 years ago they have this new thing through which you can call a taxi and it comes to pick u up and it has a meter as well 🙂

i don’t ask them how much i have to pay, i just give them how much i think is write, by now i learned distances and i know if they are taking me on a tour.

an lastly i also had musical surprises here with Gheorghe Zamfir, i heard it thrice, once in a very nice fish restaurant, second as ringtone on someones mobile and third as a relaxing music during a pharaoh massage 🙂

24 11 2009
alexandrabirladianu

🙂 This is so nice to hear 🙂 I mean about the music 🙂 About the taxis, in Ghana is better to negotiate before you get in the taxi. Sometimes the driver doesn’t even know how to get to the place you need to go and you have to explain to him 🙂 The funnies thing that I heard was a story about a guy that moved to Accra from another region and the next day he was a taxi driver, without knowing the city at all 😛 You can never rely on them knowing the way to your destination. Not all the streets have names and it’s so weird. People don’t have addresses, they rent PO Boxes in order to get their mail.

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