Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dusting off the new house with stories of its own

So after a story like this last one, I had to move it fast, chale! It's happened, as of Easter this year. For the first time in my life, I have an address I own (if even for two years). My home will always be Kumasi, there's just something about it that Accra doesn't quite have for me, but my house is now officially in Accra. See me in chambers (like Ghanaians say, I have no idea where the phrase came from) to know where the address is. Since this is a monumental thing (moving into my own home), there had to be some story and drama behind it. I finally have three distinct ones to share so here's the blog entry.

Because I am care-free, I am sometimes careless. "I don't care" just started playing in my head. Before I could actually spend a night in the house, I actually managed to lose the key (at the airport no less). But because I am such a lucky person, I found it after a day. I had gone to buy a ticket for a local flight to Kumasi to spend the Easter weekend with my family (as in parents & siblings, not the one yet to come). I had just collected the key for the house shortly earlier that day and because of my excitement or naivety, I kept the key on one of my fingers (not the middle one) and was spinning it around endlessly. So after buying that (name of airline withheld- no advertisement for them) flight ticket and ending up at my work desk, I realized the key was not in my pocket. I don't even remember why I was looking for it then. The key was not on my desk, in the restroom, in my bag, or in the car. But I never freak out so I kept on acting like nothing serious had happened.

It struck me that I might have left it at the airport, courtesy a stone thrown by my buddy Ali. I googled to find contact info and started calling the airline (at the Kotoka airport) but they had closed from work just like me. I went home to my aunt's and spent zero time hatching a plan to find the key. And then the next morning, bullish old me went to where I was storing my shipped "life earnings goodies", picked them up and proceeded to go drop them in my new home which has a lost key. Because I would pass by the airport, take the bull by the horns and find it. If for some one reason, I didn't, I will bulldoze through the house's front door and life will go on. Or the whole wall as seen below :-)

I arrived at Kotoka, walked straight to the counter for the undisclosed airline and asked if they have a "lost-and-found key. 2 of the 3 ladies at the counter the previous day were there, when they said they had no idea, I asked them to call the 3rd one. I proceeded to ask some of the workers who looked like they are generally helpful with luggage and upkeep of the area if they knew about the key. They didn't, and directed me to the lost-and-found folks. Nothing had been logged recently that screamed "bunch of keys". It was then that I asked them to make an announcement and decided to ask everyone who works in that area about the key. I asked those at the baggage check-in, and asked them to call their colleagues who were working the previous day too. That helped. Someone had seen the keys the day before but they weren't sure who they were given to. Upon recommendation, they asked me to ask the counter people. The keys were with a competing airline's counter people. That airline is Antrak Air! Yeah, they deserve some publicity ;-)

Because I love food so much, the first purchases for my partly furnished home had to be the food-related ones. After doing plenty window and store shopping, I settled on some random store near MENLEO entreprises near the Makola area. Never mind that at least 2.33 days passed before either was used. I transported the items using a taxi (yeah, imagine). While we were on our way, this taxi managed to 'short' fuel on the Kanda Highway. I've been back in Ghana since August 17, 2011 and I never was in a taxi that couldn't move because of fuel. If it did, I'll count my losses, have the driver sort me out and I'll go get another taxi. The one time it happened, I had a fridge, cooker, microwave, gas cylinder and other things I'd bought in the taxi. I could go nowhere. I had to wait for the driver to walk, go buy petrol, come work some magic and then I could move. The waiting took more than 23.3 minutes. I had him drop me and my goods at my aunt's after which I used another means of transport to get my boughtments home. And then populated my kitchen like this :-)

Because 3 is my favorite number, here's a 3rd story. I have a separate meter from my landlord's (yes, they live in my compound). You should always have a separate meter, or else you will pay some electricity bills you can't fathom. I was thought to use the pre-paid electrometer but I didn't follow the thing by the book. So, on a fateful Africa Day in May, my electricity run out and buying more "credit" wasn't solving the problem. What made it worse was I was going to travel to Kumasi that day to spend another long weekend with my fam. I went to the ECG (yea, those guys) office in Legon, visualized the problem for them and was handed a solution. It didn't work. I called them to come over which took another while. When they did come, the problem befuddled them as their concoctions didn't work even after the first guy called for support. They left to go get some "mastercard" and then their juju worked. This was great, except it was past 4pm then. So I stayed at home (with light, thank God) and left at dawn for Kumasi. Leaving my place like this below ;-)

There shall be more stories like this. Just because. I will share some. Just because. Just because I'll be in this house and this experience is new. Not all stories can be shared and don't come spy around looking for some. I have security :-)

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