Traveling to the Beach

Monday morning, I wake up with my mind set on going to the beach. I love to travel alone and this will potentially be my last time to visit the Ghanaian beaches before I go back to the US. I tell Jennifer and Charles my plan and they tell me to wait so they can prepare kenkay and fish to keep me full all the way until I reach my destination. I scarf down the delicious food and then Charles drives me to the roadside to catch a car. Oh an car here in Ghana refers to anything from private cars, to taxis and tro tros. And in most cases unless I specify, I’m taking a tro tro. I easily catch a ride to the big bus station in Accra, called Circle. From there, I get on a bus headed for Karnesian market. The bus I get on is nothing like I’ve experienced in Ghana before. It’s sort of like a school bus, but then also too open and spread out. There’s a big aisle in the middle and no seat for the mate. I half expect the fair to be expensive, but I hand the mate one Cedi and get some change back. I tell the woman next to me that I don’t know where I’m going and she says she will show me the way. She tells me it’s time to get off and to follow her. She walks me all the way to the car and even makes sure with the driver that I’ll be getting to Takoradi. She takes me to the Ford buses, which Jennifer told me to be aware of my risk before I take them. They are like big luxurious tro tros with air conditioning. Apparently it’s common for the drivers to put up the windows, pump the air conditioning, and go way too fast, without anyone really noticing. She told me they used to be a lot worse about 5 years ago, but I should still be careful. Since I think it’s probably equally dangerous to travel at night, I take the Ford bus in this instance to make sure I get to the beach before nighttime.  

 The ride goes smoothly and a few hours later I get down in the middle of Takoradi. I recognize where I am from when I cam here with Spencer back in the Fall of last year. I head to the tro tro station to catch another car to a town called Agona. When I get to the car I realize that it’s completely empty and I have to wait for it to fill up before it will leave. No one is coming to join the car and it’s the hot part of the day, so naturally I’m pouring sweat. Finally, some people start to trickle on. An old woman comes and sits in front of me next to a young man who got on soon after I did. After that, two young women board the tro tro. One of them sits next to me and the other goes to the row behind us. The one next to me nudges me and then greets me. I greet her and then she starts talking to her friend in Twi. I can hear them talking about me, but instead of chiming in, I just sit there and laugh to my self. Then the one next to me realizes I can understand what they’re saying so they both ask if I can speak Twi. From there, we go through the normal script of questions and I do them so often that I can fly through them with ease and dare I say maybe even sound like a Ghanaian. That’s when I notice the traders that walk around the station selling from car to car have stopped and lined up outside the Tro Tro to watch me speak Twi. After a few minutes the questions start to slow down and the people remember they’re there to do work and leave the Tro Tro. The young woman in the back switches with the one next to me and then starts up a whole new line of questioning. She takes my phone and puts her number in it and flashes her phone to make sure she has mine. I don’t really mind that she took my number as many people I meet do the same. Now she’s asking me if I have a girlfriend or a wife and then proceeds to convince me to marry her. Good thing I’ve also come across this many times in Kumasi, so I’m ready with a whole arsenal of excuses. I find out that after Agona the two young women are also going to get a car to go to the beach. The Tro Tro finally fills and we leave the station for Agona.

 The ride to Agona goes quietly and I get to enjoy the scenery of the coastal area. The bushes are just as thick as in Kumasi, but here it seems like there are many more coconut and palm nut trees. Before we get to Agona, the woman next to me starts negotiating to marry me again. I always take these propositions as a joke and more of a shot in the dark to getting abroad than actually wanting marriage. However, she takes it to a whole other extreme when she starts talking about what our children will look like. I just laugh it off knowing once we get to Agona they will take a Tro Tro to Busua and I will take one to the other beach called Butre.

 About 40 minutes later we arrive in Angola only to find that the Tro Tro isn’t running to Butre beach because of the holiday. I could either take a dropping taxi, which means they just take me and it’s much more expensive, or I could switch my plans around and take a shared taxi to Busua. I decide to take the taxi to Busua with the other two women I met on the Tro Tro ride. The car fills quickly and we’re on our way to the Busua in no time. The younger one, who sat next to me told me her name is Menaaba and the other woman is her sister. Now her sister has joined in the argument of marriage for her younger sister. Now they won’t take my response of my money is small, my age is small, and my Twi is small. We talk the whole time and soon bet to Busua beach. They ask if I’m going to the party and I tell them no I’m going to eat before I go. They both want to escort me to get something to eat. We get Fufu and they help me order and get the best parts of the meat and plenty of the soup. I’m appreciative of their help, so I tell them to join and finish the meat. Menaaba is attractive, but from the start I could tell she was far from my type. During our eating she just proved it even further. She eats the meat like an animal and she’s wearing a dress, yet has her legs wide open the whole time.

 After we’re done eating we walk over to the party at one of the hotels. I walk them up to the edge and tell them I’m going to go to find a hotel and get some rest for my adventures tomorrow. They try one last time with the courtship, but this time just settle on being my girlfriend. I firmly tell them no, it’s not going to happen and to have a good time at the dance party. Right about now I’m really regretting letting them take my number.

 I escape the somewhat helpful, but very pushy women and get a room at the Alaskan hotel. I’ve stayed here with my mom and it will be the best combination of safety and cheap. I ask for a room and get pinballed around as they obviously can’t find their manager. He then comes over, doesn’t introduce himself to me, and leaves before I find out it’s him. Then they send a 10 year old to take me to my room and get me set up. It doesn’t seem like the manager is giving me any kind of respect at all. We get to the room and the inside door doesn’t even close all the way. I tell her I don’t want to spend the night in a room if the door doesn’t close and quickly realize my efforts are futile. I go to sign and pay with the woman at the bar and she tells me there’s no way to get a price reduction and anyway she can’t find her manager to have a discussion. I don’t think I’ll get very far if I try to argue that if I don’t stay here they will lose money to a young woman who gets paid minimum wage no matter the amount of guests. I’m tired and at the end of a long travel day, so I just accept the situation and get to sleep immediately so I can get out of this place and on to Hideout, which I know has much better customer service.

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