Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Run up on me at the light, you could lose your life

That is one of my favorite Jigga lines. It comes from Excuse Me Miss Again (remix). And I was reminded of it last night . . . .

I got lost yesterday. Totally and completely lost. And if you’ve been reading my posts you will know that the vast majority of roads in Ghana don’t have street signs, so whenever I attempted to ask for directions I would hear something like “Go straight, straight, straight, and when you come to a big restaurant go right.” That sounds fine but I think I was so freaked out because I was so completely lost, and it was dark that I wasn’t even paying attention to the landmarks given. It was awful. After I had gone straight for about 2 miles without seeing a restaurant I decided to pull over and ask yet another pedestrian for directions. I saw a young man walking wearing headphones so I lightly tapped my horn to get his attention. I rolled down my window and asked, “Excuse me, how do I get to Tema Beach Road?” He said “Oh, it’s this way” and started to open my car door.

YES, that’s right. Homeboy tried to open my car door. WTF! I said, "NO! THERE IS NO NEED TO ENTER" and peeled off so fast I may have driven over a few of his toes. My heart was racing! I was thinking “Oh my God, dude is about to murder me and throw me into the bushes!” Actually, I know that Ghanaians are super friendly and considerate about giving directions. We all know how difficult it is to get around here given that many places are not well lit and there isn’t a proper address system, HOWEVER, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, try to enter my car to give me directions. Things like that will get you shot in NYC. Hell, I don’t carry a weapon but thought, “Do I need to reverse and hit him so he doesn’t take me out first?” (just joking!) Poor boy, it is very likely he was just trying to offer assistance but I wasn’t taking any chances. Believe that the next person I asked for directions was a woman. And I made sure she was a small woman at that.


  1. That would be scary! I'm sure you're right and he was well intentioned, and maybe just needed a lift :) Still, a woman alone needs to be super cautious.

  2. I have tears coming out of my eyes right now! He made a very bold move

  3. Who knows what his attentions were. However, I will say that I have experienced the same (with a man driving) in Ghana (several times) and in South Africa (once) where the pedestrian asked for directions would want to sit in the car (free a car they might never get to sit in otherwise perhaps) to show the way. The men (local) almost always allow the pedestrian in WITHOUT hesitation. I think you and I are too full of NYC crime stories to ever take the chance.