My Stage is the World

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive

But why is the rum gone?

on August 29, 2014

After jolting awake at 8.30am (a spider crawled across my head) it seemed like a good idea to get up – after all everyone else had been up for a while (crazy kids).

In the daylight, we realised how much land was attached to the house and how big the Atlantic Ocean was (well, as in how far we could see out to sea).

As this was a ‘rest day’ we figured we should rest. David, our house manager, introduced us to our chef Grace and she went off to the market to get us some food. Sitting outside with a cup of tea, two women on the beach tried to get us attention, but we ignored them thinking they were selling scarves or something.

Of course, then David invited them up and it turned out that they were selling lobster… So of course we were more interested! Five fresh (read still alive) lobster for 25 cedis – about £2 – seemed a pretty good deal to us! Grace had returned and was already cooking, so we decided to wait have the lobster for dinner.

Starving, we decided to head to the beach for a bit of a paddle. Miss P almost lost her flip-flops and a little boy entertained us with two crabs he had caught. Grace was still cooking, but soon our breakfast(?) was ready and it was worth the wait!
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Chargrilled fish with rice and a spicy tomato sauce that was just delicious (a special onion-free one for me). The combination of hunger and the genuinely tasty flavours made it one of the best meals we'd all had for a long time!

An unexpected journey

Once we’d eaten it was decided that myself, Frenchie and Miss P would venture to the supermarket with Ayee. He hailed a taxi (the other man in the taxi jumped out) and off we went listening to reggae, slightly concerned about the lack of seatbelts! The taxi man even agreed to wait for us at the supermarket and then take us back.

Disappointingly the supermarket was like any other, although certain things were surprisingly expensive. A litre bottle of Captain Morgan’s was 44.99 (about £7), but a bottle of wine cost a lot more. We only bought alcohol, snacks and juice but we suddenly realised we only had 180 cedis with us, which also had to pay for the taxi.

Reluctantly I put back the bottle of fizzy blue champagne so we could afford the shopping. We asked Ayee how much the taxi would be and were told 400 cedis. Panicking slightly (that’s about £70), he explained he meant 40 – phew! We were still 10 cedi short though but Ayee covered us.

Halfway home we stopped at a market and were left alone in the taxi, although Ayee assured us he’d be back. He and the taxi driver did return but Ayee then decided to stay to get us some Wi-Fi credit (yay).

Off we went, listening to another classic reggae tune ‘Will you be my girlyo?’ but apparently Ayee hadn’t told the driver where we lived so he drove straight past. Politely we didn’t say anything, although we did wonder if we were being taken for a ride.

He then asked us to point it out so we had to explain that we’d actually passed it. Thinking that we’d pointed right he turned into a small road where we were stopped by three men blocking our way with a rope.

They demanded that we pay them money before we could go any further. Ironically we actually didn’t have any money (just 3 cedi), but we tried to explain that we didn’t want to go down this road anyway!

Eventually everyone realised what we meant and the men apologised, “We were just doing our job” and we reversed back onto the main road, slightly shaken and made it home safely… Although the taxi man did ask that one of us give him a kiss! And then he asked for Miss P’s digits (again, ironically, her phone isn’t working).

A walk to remember

Towels in hand, we got ready for a quick yoga session (seriously). Most of my students were very willing and did try… Others (Miss W) were less ‘flexible’ especially when it came to the plank and the crab… In fact she just laid on the floor! Enya started us off with Watermark and we ended with Michael Jackson’s Earthsong – true classics.
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It was good to stretch our muscles that we decided to go for a beach stroll. Heading left we came across what was clearly a pirate ship, full of small boys who shouted to us “Don’t swim!”
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Switching directions, a man painting his boat asked for a sip of my water. I automatically handed it over before realising that I now didn’t have any water! Telling him to keep the bottle, we headed on, being hissed at (apparently a reaction to strangers), shouted at and waved at. Several people told us to watch our bags.

After passing through a party beach full of football, swimming and general merriment, we came across a music video being filmed. They started filming us and taking photos and before we knew it, we were helping her to bless The Lord in bad times – yes I sang along and danced. Watch out for it and I’ll sign the CD cover for you.

Back we headed for a dinner of lobster, plantain and THE sauce. After that, it was time for Cadbury’s fingers and wine… Note to self: do not buy the cheap wine that costs 12.99 (£2) as it was vile! Frenchie drank it all, but the rest of us moved quickly on to rum and ginger beer with more chocolate.

Dancing, laughing and drinking – it was a very British end to our first full African day.

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