Monthly Archives: September 2009


the bag of rotten nectarines

the bag of rotten nectarines

I don’t get it. I really don’t. I have played back the incident in my head over and over again but I still don’t get it. Maybe the concept is too astute for my simple mind to understand. Someone please enlighten me. How many people in modern day Ghana spend over 30 minutes in traffic, waste fuel, time and energy just to tell a lie? Hold on, I’m getting to the point.

Yesterday some lady at Accra Mall’s Shoprite pissed me off big time!!! I’m still fuming through my ears. Let me start from the top. On Monday afternoon, I decided to buy some fresh fruits from the mall. I tried Koala but didn’t get enough variety as I wanted. So the next obvious grocery shop for me was Shoprite. It was a little after 4pm Monday afternoon, when I drove into the parking lot of the Accra Mall. At exactly 16.22.35hrs I had checked out the following (see pic below):

for easy clarification, i've circled the needed sections

my authentic shoprite receipt highlighted for easy clarification

I got home and did the usual, took out the fruits from the plastic bags and put them somewhere airy, like the kitchen counter or any other prescribed cool and dry place. Now by Wednesday morning (barely 30 hours after purchase), the nectarines had gone completely bad! I mean totally and absolutely rotten. I was disgusted. Just when I was about to dump it in the garbage, my mum asked that I go to Shoprite and show it to them. Knowing the negative standards of customer care in Ghana I was hesitant. But there was no harm in trying…or so I thought.

So I get to Shoprite with the bag of bad fruit in it and I ask at the entrance whom to see when a complaint had to be lodged. They directed me to the “1st window on the right”. I got there with my brother [he had suffered a similar attack earlier in the afternoon at Celsbridge. That’s the subject for my next upload]. Nobody was there, then I see a lady coming in from the sweets section with a scared/worried look on her face. I tell her my mission, she takes the bag from my hand and takes it into another room.

Moments later a bigger, bearded, glum looking lady wearing some uniform walks up to me, puts the bag of bad nectarines on the checkout counter and proceeds to interrogate me. She first asks “Where is this from?” referring to the white grape holder I got from Koala. I tell her its from another grocery shop. She asks me why it is included in the ‘package’. I tell her it is because I wanted to prevent the rotten fruit from soaking the seat of my car. She then tells me that she finds my story very hard to believe because first of all the bag with the rotten fruit is from another shop and second, the grape container doesn’t bear the barcode of Shoprite. I ask her, “Madam, are you listening to me? I am not here to complain about barcodes or the grapes. I am here to tell you that your fruits are rotten!” I’m sure at that time she expected me to whip out the plastic bag I got when I bought them from under my sleeve and slap it in her face with it. No lady, it is usually the first thing you throw out. If you’ve ever bought stuff from the shop, you would know.

Rotten Nectarine I

Rotten Nectarine I

Rotten Nectarine II

Rotten Nectarine II

By this time my temperature was peaking. If I had any heart condition, now would have been the ripe time for it to show itself. I tried a little harder to make her understand where I stood in all of this and how very little I stood to gain. I showed her the receipt and the time I bought the product. Then she asks me where the other items on the list are. Heck woman! Are you comprehending any of this? Why do you want to know where the mixed dried fruit and the peach juices are? How does this help you address the fact that the fruits I have got rotten before ripening? Wait, there’s more. The next thing she asks is whether I refrigerated the fruits when I bought them. Now obviously this was creating a scene ‘cos I couldn’t keep my voice down any longer and neither could she. This went on for over 20 minutes. I heaved a sigh of disbelief and asked her if she thought I had nothing meaningful to do with my life other than to simply waste my time, steal a Shoprite receipt from someone, buy bad fruit from someplace else, jumble them up with Koala labels and walk chest out into Shoprite and ask for money or some form of refund? ¢10.50 may be a lot, but not enough for the stress involved in this level of scheming.

Rotten Nectarine III

Rotten Nectarine III

Rotten Nectarine III

Rotten Nectarine IV

During this altercation, one of her colleagues came trying to explain to me that the temperature that the fruits are kept in is different from that in my house, and without the same [weather] conditions, the fruits were bound to go bad. He, a little bit more reasonable than the bearded lady, asked what I wanted. I’m like dude, I don’t want your money, I don’t want anything from you, all I wanted to do here is to lodge a complaint. That’s all. You can eat all the rubbish fruit in this shop for all I care!!! You can very well shove it! (I didn’t tell them that though, I had to contain myself). Man, was I angry!

Next time I’ll stick to buying banana and oranges from the side of the street.


Posted by on September 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

I don’t cook. For the same reasons why I don’t wear a lab coat with a stethoscope around my neck and write out prescriptions for sick people. Why? Cooking is a profession! A full time chore! One that cannot be mixed, confused or combined with any other.

Last weekend, I whipped out my dusty apron and hit the kitchen. Operation Jollof the Rice. Now before I stepped out into the kitchen it took me all of 30minutes to outline the steps. It didn’t make it any easier that the stew had already been prepared. The last time I cooked was over a year ago.

jollof rice

I know a couple of you might be tossing your noses in the year out of disgust. But I couldn’t care more even if a cheetah were rushing in my direction. I spend close to 10hours a day at work. Another 2.5 hours in traffic in and out of home. That makes 12.5hrs. add another hour for showering and dressing up. we are up to 13.5hours. ironing takes about 30mins take or leave (I like linen fabric and those can be hellish to iron). That’s 14 hours already. Let’s add another 3 hours for recreation and time with God and the family. That makes 17 hours. Take that out of 24 and we are left with 7hours. That’s bedtime for my very sore body. Now tell me, out of these hours spelt out, which of these can I replace with cooking? The answer is simply, none of the above. Perhaps over the weekend, you say. In between family engagements, funerals and church activities. Where will be the time for rest? Trust me, I’ll never be like those women in the Gino/Royco/A1 etc ads who cook a banquet for dinner and still look good afterwards. It’s a lie!

Chef angry mad cook south park

My argument is very simple. Just as we go to the doctor for treatment when we are unwell, let’s go to the cook and not the cooker, when we’re hungry. Let’s stop being primitive minded, (yes I said primitive minded) and let’s give cooking a professional stand. What’s the point in pretending you can cook when you can simply pay someone to do it for you for a stipend. It saves you the time, effort, burnt finger, cut finger and it most of all, it creates employment opportunities! Cooking should by no means be belittled or trivialized. Suffice to say, when I grow up and get married, the most important bride price/dowry needed from the husbands family will be a chef. Plain and simple. I don’t need all those bails of cloth and boxes of jewellery. That is another matter for another blog post.

If we enjoy going to the restaurant ever so often, what stops us from bringing the restaurant home – in the shape of a Chef?

And for those who were thinking my jollof didn’t turn out well, think again! I’ve had that jollof three times already after I cooked it and it tastes better and better each time. Almost everyone in my family had some. I think I even kept the “kanzo” for the weekend. And no one’s invited!


Posted by on September 23, 2009 in Uncategorized



It turns out that I’ve been hoodwinked by Kojo Russia. I never thought it could happen, that me, Obaa Yaa like myself could and would ever be taken in the the seeming innocence of a basket weaver, the one called Kojo Russia. After all my degrees of knowledge and PhD’d experience in life, how is that possible?!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, members of the jury, I present to the court exhibit A. displayed as a picture below.

This is a frontal view of the ¢12 (twelve cedi) paper bin

This is a frontal view of the ¢12 (twelve cedi) paper bin

This ladies and gentlemen is what the defendant here Kojo Russia, sold to me for a ridiculous amount of money.

Member of the jury, if I may, allow me to draw your attention to the figure you see behind the basket of the picture below. You will notice the defendant Kojo Russia shying away from the lenses of my 3.2 mega pixel camera; obviously ashamed of the act he has just committed.

Waste paper bin on left and the defendant, Kojo Russia

Waste paper bin on left and the defendant, Kojo Russia

On that fateful day, your honour, as I set out to collect the basket which I had pre-ordered from the factory, I was called into an urgent meeting at my office. I therefore asked that our office messenger ride his bicycle and go and collect this specimen you see before you today. Upon my return, I noticed two different items; 1) the cheap basket you see pictured above and 2) a heart shaped basket which I gave to my sister (not pictured above).

This was not what I had ordered for! So immediately after my meeting, I called his tiGO number and enquired of him why this was the case? He replied with an “Ooooh!!! i.e. he’d forgotten.

You honour, despite my fatigue, I drove to his factory and placed the basket in his hand and requested that he re-do it to my specification. He obliged and asked me to pick it up the next day.

That your honour, brings me to Exhibit B, pictured below.

The bigger, stronger, better looking, less expensive waste paper bin

The bigger, stronger, better looking, less expensive waste paper bin

While heading for home, I happened to pass by another basket weaving center. There, I chanced upon this fine specimen you see above. I parked my car on the shoulder of the road and a gentleman came to my aid, by name Aban (pronounced “ah-bine”). I motioned to the waste paper bin standing by the side of the road and he told me that it was only ¢5 (five cedis). Ladies and gentlemen, at that very moment, my jaw dropped in shock. First of all, it was bigger, stronger and better looking than what K. Russia had promised and second, it was cheaper!!! Immediately, I wanted to buy it. But he told me that that too was an order, but if I wanted one, he could finish one for me within a day! Obviously faster delivery than Mr. Russia had promised me. This is what you see below here nesting below on my bed.

my cherished and much cheaper waste bin

my cherished and much cheaper waste bin

Evidently Kojo Russia had managed to pull the wool right over my bespectacled eyes!!!

This, my jury is where you ooos and aaah, shake your heads in disbelief and give each other knowing looks.

Ladies and gentlemen, members of the jury, your honour, I rest my case.

Defense attorney, your witness.


Posted by on September 17, 2009 in Uncategorized


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How much would you pay for a waste paper bin? I’ll give you a price range: between $3 and $30, where would your line of preference be?

You see the guys over at Flair who do the basket weaving and whatnots, I drove past about a week ago and saw some waste paper bins hanging on the tree branches that overshadow their “factory”. I decided that it was the exact thing I was looking for to help make my room “sesky” enough to live in. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop because my lunch break was over and I had to get back to the office in time.

Today, I passed by. Sadly enough, they had all been bought. I then asked the weaver guy Kojo Russia (who got the name as a child as a result of his spiky hair. Why Russia? Search me). Anyways, he told me the ones I saw a week before had been pre-ordered from the “factory”. Therefore if I wanted one, I had to place an order. Yes, an order for a cane woven waste paper bin. So my next step was to ask for the price. Wait for it … GH¢25! Whoa?!!! GH¢25 so I can throw mere “bola” into it? That was my entire week’s lunch money.IMPOSSICANT! As my brother would say. 

I simply couldn’t understand why a bola bin would cost so much! There’s nothing like expensive trash! All trash be trash; all bola be bola!!! Plain and simple. So why pay as much as for it GH¢25? We bargained and settled on GH¢12 after I confused him with some calculations as to why it needed to be no more than GH¢12. I think I may even have quoted the current stock market rate. In any case, I still think it is way too much for a bola bin. But I’m happy all the same. Now my life will be complete … well … momentarily.

I pick it up on Friday. I’ll take some pictures and upload them on the blog.

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Posted by on September 2, 2009 in Uncategorized