Shito on my Noddles

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     As you might have guessed, this is the blog where I get to play off on all of the freshman toilet humor possibilities here in Ghana. I just can't resist. First there's shito, a spicy concoction that rivals any hot sauce from all of the various cultures that have spicy foods. It goes great on almost everything. I even got a jar for myself so I can have my shito at home. The label cracks me up as you can see the O at the end of shito doesn't look like an O. Great label, isn't it??? I love the fact that it's Mama G's Special. I want to meet Mama G.

     So I had shito with my Singapore noodles at Koffee Lounge in East Legon at the A&C Mall, except there's a typo on the menu. Noddles :) not quite the same thing.

nod·dle  (ndl)

[Middle English noddel, back of the head, perhaps from Latin ndulus, lump, knob; see nodule.]

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    So does getting a plate of noddles with shito insinuate that I am a shito head? Maybe I should have opted for the assorted meat head plate? All I can think of right now is the the little boy Mike Myers called Head from the movie So I Married an Axe Murderer.

     OK, let's think of some other things that go with shito. How about some cowpeas? Yes, cowpeas. That's what they call black eyed peas here. Having lived in Texas for 14 years, all I can think about are cow pies, you know the stuff you want to avoid stepping in when you're walking across a cow pasture. Cowpeas and shito is a winning combination.

 I got the Singapore Noodles with seafood from the Koffee Lounge. The Shito came on the side. This was quite good actually.

I got the Singapore Noodles with seafood from the Koffee Lounge. The Shito came on the side. This was quite good actually.

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So now we'll talk about sanitation. Shinefeel toilet paper. What does it mean to have a shinefeel? There's nothing on my body that requires any kind of shine especially that region. Eeeek! Sound kinda painful if you ask me, although the packaging promises a soft and comfortable experience. I'm not sure I trust that and what's up with the two hearts??? They look like something else more relevant to the use of the product at hand. Yes, my heads in the gutter right now but don't lose hope, there's wisdom in this blog.

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That wisdom is in the form of oral hygiene. There's a full line of Wisdom products for all of your dental needs. But wisdom can be harsh. It took me a long time to find a toothbrush with soft bristles. I'm not a fan of pink but that's the only color they had available for sensitive teeth. Are they questioning my manhood with this? I thought real men were supposed to be sensitive? Well, wisdom has it's ups and downs but the best part is that Wisdom is cheap in Ghana. I got the toothbrush for about $1.25. So let's put it all together. You can have noddles and cowpeas with shito for lunch. After that you'll need a little wisdom but hopefully not the shinefeel. If you make a bit of a mess you can always call Der General!

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Der General is what you get when you combine Mr. Clean with Pine Sol. It is a very strong cleaner as are most cleaning products here in Ghana. Maybe they should call this shinefeel? Although I'm not sure Der General would be a good fit for toilet paper. Anyhow, I think I'll stop there with the products. There are many more, but I think I'll call it a day.

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So I'll leave you with this closing picture. I need to go back and take a better shot of this wall but I like how specific they are about where not to urinate. What if I urinated just left of the arrow, is that permissible? I wonder if the arrow is pointing to a particularly sensitive spot that's been hard hit by passers by? Maybe it's affecting the structural integrity of the wall? I particularly like the juxtaposition of the corporate sineages & souvenirs sign. So many questions, so little time.

So these are the things I see and experience every day here in Ghana. Hope that was an enlightening experience for you as much as it has been for me. Well, now I have to go. :) Bye.

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Senegalese Dance and Faith Healing

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       O.K. so there is no relationship between Senegalese dance and faith healing but I encountered both of these in the same evening last week. One of my students Samuel was kind enough to invite me to the dance performance Banlieue by the Diagn’ Art Company at the Alliance Française Accra. The performance was a mix of traditional Senegalese and contemporary dance with text from Roland Fichet. The dance was about the phases young men go through in Senegal as they become men. Of course this was all in French so I didn't understand a word, but the choreography alluded to a lot of the themes that they were addressing. They were amazing dancer and I found the performance to be very moving. It was refreshing to see something contemporary. As a foreigner a lot of places I visit like to emphasize the traditional and historical. That's all very interesting but I'm just as interested in what is being created in the present. 

     So after the performance, I returned home to find over a thousand screaming Christians in an open field across from my apartment. On any given night this field is a place where local Christians will form prayer circles, preach the gospel and rejoice. Some so to speak in tongues. Anyway, on this night Robert Ampiah-Kwofi, faith healer was on hand to do some good old fashioned healing. There was a sound stage with a full band and the whole entourage of people in suits and a camera crew on stage. It was quite the spectacle. Fortunately they were good about binging the event to a close before midnight.