Thursday, August 23, 2007

Odd week here in Accra yes indeed, and there are still two more days to come.

Monday: Biking home from work, a motorcycle cop gave me the right hook. Yup, he came up from behind and made the all too common sharp right turn across my path leaving me to grab both brakes and weave to the right in unison with him. It is one of those bonehead moves that if you anticipate happening is easy enough to avoid, but still infuriating. I followed the officer one block back to his barracks, and told him that he really ought to be more careful being a cop and all. He didn't seem too bothered or concerned, but explained that he thought I was going straight. Well, if I had not turned with him, he surely would have flattened me. Eh, why bother arguing...

Wednesday: Biking to work again in the morning I noticed an expired horse in a taxi pull-off area of the road in the central business district. In Ghana, anything that might obstruct the flow of traffic is quickly cordoned off by placing a few broken tree branches or clumps of grass around the obstruction. Doesn't matter if it is a stalled taxi, missing manhole cover or dead horse apparently. Would this scene draw attention on Constitution Avenue in DC? You betcha! Might even shut down the city for the morning, or at minimum warrant a $25 parking ticket. Accra...not even a single gawker. Come to think of it, there really is not much road kill on the roads here given the large number of goats, chickens and dogs roaming freely. Luckily the turkey buzzards that flock to my project site in the afternoon didn't catch a whiff before matters were cleaned up.

Thursday: Evening bike commute from work. Ok it was dark out, but my bike is outfitted with headlight, flashing tail lights, reflectors and a bell. I've been riding in traffic for years and have never been hit by a car. Until tonight. I paused briefly balancing at an T-intersection waiting to turn left when the car behind me hit me. A bit more than a love tap, but not hard enough to send me over the hood. Perhaps I was a bit lucky that I was moving just slightly when I felt the bumper nudge my rear wheel. I exchanged a few unfit-for-print phrases with the driver, somewhat expecting her to pull over. Instead, I think, she hollered "sorry!" before driving away into the dark of North Ridge. Not quite sure how to explain her actions, except that Ghana seems to be having a rash of mob justice reactions to petty crimes that usually have an ugly ending. Maybe she thought I was a nut case. No, just a bit miffed. I did get a little bit more than her license plate number though - the whole dang plate fell off in the ruckus!

So now what? No witnesses. No harm to me. I've got better things to do than file a police report that will likely just be filed away.


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