Thursday, 14 April 2011

Middle Class Anger

Contrary to my last post, it appears I haven’t made too much progress on my house hunt. I am still blogging from the hostel’s dining room.
Ghana is typical of many developing countries; It is a place of “haves” and “have nots”. There seems to be a genuine dichotomy between those walking between lanes of traffic selling drinks, posters, tv aerials (and everything in between) and the elite driving past in an imported Mercedes.
As a low ranking, young white NGO worker I fall into an odd no man’s land in Ghana. I am middle class and middle income but there are very few like me. This means Accra is not geared up to my price range. In the evening when I go out to eat I can go out to the local shack for fried goat and a subsequent stomach ache at 2 cedis a pop (about £1). Alternatively, I can go to Oxford Street in Osu and sit in an air-conditioned Italian restaurant for ten times the price. There is, however, nothing in between which means I have a daily debate on the merits of potential food poisoning vs imminent bankruptcy. Food poisoning wins during the week and the weekends I revert to being a westerner.
I have encountered similar problems in my housing search. So far I have been presented with either luxury apartments whose rental is twice my monthly wage or complete holes. The last three budget options have been...
Option number one, Danquah Circle. 200 Cedis a month (£120 ish)- House full of western people, but next to a huge evangelical church which has weekend services (with lots of lovely loud alleluia’s and expelling of the devil)at 6 am. As an added bonus it is also a red light area and favourite haunt of Accra’s prostitutes.
Option number two, somewhere north of Nkrumah circle (not exactly sure where). Only 60 cedis a month (£30). What is the catch you ask? – no furniture or bed, no working plug sockets plus a communal kitchen with no stove or sin.
Option number three, Nkrumah Circle. Again, only 60 cedis a month , in a central location and with my own bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. However I currently will be unable to use the kitchen or bathroom as both are filled with squatters (who the landlord proudly told me he is “beating around” in order to get rid of them.
It the moment I am warming to the idea of evangelists and prostitutes. Any suggestions warmly received!!

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