Thursday, 13 August 2009

Waakye blues aka Classic Ghanaian Moment

This is dedicated to all who have experienced it.

I woke up ravenously hungry one morning, craving waakye. The venerable house-help had left for work already, so there was no one to send. I set out to go and buy my food. I had not had a bath, I just wanted to get my food, come back home and eat it, all things would follow after that.
On the face of it, there were six people in front of me. In Ghana, meeting six people in front of you doesn’t mean anything. There are usually ghost names on the register, easily numbering twice as much. They materialize when it is their turn. No problem.
At the front of the queue, a woman was buying. In my opinion she was taking long, but the veterans in the queue hadn’t complained, how could I, Johnny Just Come, complain? No problem
After buying (and changing her order a few times), she took out a list. Aha! That got the members worried, and they started to grumble. Problem! She ignored everyone and continued buying. My tummy rumbled in protest, but no one heard because they were grumbling. Why did this happen so often to me kraa? A number of orders later, she turned the paper, and requested that these ones should be in packs. ‘Kai’ exclaimed one ‘Alhaji’ and he stomped off in a huff, into his 4x4 Lexus and sped off, ignoring the waakye seller’s pleas to stay. She didn’t take a cue to institute a bulk buying queue there and then oh. The wholesaler had the good grace to be embarrassed, but she didn’t stop buying. Instead she justified it saying she has gotten there first, besides it wasn’t her fault; she was buying it for her office colleagues who were in a training session and couldn’t leave the office.
Two men, discouraged, left. Ok, 3 down. My patience amazed me; I must have been very hungry. Finally she finished buying and left. 2 people in front of me were served. Yipee, my turn. Not so fast! A man appeared out of nowhere saying he was ‘in front’ of me, but he wasn’t alone. He places his orders. My tummy protesting loudly; but my mouth was saving its energy for better things.
The waakye seller then announced that her rice was finished.

picture credit: waakye group on facebook