Ways to Know You’re Living in Ghana

  1. Air conditioning makes you shiver.
  2. You know every person in your neighborhood and interact with them daily.
  3. People don’t understand anything you say despite knowing small amounts of two tribal languages plus English.
  4. You pronounce ‘pepper’ as ‘peppey’.
  5. You think that ‘Obrunis’ (including yourself) look funny.
  6. After telling your host mom you’re not hungry she says, “Okay”, and still serves you enough rice for two or three normal people.
  7. Cars and motorcycles drive quickly on the sidewalk and nearly hit you – but you’re so used to it that you don’t even flinch.
  8. You stop exercising because washing your clothes by hand is enough of a workout.
  9. You regularly see people sweeping dirt floors.
  10. Internet peaks at 100 kilobytes per second (2011)
  11. Students get in trouble for smuggling soccer magazines to school.
  12. The first question you get asked when meeting someone is, “Are you a Christian or a Muslim?”
  13. After telling locals you’re from the United States they respond, “Are you from New York or California?”
  14. Skin color is merely a fact of life – a given that we are born with. Oftentimes I am referred to as “White man”.
  15. (Many) African-Americans are not considered to be ‘black’.
  16. People occasionally ask you to ‘say hello to Obama’ for them, and sometimes even  refer to you as “Obama” if they do not know your name. Ghanaians love Obama – see the photo below for proof.
  17. The only shows on television are English dubbed Spanish soap operas, Nigerian movies, and  religious gatherings.
  18. Americans would not be able to pronounce the names of most foods you eat.
  19. People carrying bags placed anywhere besides on top of their heads is a rarity.
  20. You are faced with the challenge of eating extremely hot soups and stews with your hands.
  21. You show up an hour late to a party and it still hasn’t begun.
  22. You can ask for a ‘hard one in a rubber’ (an aged coconut in a plastic bag) without getting strange looks.