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.

7 Replies to “Ways to Know You’re Living in Ghana”

  1. This list is fascinating.Lots of incites and funny at the same time.
    It will be really interesting if you can keep up the blog.when you return to the US, as we can then get your ‘new’ perspectives of this culture.

  2. It’s interesting but i don’t know when you last visited Ghana but it is so untrue that the locals can’t afford to go to movie theaters. You should see the kind of cars Ghanaians drive. The locals do have a lot of money. New York and Carli are not the only places in the US Ghanaians are aware of trust me.. I don’t know where you stayed cos your experience is very limited. But the lateness is so typical of Ghanaians..

    1. Hi Hali; thanks for the comment! Most things on the list are not true for all Ghanaians, but I still think I was accurate on many levels personally. For instance, I was at the movies 6+ times and never once saw a Ghanaian in the movies. Also Ghanaians know of places besides NY/CA, but many on the street will ask you only if you are from those states. But everyone’s experience is different, that’s the beauty of traveling.

      Oh, and some of the cars they drive really are fantastic 🙂

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