It’s not all smile and palm trees… There is also crime, sometimes pollution, nasty rush hour traffic, language barriers and other nonsense will drive you crazy if you don’t have a positive attitude and an adventurous spirit. Today I want to give you a quick tip about surviving and thriving in Ghana. Here’s the number one thing you need…
Things work a bit different around here. I don’t know where you are from, but I'm from Western Europe.
In the UK or Germany, we expect efficiency. No, we DEMAND IT!
If some waitress is enjoying a bowl of rice while she’s surfing Facebook on her smartphone and ignoring customers she would get fired so quick.
Also, in the service industry many people make a shitty low salary and depend solely on tips. Good customer service means better tips. So basically your attitude and work ethic directly effects your income. There’s an incentive to pay attention and work hard for your customers.
Not in Ghana… Many restaurants are small mom and pop places where the owner will hire their daughter, cousin and neighbours kid to work there for dirt cheap wages. Often these kids have no experience working in a restaurant. (Even that child labour is officially condemned..)
But, hey that’s fine with me. Kids need to start somewhere and I respect the fact that they are working rather then running around in the streets. The downside is, this often means horrible service.
Gong out for food in the afternoon, especially small towns and villages, you often have to wake the staff up from their afternoon nap…
I do admire how Ghanaians have the ability to lay down and fall asleep anywhere. Whether it be on a concrete floor or curled up on the the shop table, with traffic whizzing by.
How do they do it? I need to strip down to my underwear, crank the AC and double lock my doors and windows so I can relax enough to get some rest.
A lot of places actually close down mid day so people can take a nap. That’s just the culture here... You`ll see staff lay on the floor and sleep for a few hours.
You need to be patient…
Read a book, go for a run. Keep your plans flexible.
You need to understand, that this is a developing country… Slow speeds and limited service in rural areas is to be expected. But for a major city to have no internet access for several hours as example, or power-cuts in a row is just crazy.
Some nights (and days) the power cuts out… I realize this when I wake up sweating bullets in my soaking wet bed with no fan, AC or lights. Hey it’s just part of life out here. If you can’t handle that then you should most definitely stay in the western world... (Read Here: Travel Advise - Africa ::: 4 Things You Must Bring When You Travel About ) * new window
Lager hotels and guest-houses have power-generators, for this kind of events.
The point of this post is to say this…
You must have patience when visiting West Africa and Ghana.
Fortunately, the good far outweighs the bad!
Just be patient, keep your cool, learn to laugh at shit and enjoy your trip.
More at: Africa - Black and White (new window)