The Reverse Side of the Coin

Hi Victoria,

Just read your blog. It’s very honest. Makes me a bit sad to read that Germany is not a good place to be in because of the refugee crises. There will always be a stupid minority that is not welcoming. .  Let me remind you that in Ghana basically every day I got stared at and pointed at and called “obruni, obruni!” And people were laughing and shouting. And even worse was that many Ghanaians tried to take advantage of it, and overcharge for taxis, food, services etc.

Could you imagine in Germany that people would charge you triple the price for the train just because you are foreign? But that’s what it often felt like in Ghana. I think you are very right in just being open and nice to people. And of course, just enjoy the experience and you will get better by the day. The same way that I in the end managed to eat fufu with my hand and negotiate with taxis in Ghana[Winks].

People often say that Ghanaians are friendly.

Sometimes, I think otherwise…….. Especially not to foreigners. When it comes to foreigners, we swing from one extreme end of the pendulum to the other.

I cannot imagine being charged two or three times what I pay in Germany for  tourist sites or for food just because I am foreign[ Munich is expensive enough :-)]

Unfortunately, this phenomenon is so common in Ghana  that it has become a part of the system. You go to any of the beaches, the sad excuse for a museum in Accra or any of the castles and foreigners pay two or three times what a local would pay.

The worst thing is if you are a local girl walking  with a foreigner of the Caucasian variety. Then people give you all these dirty looks as if you are a gold digger only looking for money from the poor hapless man.

Woe betides you if you are a Ghanaian girl and you date a foreigner. The prices of  items will be doubled or quadrupled just because you are with a ‘white man’.

That’s another thing. Too many Ghanaians think that every foreigner is rich. But I can say for a fact that it is almost impossible to be rich in Europe when you are of a certain age or wage. The system simply will not allow it!

You find people being so nice to you just because you are a foreigner. Just try going to the Arts Centre with a ‘ white’ person and see the response you will get. Better yet, take a stroll down the oxford street and hear the whistles and catcalls from the Rasta boys whose stalls line the street.

PS:My point in writing this is to raise our awareness of how we unconsciously make life hard for people when they come to our countries.  Hope it raises some questions in your mind and causes you to see life from the other side:-).

Image Credits: Google Images

 

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2 Replies to “The Reverse Side of the Coin”

  1. Your thoughts we saddens me. As I look at the image of the hands, all I see is a beautiful picture and not colours. You have rightly said it. I for myself, don’t think Ghanaians are kind. They are when they want to be. I was embarrassed to find it written on a billboard at the Kakum Forest “Ghanaians Ghs 10, Foreigners Ghs 50”. I wonder if they were receiving anything else from paying that much. Taxi drivers, well the least said the better. My brother was charged Ghs 50 from airport to Shiashie, just because he just returned from the US of A. We are just cheats and often make the outsider feel that they are indeed an outsider. I treat everyone equally because I believe in equity; that is what a day gives all. I helped an American lady who lives in Kenya got a MacBook Pro charger for Ghs 140. We sold it at Ghs 230 regular price. Why? Because I felt that that was right enough to do. The fact that someone is of a different colour doesn’t mean treat them differently. I am against divisions of any kind among humanity. I’m yet to travel to other countries and already not surprised if I find myself in a hostile environment. Because I find no friendly one where I am. It is either you choose a side or shut up.

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