yesterday evening I was sitting in my room, contemplating deep things like poverty, the meaning of life, sustainable impact, and how Seamus Mcfly’s wife in the 3rd Back to the Future is the same actress as Marty Mcfly’s mother. This means there was some hard-core inbreeding between 1885 and 1955, or they were really short on actresses.
These 3 in the picture to be precise. They are very Ghanaian and very female. we regularly paint our nails and tried to marry each other off (I am currently betrothed to at least 2 of their brothers). They also love watching me try to cook over a coal fire. last time the coals started exploding and I started dancing and shrieking as a avoided the flying sparks. they chuckled at this but really cracked up when I threatened to return the coals. I guess returning faulty post-burned coals doesn’t often happen.
I was expecting something crazy like a lose bull or a ground nut paste seller (good ground nut paste isn’t so easy to find, granted I am very picky about the texture…). I came out to see what was happening and saw in the distance several Salamingas (white people) standing in a circle. I haven’t seen any other white people in my area but this event didn’t seem so remarkable until Mary (the one in striped red in the picture) pointed out their clothes. 2 of the girls were wearing short shorts. The type that everyone wears in Canada but are rarely if ever seen in Northern Ghana.
My friends were clearly appalled at the clothes and clucked in disapproval. I’m not one to shy away from drama and I quickly took up the battle cry with exclamations of “the shame!” and “I can’t believe the nerve.” there were a handful of Ghanaian boys behind them and I shrieked “and those boys there are going to friend them because of the trousers!” the girls were all excited now and we went on about how shameful the Salamingas were. I avoided answering the questions “sister Sarah, do you own a pair of those?” and instead suggested throwing rocks at them.
it never came down to rock throwing, but maybe our negative vibes reached the foreigners because they started walking back to road. unfortunately for them they went through one of the “forbidden” bushy areas where many people will go to free themselves (and in all my time I haven’t seen a trowel in the area, so I chose to avoid the area knowing little surprises might await me under little bushes). needless to say the Ghanaian boys who wanted to friend the girls did not follow.
What started as me joking about the shame turned into me actually feeding off the genuine energy of the other girls and feeling indignant at the spectacle the “whites” had caused (lets ignore the fact that I was the loudest heckler). thought I personally don’t understand why exposed thighs are so much more significant than the chest or back I can’t deny the shock and irritation it causes among those who dislike it. I think through this experience I understand on some level what wearing shorts means here.
on second thought we probably should have thrown the rocks.