This was my last morning in Tamale. I arrived at the bus station on time (silly me) and proceeded to wait for a bus that came an hour late. though my bus was late, both buses heading to Accra came on time. A panic ensued. about half the passengers had come late and had to be bumped ahead of me in a line up to pay for their bags. I have rarely seen anyone in Tamale rush for anything and I was delighted to discover that a job which normally took 3 minutes per person was could magically speed up to that of 20 seconds with the help of a yelling and cursing man. It was wonderful.
As I waited for my bus I was amused by this photo
because this is what the stores directly beside it look like
they didn’t really look open to prosper…
maybe it’s because its a white man and an albino with a funky index finger who are shaking hands?
My bus finally arrived and as we pulled out I contemplated yesterday, my last full day. It was…typical. I had a full day planned, but rain happened tsunami style, for 4 hours. it finally calmed for a few minutes, long enough for me to slog through the soaking trenches in the middle of my road where the men are working. my arms were full and I was getting quite wet when I finally hailed a taxi to town. there was a massive crowd of people in the middle of town and it was growing. cars were stopped as people jumped out to watch the spectacle. my taxi driver turned to me and mused “we Africans like to bring justice” I looked confused and he continued “someone has stolen something so they are beating him.” sure enough a second later the crowd hurriedly parted and they dragged out the thief. he was covered in blood, barely conscious, and unable to walk. I don’t know where they were taking him but I don’t think the crowd cared, the excitement was over and everyone went back to work still smiling and chatting enthusiastically about what had happened.
The bus pulled into the country side and a brilliant and artistic Nigerian movie with excellent sound quality started. Just kidding, it is up there on my list of worst movies ever, along with most of the other Nigerian delights found on STC buses.
This movie was called 21 days with Christ in which a virgin girl is captured to be sacrificed for a traditional ceremony. Her family and church pray for 21 days (I don’t know what the number significance is, I fell asleep in the middle) and in the end right before her throat is to be slit a bolt of lightening comes down from the sky and knocks the knife out of the man’s hand. now the story line sounds really bad, but combine a bad plot with terrible acting, a horrible script and you get something beyond ridiculous. Fortunately music makes up for the horrible acting and script. when you are supposed to feel angry the music gets really loud, when you are supposed to feel scared there are lots of bangs and light flashes, and when the mood is contemplative (which apparently it is every time it isn’t sad, angry, or scary) music that is often found at the end of family-friendly TV episodes (like road to Avonlea) will come on. This music happens when the family is eating, the little girl needs to use the potty the man can’t sleep, and other such unremarkable events.
now I’m in a new city and I can’t honestly say I will miss much about Tamale. I like to think of it as the pimple on the face, or the blemish on the back of a completely average looking individual. I am sad to leave my host family, but again, our last minutes together were underwhelming. I don’t know why I was expecting anything different. it ended like it started. slow, tiring, and with really heavy food.
This is a women selling carrots that I snapped from the bus window. for some reason it just made me laugh. I’ve never seen carrots look so dangerous