Something I wrote earlier this year in Ghana – inspired by D’s “staring at the ceiling fan and remembering someone” dialogue
While others might think if they should hang themselves by their ceiling fan at times of desperation, he is always worried about the ceiling fan dropping on to him while he sleeps on his queen-sized bed below it. So obviously he doesn’t contemplate hanging himself by the fan, for he knows it wouldn’t take his weight and he would just make a fool of himself. He doesn’t know why the room hasn’t got just a single bed in it, which he could have moved to a corner away from the fan but it wasn’t his house, nor was it his decision to furnish it.
The fan has to be kept running all night else he wouldn’t be able to sleep, one thing he can sleep with is the low humming noise of the fan, everything else would have woken him up, but not his fan; as if its humming is his lullaby. But still he is probably subconsciously aware even in his sleep that the fan might drop on to him spinning its blades at mid-level rotation. And its no wonder that he pushes everything on to the side directly below the fan and lies himself on the other edge. If he was sleeping like this during his childhood, he would definitely have fallen over from the bed, but he is an adult now and his body is probably used to being on the edge – edge of the bed to start with, but also edge of the relations and relationships, edge of the society, edge of the country, edge of this world even.
I’ve always wondered what could be the best time to write. When I’m involved in academic writing, it eventually boils down to the dreaded “deadlines” – so time could be noon or midnight, Friday afternoon or Monday morning – until I am at the point when I start worrying about the deadline, I don’t write, and when that dreaded deadline approaches, time or day doesn’t matter, I just write, I HAVE TO WRITE! Whether I WANT to write, or am in a MOOD to write is a different matter altogether.
Now writing (or rather musing) like this don’t have deadlines, and I don’t HAVE to write if I don’t want to. This “option” instead of “deadlines” to write means I rarely write – write proper I mean. Its always easy to find excuses not to write it seems, and I wouldn’t choose but the easier option. But then once in a while you are in a “mood” to write, you want to write, and you just sit down and start writing. This mood-to-write is a rarity these days, but there are days and times it occurs and I have to write even when I don’t have to. Its 0400 hrs as I type these lines, and I “want” to write. Doesn’t matter what I write, as long as I write something, I’ll feel good about “writing” (the process counts and not the outcome!). Read more…
I nearly had the title “On AFRICAN Timekeeping”, which wouldn’t have been fair for I hardly know any of Africa other than a few countries. Having now spent almost 12 months (7 last year and almost 4 this year) in Ghana during these two years, I think I can safely write a few lines on punctuality here. In fact having been on the receiving end of the lax attitude re: timekeeping most of the time (for 99% of the time I’d say – 1% of the time I admit I might have also become the perpetrator!), I feel obliged to write something on it
Being a Nepali, I am not new to having a different sense of timekeeping (as we so fondly call “Nepali Time” for a similarly lax attitude to punctuality in Nepal), but having lived in the “west” for better part of the last decade, I have become a bit impatient person when it comes to timekeeping, meaning I like to be on time and expect others to do the same. Coming to Ghana, and moreover living here for all these months has made me lower my expectations considerably when it comes to expecting others to be punctual, and occasionally I have arrived late (not on purpose though), however, almost always to find myself being earlier than others again!
What an ordeal I had to go through to spend a weekend in Tamale! On Friday I finished my work in the village by mid-morning, hoping I would be picked up by a friend who was supposed to be passing by the place before lunch. As it happens so often here, I waited and waited without any sign of that friend coming or of any news about his whereabouts. Sent a couple of messages but no response, finally called around lunchtime when he said I should wait for him and that he’d be coming shortly. I had my lunch in the village, and continued with my wait. I was reading Dostoevsky’s The Gambler and had a couple of dozen pages left, which I finished not so long afterwards, but still no sign of my friend! Around 3pm I received a text message from him telling me he’d be setting off in one hour and should be there shortly afterwards. I decided to wait another hour and half (this was a big mistake as I later found out!). I waited for another couple of hours and he didn’t come. At around 5:30, I received a final text in which he said his company doesn’t allow him to use company vehicle after 6pm so can’t return to Tamale! I was just too tired and sick of waiting to even be angry with him. I just told myself I’ll get to Tamale that evening no matter what, and so waited for a local mini-bus or tro-tro.
This wouldn’t even tro-tro : A relic from the past in Gbimsi.
I’ve been pretty lethargic in the blogging department lately. It might seem as if I have completely abandoned my blogs, which is not the case by the way (well, this is a part-proof!). I felt I must post something today because:
- I just upgraded my WordPress installation to the latest version – I would say good reason as any to post a new entry (to check if things still work as they used to ).
- I haven’t written anything (except e-mails) for over two weeks!
- Life’s not without incidents here in Ghana to have nothing to say here (if I wanted to that is!)
- Oh, this should have come up first when I think of it now – that I had to extend my stay in Ghana by over a month because I realised (in time) that I couldn’t have finished my fieldwork as planned previously! Now I’m going back to the UK in mid-October instead.