I have this vision of straight-backed women walking through aisles of colourful local produce, yellow bananas and red tomatoes overflowing from tables in the Market just waiting me to come and seek permission to snap away.
So far from the truth!
I’m up early for breakfast on the aft deck to watch the ship berth, and yes, I do go into Takoradi on the first shuttle bus expecting to be dazzled by the colours of the famed Market Circle.
Maybe I was too early, but as I pick my way over broken footpaths outside dilapidated buildings, and gingerly negotiate open drains choked with plastic, blasting music assaults my ears. All I see is lots of dried fish being stacked on trays by not so friendly locals, and a few baskets of tomatoes and piles of hulled coconuts and huge yams. I get into trouble for photographing a pile of oranges smelling in the heat on the footpath. “Permission!” One lady screams as she appears from nowhere as if brandishing a machete, and I my make a quick retreat back to the shuttle bus.
Children in school uniforms look fresh, and again, it’s the ladies who seem more industrious than the men. Unfortunately, unlike the very elegant and proud Creole women in the Cape Verde Islands, these poor souls look beaten. Perhaps the men are away working on the oilrigs or in the manganese mines, but the ones I see here are sweaty layabouts.
Wonderful for photos, but a small sweaty policeman in crisp uniform stops me, officiously warning with trumped-up importance that it’s an offence.
Back to the taxi to find Adam with his head under the bonnet, stripping cables and twisting wires together trying to get the car started. And we have less than an hour to before the ship sets sail for Namibia!
Edmundo keeps his cool, but I fear he’s silently conjuring up how he’ll eventually tell this story of a shore trip that he didn’t want to make in the first place.
View Photos CLICK HERE