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#10 Accra Mall

Saturday at Accra Mall and people are having themselves photographed with Santa and his reindeer, both standing proudly in a splodge of cotton wool snow. Elsewhere, free samples of Baileys licquor with ice are on offer while upstairs the latest movie is being screened. Many posh clothes are on show and even Tom is wearing a shirt. The Mall is a temple of wealth and Santa seems very at home here even though he looks like a dorc.

The Mall has a large South African shop called Game, selling food and general things from barbeques to bicycles, TV, gym and car equipment and shoddy furniture. Highlights are the drinks and biscuit selections at UK prices and the guards who are worried about shoplifters and want to take your bag. We and many other shoppers usually avoid this irritation by stating firmly that our bags stay with us. The guards then give us sheepish grin and let us pass. A Panasonic shop majoring in 3D TVs is next door and Vodafone and Apple are quite near. Competing for selling groceries is a rather expensive shop called MaxSmart where we will only buy little and then there’s an eating area with a few little fast food shops – all quite nice really and a place to see and be seen.

Today, each of us has come with a comfort list to accompany general grocery shopping: Tom is after Monopoly – South African style – and chocolate. Heather wants drinking glasses and a culinder and I’d quite like some beers and biscuits. However I feel much under-dressed in tshirt and shorts and am worried that Santa won’t oblige.
But all goes well and soon we are scoffing chicken and chips and Tom is gobbling popcorn so fast that ten seconds after finishing the bag still looks full. Next comes the game of “human frogger” as we try and cross the triple carriage highway and taxi home.

It’s been another stifling day but now the clouds are rolling in and come evening there is the wildest thunder storm ever. All the buckets go out and within seconds they’re full. And then the power cuts out – it always does in heavy rain – but the wind is so strong and fresh that the fans aren’t needed. We don’t expect electricity until tomorrow now and there has been much power loss lately but Ghana is consistently inconsistent and its back after an hour and so is Monopoly and Fifa on the playstation.

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