A Nice Cup Of Tea: Part 1
I come from a tea-drinking people. In my parents’ house, an hour does not pass without someone saying ’Hoe lyk dit met ’n koppie tee?’. We drink tea when we are happy, when we are sad, when we are thirsty, when we are hungry, when we have nothing better to do. We drink tea all day.
Before my arrival two of my Echohouse colleagues, Pamela and Richard (who bonded with me in the 267.30 centimeter long sedan on Day#1), filled the apartment I moved to today with everything I could possibly need. The cupboards are full of crockery, cookware, cutlery, bottled water and the fridge packed with fruit. The apartment is modern, with all the mod cons you may need: washing machine, fridge, microwave, even a rice cooker. But no kettle.
I thought maybe the kettle was hiding in one of the cupboards. But no, no kettle.
On my first night, in my new apartment, I was pacing up and down trying to figure out how I was going to make a cup of tea without a kettle. And without matches to light the gas stove. And without… well, teabags.
My sister once gave my mother a sign that read ‘Where there’s tea there’s hope. There was no tea. I went to bed.
A Nice Cup Of Tea: Part 2
This morning I was extra eager to get to get to work, to (finally) make a cup of tea!
Yesterday, on my first day at Echohouse, after the initial hellos… and this is where the bathrooms are… I was waiting for the ‘And this is where you make coffee (and tea)’ bit. But it did not come.
And today, when I located the kitchen, it became clear why:
Turns out Ghanaians are not into hot drinks. There is no tea. There is no coffee. An advertising agency without coffee?!!
I enquire about online shopping (which is still quite new in Ghana). Jumia has kettles. Problem solved. I order at once!
Turns out, in Ghana, same-day delivery means between 7 and 14 days. My kettle will arrive on 24 May 2018. FFS.
Back at the apartment, I find the caretaker, and ask him in a (buy now high-pitched, quivering, mid-withdrawal’ voice, where one can fill an empty gas canister after hours. One can not.
So, on my second night in my new apartment, I am pacing up and down trying to figure out how I was going to make a cup of tea with teabags, without a kettle, with matches, without gas for the gas stove. There was still no tea. I went to bed. Again.
A Nice Cup Of Tea: Part 3
I ask Richard (the Echohouse driver), to take me to A&C Mall where I made a beeline for the tea aisle. Tea? Tick. Teaspoons? They don’t sell teaspoons. Fine, no teaspoons. Tick. Kettles?
And suddenly it becomes clear why few Ghanaians own a kettle. Not only because they are not into hot drinks, but an ugly, plastic, made-in-china, bound-to-break-in-a-week, we-are-not-talking-Russel-Hobbs sells for GHC 200-400 (R600-R1,200)!! Come back Clicks Safeway all is forgiven.
Because my kettle-shopping went a lot quicker than expected, I am at the office an hour before everyone else (to work on the pitch). Converted to Ghana time (See Day#10 ) it means I have two hours to kill.
Wait. I have tea bags. They have a water cooler (that heats water). I have Ideal Milk.
I don’t have a can opener.
Enter Richard. Richard opens the can with a screwdriver.
I have a Nice Cup Of Tea. Finally.