Back home, in Muizenberg, I usually try and break my day with either a surf or a walk.
And I am very aware that I am not doing much of either here, during the week.
Not surfing: Because the 40-minute Uber-trip to Kokrobite takes 1 hour and 20 minutes
Not walking: Because the sun is just too darn hot!
Too much sitting already.
When I saw two women, out for a walk the other day, with umbrellas, I thought: “Eureka! Problem solved”.
I have never been scared of the sun before. I don’t burn easily, and hardly ever turn red. But the Ghanaian sun is something else.
Add to this the fact that one of the side effects of malaria medication is that it makes one more sensitive to the sun.
Plus, I haven’t been able to find sunblock anywhere. #ThingsIShouldHavePackedInsteadOfThatDarnJacket
So this afternoon, at lunchtime, 1 x umbrella and I went for our maiden stroll.
The street that runs past the Echohouse entrance meets up with the main road about a kilometer up the road.
And at this main road intersection is where the Shell Select Shop is. And they have aircon.
So, my plan was to walk from Echohouse aircon to Shell Select Shop aircon, and back. Not quite the Amatola, but it would have to do.
The first couple of meters went well.
But then the wind started up, and the umbrella kept turning underside-up.
To keep this from happening I had to hold the umbrella down low, touching the top of my head.
But this meant I could not see the oncoming traffic. Which made the (cautious) Ghanaian Tro Tro drivers very nervous (See Day#16 ), so they kept hooting at me.
Which made me lift the umbrella. Which made the umbrella turn underside-up.
I was to give this up as a bad idea when I see Agi, the pixie-like little Echohouse cleaning lady.
She was heading up to the main road as well, to buy lunch, so we started walking together.
As we walked I kept glancing over at her, in her pink shift dress, skipping along in the blazing sun next to me.
This made me super aware of 1 x (silly) umbrella (which has turned underside-up again).
So I closed the umbrella.
Very bad idea.
Because Agi was not aiming for the Shell Quick Shop aircon. She was aiming for the market, further up the main road, where she usually buys her lunch.
“I would love to walk with you.” “No, the sun is not bothering me at all!”
By the time we got to the rice stand, my hair was plastered to my face. “You stand over here”, Agi said pointing at the shade. She must have seen my hair.
The walk back was much slower. For me anyway. Agi darted this way and that, stopping at different stalls on the way.
At one point I could hear her running behind me.
I could not see this, as the umbrella is back against my head.
But then she whizzed past with an “I beat you!” Jip. Actually running.
When I walked back into the Echohouse building, two of my colleagues are sitting on the couch, next to the entrance.
“You went for a walk?” the one asked “Did you need something?”
“No, I just felt like a walk.”
But the silence sounded very much like “Mad dogs and Oburoni women go out in the midday sun.”