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Ghana Day #27:
First World Problems

By 27th May 2018May 30th, 2018Travel
Last night while I was working, the power went off.


This is not unusual, as the power often goes off: when it rains when the wind blows, when there are “problems with the box”, when the money on the metre runs out.


The latter happened a couple of weeks ago and caused a bit of consternation since the electricity “card” does not reside with me, but with Pamela (See Day#2 ).


I crossed this option off the list seeing as “been there, done that”…


Luckily my laptop still had a bit of power, the battery was sitting on 58% – so I carried on working.


When the power was still not back on half an hour later, I went to investigate. Nope the street had power.. the building had power.. my neighbour’s lights were on..




I WhatsApped the Other Richard, the building manager, no response.


I went downstairs to where the electricity meters live – and was greeted by a row of little, digital zeros. FFS.


I WhatsApped Pamela.


Pamela: “Aww so sorry”


Pamela: “Am suppose to monitor and be topping up the electricity credit”


Pamela: “I’ll recharge tomorrow please”


Me: “Hi Pamela, can we please sort it out this evening, I am worried the fridge will defro..” And then my phone died.


With a sinking feeling, I realised that all my little electronic friends, iPhone, MacBook, Wifi Modem, Local (Alcatel) Phone would soon be giving up the (power) ghost.


I immediately turned off my iPhone, to conserve the last 12% battery power for the morning,


And then realised I had not yet let King Appiah know what time he needed to pick me up for Kokrobite in the morning.


I turned my iPhone back on and watched as the 12% shrank to 10% while I am typed. I turned my iPhone off again.


I plugged my iPhone into my laptop, but by then my laptop power was on 24%.. no, 23%.




But more importantly. If there was no power, there was no aircon.


And this was a matter of life and death.


So, I weighed up death by Hyperthermia vs death by Malaria, I decided to go with Malaria, and sleep with the windows open.


As a hiker, I have slept outdoors many times. But I have always had barriers (sweatpants, sleeping bag) between myself and the night air.


Having my naked skin tickled by the breeze was lovely.


For the first hour, that is, then I realised all this tickling was going to keep me awake all night…




..And it did.


Not to mention the heat, which woke me before the chickens (See Day#23 ), Which says a lot!


I levitated to my iPhone. Dead.


At which point I realised I forgot to save King Appiah’s number on my Little Local Alcatel Phone – which I hardly ever use as it is not smart (at all).


1. I had no idea whether King Appiah received my message, or what his response was.


2. Without my iPhone, I would also not be able to request an Uber.


3. How was it possible that my (Unsmart) Little Local Alcatel Phone still has 100% battery life?!! (Note to self: reconsider stance on Little Local Alcatel Phone)


4. Shock and horror. I would not be able to make a Nice Cup Of Tea (See Day#4 )


5. The fridge had defrosted and there was a small pond on the kitchen floor


6. I could not take a bottle of water out of the fridge, because I needed the remaining cold air to stay inside the fridge, and it was not possible to drink the tap water


7. No oats either


King Appiah phoned on my Little Local Alcatel Phone – had no idea he even had the number! – to say he would not be able to pick me up, his car is broken. But he had arranged with his friend, Godfrey, to pick me up at 7:00 on his behalf. Bless King Appiah!


At 6:45 the power was still not back on, so I decide to call Pamela and find out what was going on.


Except, her number was one of 27 unidentified numbers on my Little Local Alcatel Phone – and I was pretty sure I would not be very popular if I worked my way through the list on a Sunday morning, before 7:00.


Instead, I texted Archangel Richard (See Day# ) to ask him for Pamela’s number. No response. I called. The phone was off.


Phone rang. It was Godfrey, King Appiah’s friend. Could I please give him directions? FFS. (See Day#7 )


Luckily I had memorised Michael’s directions (See Day# ): Hospital, then Mangos, alley, unpaved unnamed street right.. then…


What did he mean he can not see the alley?


Long story short: who would have guessed that there were two hospitals in a two block radius from my apartment, and on opposite ends.


Eventually, Godfrey found me. And we were off to Kokrobite (while I tried to talk my OCD side off the ledge re the mess left behind on the kitchen floor.)


When we got to Mr Brights Surf Shop, I asked Mr Bright whether I could charge my phone. His electricity was off.


Five hours, and some awesome waves later, Godfrey and I were driving back to East Legon.


I asked Godfrey whether he would mind stopping at an ATM for me draw money to give him.


8. My new FNB card, which was delivered here, came with one of those old-school plastic lift-to-reveal-your-pin code. Which I lifted-and-revealed. And then saved on my iPhone (until I found a way to change it to something I could remember). My dead iPhone.


Back at the apartment, the power was still off.


And it was as hot as a pot.


I lay down on the couch and waited to regain consciousness, and then I planned to…


9. Come up with a list of ways to be less dependent on iPhone and friends. Or Evernote


10. Make a list of important numbers. On actual paper


As soon as I can find paper. And a pen. And the numbers.




PS Meet My NBF:

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