When I was trying to arrange my first trip to Kokrobite (for my First Ghana Surf. See Day#13 ) it turned out to be a lot more complicated than I had imagined.
Spoiler Alert: Uber does not function outside the Accra inner-city limits. Kokrobite is way beyond the city limits. (Don’t believe what Google Maps tell you about a 40 min journey. It takes 1hr 20 min. On a good day.)
And without Uber, you have no way of getting back to East Legon. One could (theoretically) take a Tro Tro, but they only do the trip once full.
And I had visions of calling the office come Monday to let them know I was going to be 7 hours and 43 minutes late.
Had it not been for King Appiah, I think I would have hung up 243.83-Centimetres-Long-Surfboard (See Day#1 ) after that first trip. (See Day#13 )
Recap of Day#13: First Ghana Surf
On our first trip, King Appiah and I set off at 9:00. He dropped me in Kokrobite an hour and twenty minutes later.
He returned around 15:00 to pick me up at 14:00. (No that is not a mistake. See Day#10 )
The return journey took double as long as the hour and twenty minutes it took to Kokrobite, due to a huge traffic jam roadworks had caused.
It was only when I was complaining about the heavy traffic that King Appiah mentioned that this was the second time that day he was doing the return journey in this heavy traffic.
He told me that he had fought his way through traffic back to the Accra inner-city, in order to continue working, after dropping me off.
And then drove all the way back to pick me up again.
This was terrible.
Recap of Day#19: Kokrobite, Round Two
The next Saturday I was certain King Appiah would not pitch. But then he did!
At Kokrobite I did the quickest surf session in the history of surf sessions – knowing he was waiting around.
On the way back, I had a brainwave.
I asked King Appiah whether he would be keen to take a surf lesson at Mr Brights Surf School – my treat (with hidden agenda) to say thank you.
To my surprise (Ghanaians don’t seem to be keen on swimming) King Appiah said he would!
(Meg, when you were joking before I left SA about getting my driver into surfing I had no idea that would actually happen!)
I would be able to surf in peace. And King Appiah would learn an (addictive) new skill, which only a handful of Ghanaians process.
Problem not solved:
The next week King Appiah let me know he could not be able to make it.
I was worried it was my offer of a surf lesson that scared him off (I have been known to be quite annoying when it comes to attempting to recruit innocent bystanders into the Surfing Sect.)
But I later discovered his car was really broken.
King Appiah arranged for a friend, Godfrey, to collect me instead.
This lovely bear of a man, with a smile that reminded me a lot of Michael Clarke Duncan.
When we got to Kokrobite it was pouring down.
I showed him a lookout deck, at Big Milly’s Backyard, where he could sit.
But, while I was surfing, security asked him to move and he spent the whole morning trapped inside his car!!
My offer of a surf lesson was not going to fly here: Godfrey would be keen to learn how to surf. But only once he learns how to swim. And he was not planning to learn how to swim. Ever.
I suspected a trick here…
How was I going to fix this?! I could not have people A. Driving up and down from Accra to bring and fetch me B. Sitting in the car for the entire morning
A plan had to be made until King Appiah’s car was fixed.
So, imagine my surprise today when I come downstairs and found both Godfrey and King Appiah in the car.
Had both drawn the short straw?!!
We set off with the two of them babbling away in the front and me sitting in the back wanting to cry with relief – could it be that I was wrong? That they actually enjoy these trips to Kokrobite?
When we get to Kokrobite, I take them with me to Dizzy Lizzy’s ordered them cooldrink, showed them where to sit where they could watch the surfers, without being chased by some security guard, and set off to surf in peace.
2 and a half hours later, I got back to Dizzy Lizzy’s the two of them were still sitting under one of the canopies, looking as if they owned the place.
Thinking they may be in a hurry to get going, I asked in passing whether they were not hungry? (I was starving!)
King Appiah said no. Godfrey said: “Don’t lie! You just told me how hungry you were.”
We ordered. Fried Rice With Chicken for Godfrey, Fried Rice With (Strange) Fish (With Its Teeth Sunk Into Its Tail) and RedRed for me.
While we waited for our food. The other surfers came to join our table.
There were Leah and Elizabeth, two young, German girls who are volunteering in Kokrobite and James, a Texan (half South African) who is teaching computer literacy in Ghana, as part of his studies in the States.
King Appiah and Godfrey seemed a bit quiet.
Thinking this was because they were worried about time. It is sometimes difficult to know people’s true feelings on a subject, as Ghanaians are very careful not to offend.
I kept trying to wave down the waiter to ask how far our food was. (I don’t have the GMT thing down pat yet. See Day#10 )
(King Appiah was nervous about his first surf lesson, and Godfrey was not keen discussing learning to swim, which he was planning to do never.)
Enter, Anna, a buxom, bikini-clad friend of Leah and Elizabeth.
When Leah and Elizabeth ask her how her swim was, who other than Godfrey would pipe up: “Will you teach me to swim?”
Silence falls. Followed by peels of laughter.
So, next week must be “never”, because Godfrey is learning to swim.
In the car, on the way back, the two of them were babbling even more animatedly than this morning.
When we got home, they thanked me for the food and the “wonderful day”.