Ghana Day #58:
Cash Economy Part #1

By 27th June 2018Travel

 

For the first five weeks in Ghana, I could not get an Uber. ( See Day#31 )

 

Well, I could get one, but it would be Uber Number Seven.

 

Instead of counting down, Uber Number One would count up!

 

Your driver is 7 minutes away… Your driver is 8 minutes away… Your driver is 9 minutes away…

 

Uber Number Two would park a block away and not move. No matter how many “Chale man oh” messages I sent.

 

Uber Number Three’s little mini car icon would keep making little mini u-turns on my phone screen.

 

Uber Number Four would inch it’s way to the top of my road. And cancel!!

 

Uber Number Five would drive past my front door and keep just going…

 

Uber Number Six would change his name and move to Tema.

 

I kept thinking it had something to do with the fact that I am address-less. ( See Day#24 )

 

Until King Appiah ( See Day#21 ) explained that this was because the Uber Drivers “they see your surname.”

 

“My surname?!” “They don’t like my surname?” “Is it ‘cause I’m Oburoni?”

 

 

“No.” “It’s because they don’t like your credit card.”

 

 

“I could use another one?”

 

 

“They won’t like that one either.”

 

 

You see, Uber Driver cannot accept my GHS20 credit card payment because Uber Driver does not have a bank account for Uber to put my GHS20 into.

 

 

And without my GHS20 Uber Driver can not put petrol into his car. (Literally. This morning he ran out of petrol in Tema, because his Uboroni Uber Rider paid him by card.)

 

 

_____________________________

 

 

Changed the Little Visa Icon next to my Uber request to the Little Bank Note Icon. Voila! Uber Driver arrived.

 

Problem solved.

 

 

The next Uber Driver came straight to my front door.. and drove off! Again!!

 

 

Problem not solved.

 

 

_____________________________

 

 

Until this evening. Thanks to Uber Driver Roger, I finally cracked the code to the erratic pattern:

 

 

Uber Driver A uses Android phone and can see which payment method I selected.

 

 

Uber Driver B uses iPhone and cannot see which payment method I selected.

 

 

Uber Driver A accepts my ride and then makes little loops with his little car icon while he waits for something better to come along.

 

 

Uber Driver B accepts my ride and…

 

 

To quote Uber Driver Roger: “I just pray it is cash.”

 

 

From now on I will answer Uber Driver B’s prayers.

 

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