Ghana Day #59:
Cash Economy Part #2

By 28th June 2018Travel

 

When I made my list of “We’ve Come A Long Way Baby” after being here for a month I told you about my Vodafone Cash. ( See Day#31 )

 

Well, I finally found a use for my Vodafone Cash.

 

This coming weekend is a long weekend in Ghana. (I know! Another one!! It is my third long weekend in 8 weeks!! I am never leaving Ghana.)

 

We are celebrating Republic Day on Monday. And I am taking myself up The Republic to Cape Coast and then to Busua.

 

At first, I thought my only option would be to go with a driver.

 

But, from my Kokrobite track record with King Appiah and Godfred ( See Day#33 ), I have realised that may end up with the driver sleeping in the B&B and me sleeping in the car.

 

After some research, I have put together an excursion with logistics that would make DHL proud!

 

I am taking the bus.

 

Bus route. Check.

 

Bus schedule. Check.

 

Bus ticket.. on it!

 

Can not find the purchase button.

 

“Welcome to our site, if you need help simply reply to this message, we are online and ready to help.”

 

I simply reply.

 

(Silence)

 

Ok, let’s try email.

 

(Silence)

 

Ok, let’s try the phone number.

 

Tring, tring.

 

Me: “Hi there, I would like to buy a bus ticket to Cape Coast on Saturday please.”

 

Intercity Lady: “You can try 8:30.”

 

Me: “Ok, thank you. I will phone back at 8:30. Goodbye.”

 

(30 seconds)

 

Wait ..I am sure the bus schedule said the bus for Cape Coast leaves at 8:30. Did she mean to try the phone at 8:30, or try the bus at 8:30?

 

Tring, tring.

 

Me: “Hi there, did you mean I should phone back at 8:30, or the bus is leaving at 8:30?”

 

Intercity Lady: “The bus is leaving at 8:30”

 

Me: “May I book a ticket please.”

 

Intercity Lady: “Yes.”

 

Me: “Great, can I pay over the phone?”

 

Intercity Lady: “Yes.”

 

Me: “Fantastic! Can I book please?”

 

Intercity Lady: “You have Mobile Money?”

 

Me: “I do!” (With more than a touch of pride in my voice. Ghanaian local, me.)

 

Me: “Can I just transfer money from my bank to my phone and phone back to pay?”

 

Intercity Lady: “No.”

 

Intercity Lady: “You need to go to the vendor.”

 

Me: “I need to wait for the morning to make my way across town to a vendor in order to enjoy the convenience of paying online?”

 

The Intercity Lady is not interested in my thoughts on irony.

 

Me: “Is this the only way?!!”

 

This is the only way.

 

____________________________

 

Next evening, take Uber to Accra Mall. (Uber shows up! ( See Day#58 )

 

 

Go to Vodafone.

 

 

Me: “Can I please put Mobile Money on my phone?”

 

 

Vodafone Lady: “Yes”

 

 

Me: “Great, can I pay with my credit card?”

 

 

Vodafone Lady: “No.”

 

 

Me: “No?”

 

 

Vodafone Lady: “You need to draw cash.”

 

 

Me: “I need to walk to the other side of the mall to draw cash to bring back to you to put on my phone in order to enjoy the convenience of paying online?”

 

 

The Vodafone Lady is not interested in my thoughts on irony either.

 

 

“You go get cash.”

 

 

I go get cash.

 

 

____________________________

 

 

Home.

 

 

Tring, tring.

 

 

Me: “Hi there, I’m back. Can I please book that bus ticket to Cape Coast on Saturday please.”

 

 

Intercity Lady: “You have Mobile Money?”

 

 

Me: “I do!” (I do! I do! I do!)

 

 

Intercity Lady: “MTN Mobile Money?”

 

 

Me: “No. Vodafone Mobile Money.”

 

 

Intercity Lady: “We only take MTN Mobile Money.”

 

 

Me: “What?!”

 

 

Me: “Why didn’t tell me yesterday?!!”

 

 

Intercity Lady: “We only take MTN Mobile Money.”

 

 

Me: “But I have a Vodafone phone?!”

 

 

Intercity Lady: “You go get MTN Mobile Money, they put it on for you.”

 

 

_____________________________

 

 

After today’s workshop at the Relle Suite Hotel (where I spent my first night in Ghana! See Day#2 ), I make a beeline for the hotel reception desk.

 

 

Me: “Can you please tell me where I can buy MTN Mobile Money?”

 

 

Reception Lady: “Yes, from the man under the yellow umbrella across the road.”

 

 

Me: “Fantastic!”

 

 

_____________________________

 

 

Me: “Hi there, I would like to put some MTN Mobile Money on my phone please.”

 

Man Under The Yellow Umbrella: “How much?”

 

 

Me: “Enough for my bus ticket.”

 

 

Man Under The Yellow Umbrella: “What is your phone number?”

 

 

Me: “+233 20 080 XXXX”

 

 

Man Under The Yellow Umbrella: “That is a Vodafone number.”

 

 

Me: “Yes, I know. I have Vodafone Mobile Money on there, but I need to add MTN Mobile Money please.”

 

 

Man Under The Yellow Umbrella: “You can’t”

 

 

Me: “But they Intercity Lady said..” “Never mind.”

 

 

Me: “How do I get MTN Mobile Money?”

 

 

Man Under The Yellow Umbrella: “You need an MTN Sim.”

 

 

Me: “May I have an MTN Sim please.”

 

 

Man Under The Yellow Umbrella: “Do you have a Ghanaian ID?”

 

 

RICHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARD!!!!!!!!

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