The surmountable trials of Lady Ghana


Get off my road

We’ve had this long-standing argument with Mr Club. I got tired of seeing him zipping around town on his cool motorbike while I had to hail a taxi just because we ended up with a lemon of a car on our previous post.

I reached a point where I was desperate for a two-wheeler of my own. Not a motorbike, since I would struggle to maintain my usual class on it, but surely a scooter would solve my misery. Mr Club however remained inflexible: take a basic training course or I won’t let you get one. Therefore as I travelled through Europe this summer, I booked a class and I am now proudly qualified, if not safe, to hit the road.

Getting a scooter in Accra is really easy. The streets are strewn with hundreds of imported motors that you can buy for about 500 dollars or less. I settled for a Suzuki 125cc that had been shipped from Italy. The ownership papers indicated the right body number, but on close inspection the brand read Yamaha 600cc. Interesting.

I agreed to pay the retailer once he would come back with the ownership papers duly changed and a regular license plate, and I left him 150 Ghana cedis (about $75) for the government registration fee. Three days later he came back with the right papers, the right plate and a receipt for 50 Ghc. Apparently and a few people have confirmed it since, although the government officially charge 50 Ghc, they like you to pay three times as much to help them do the work “correctly”. Whatever.

But for the past three weeks, my scooter and I have been cruising the streets of Accra, avoiding mad drivers and potholes, while trying to stop my skirt from embarrassing me too much. And I’m told that I look very French on it.