We had just come in from shopping. The sun was not nice and I was hot and sweaty. We walked the half dirt, half grassy road to our house. I was glad to be back at home. I as losing interest in shopping Ghanaian style. The markets were not presentable and pleasant and instead were done as if they were an afterthought. It’s as if someone said, “Oh yeah, we’re going to have a market for others to come and buy things from us.” They did not prepare their stands, but set a cloth down to hold the bruised fruits and vegetables. Their umbrellas which should entice us to wonder what’s there were dirty and truly were for the purpose of the seller, not to invite the customers. The pathways were filled with hot and sweaty people on the look out of their own shopping quests.
It could be easy for me to organize it. It’s a market, I have visited those in other countries before: clean walkways, places to sit and eat comfortably from the sweltering sun, some music over a loud speaker. But this would require planning and thought towards making sure that those who come to the market want to stay around to shop. That’s the opposite of this Ghanaian market.
All 4 of us get in to the house and settle in to rest up before bathing. We were drinking ice cold water and I thought out loud about going to Takoradi next weekend in order to buy pillows for the girls. It had already been 1 week since Manuela joined us. It took a struggle to get her there, but she was finally there and I needed to start getting her to open up more. I wanted her to feel comfortable with me and getting used to other types of things. It seemed that I lost the battle of her having her own bed. She had her own room, just as my daughter did. My daughter had her room with a twin bed. Manuela had the floor with a sheet thrown on the floor. I had gotten her a table and gifted her books from my daughter’s collection that were beyond her age. I made certain to also buy her an arts set because she seemed interested in drawing and colors.
I continued my thoughts out loud for my trek to Takoradi for pillow buying. My husband, Emmanuel, interjected: “Aba! Pillow? And for what?” in his Ghanaian accent that I had grown to love hearing; especially if he was going to say something like a joke. He continued: “What do they need a pillow for?”
I offered: “Well, they usually go on the bed. We have them on ours. I’ll just get one for her.”
Emmanuel continued in the joking mannerm which I liked, but now I was hoping that he was not serious.
“In my culture children do not get pillows.”
Oh shit. He serious.
“Are you serious?” I had to check.
He was serious: “Aba! What job does she do?! Does she work?” he questioned.
I thought this was the FUNNIEST joke! I laughed and was snorting, bent over in my chair in amusement. My laughter rang through the house. I’m sure he thought that I was laughing at his wit and his ability to be funny and sarcastic with his supposed cultural tendencies versus my American ways.
I was laughing because he did not work and had not had a job since before I met him, yet he had 2 pillows, nice sheets, and quality towels.
*This and more to come as Latoya explores her feelings and shares what happened in her scam of a marriage to a man who wanted to obtain a green card and visa to the USA. Comment if you can relate or if you have questions about being in a scam of a marriage.