Monday, August 17, 2009

Taking Time Out to chill in Accra

My friend El has now been in Ghana for exactly one week and for some reason thinks Accra is a cosmopolitan and vibrant city. He was even impressed that we had a branch of the world-famous Patchi chocolates. In fact, I had no idea we did but a visit to the Accra Mall confirmed that we do have a Patchi store as we found it tucked away to the left at the mall's Game entrance. Their chocolates are deliciously amazing by the way. I'm still hard-pressed to believe that Accra is so hip and happening but just being at the Accra mall on a Sunday afternoon amidst swarms of good-looking and vibrant people, has inclined me towards agreeing with my friend.

Finding a copy of Time Out Accra in a hotel store has further fermented my appreciation of the fact that Accra is definitely a place on the move. Back in my New York City days, Time Out New York was the definitive guide to all the happenings in the Big Apple; the concerts, the events as well as the best places to eat etc. It did great reviews and included how much a meal at a hot-spot like "The Russian Tea Room" was likely to set you back. So it was with much excitement that I bought my first copy of Time Out Accra full of glossy and colourful pages that really bring the city alive. Well, it was actually El that bought it for me but lets not get weighed down with technicalities! The magazine is filled with features, sightseeing options, what/where to eat , where to stay and where to be entertained.There's even an amusing section entitled "Pigdin Buster" that gives a few words in pidgin translated into English. So if you hear someone describing something as Awam or Azaa, you would know exactly what they mean! Time Out Accra is not only a must-have for visitors but also for natives of this fair city. Check it out!


Pen Powder said...

Chale, this seems like a mag for me. I have been in Accra for exactly 7 months, and believe me, I learn and see new things everyday. My humble geography map reading techniques point out the fact that I have not even covered a tenth of Accra in those 7 months. Ah, So much to see in Accra, So much to do...Always very little time.

novisi said...

Accra is sweet!

Abena said...

Mos def Pen Powder! BTW, you would be surprised how little people who have lived in Accra for years have seen of areas out of their sphere of everyday existence. I would not know exactly how to drive to Korle-Bu by myself even if my life depended on it. Well, I suppose that happens anywhere in the world and I think I'm a terrible example!

Abena said...

Indeed Novisi, Accra can be sweet...what are your fave places to chill ?

Pen Powder said...

Abena, it is an observation that I have come to realise now that some people, well to do people (Lawyers) have not been to the Accra Mall. I am not saying if you have never been to Accra Mall you have not been anywhere, but this just buttresses your point.

posekyere said...

Accra indeed is changing pretty fast. My only problem is that the provision of amenities by the state is woefully lagging behind the pace of development by private enterprise and individuals.
The provision of sanitation facilities,water, electricity and roads has got to be jacked up very fast or there will be no way to catch up with the development taking place all over the place.
Loved reading this one.
Thanks Abena!

Abena said...

@Pen Powder, that is very interesting...I did notice that some of my mother's friends avoid the mall but I just assumed it was because they were much older and felt that it was for young people. Personally, I love the mall and can't remember how my life in Accra was before it was built!

@Posekyere: Indeed, rapid changes are taking place and with the new Hilton and Marina Mall at Airport City, things will change even more. Alas, you do touch on some of the bitter realities we face; Accra is rapidly developing yet social amenities are still lacking. The government has a major role to play here. I must commend Zoomlion though for the amazing work they have down in cleaning public places all over the country in the past few years. Yet, I still think there is soooo much more to be done since Accra still has appalling waste disposal issues. Let's not even get into the scary state of the roads post-rain.