Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Kumasi and second half of January

So it is the beginning of February and sadly I have only one trip to update on...Kumasi. I went to Kumasi with Asante the weekend of the 18th (I think, don't really remember, time/days are not really paid attention to in Ghana). The city is VERY different from Accra; it is the capital of the Ashanti Region and is inland. It is known for its Kente Cloth which is very thick and woven on these crazy long looms and then each strip is sewn together (the process is very long and therefore it is very expensive to buy); however I did buy two strips that Asante helped me haggle for (originally each was 10 cedi) and we got them both for 5 cedi total! Essentially markets here are like Flea Markets and you haggle and haggle to get the lowest price (actually this is basically how most of Ghana is). Anyway we went to the market on the last day so let me go back and start with our first day in Kumasi.

We arrived in the afternoon (around 1, its a 5 1/2 hour trip from Accra and Accra is about an hour tro-tro ride from where I live). We then had to find our guest house (Guesthouse Lodge) and when we got there only one room was available and it was like their version of a presidential suite for 39 cedi!!!!! We had to take it, and as Asante put it, we HAD to use everything in the room and get the money's worth; the next day we were able to change to a lesser priced room but it was actually NICER! On our first day we didn't really get a chance to see anything as we didn't get to the room till late and everything closes by 5pm. Anyway that night we went exploring, something only was able to do since had a Ghanaian with me.
The next day, since was Sunday and about EVERYTHING is closed in Ghana so people can go to church, we went to the only thing that was open...the National Culture Center. It was actually really cool. We saw a lot of different historical artifacts of the Ashanti people of Ghana; none of which you could take pictures of. On a complete side note everyone in Kumasi thought Asante was an Ashanti (he isn't) because of his name and it was rather funny when people were insistent and I just start hysterically laughing. The Cultural Center was in this park with some artists shops (had no money so couldn't buy anything sadly) but the money goes to help fund advancements in art and help the artists of the country. After spending about the rest of the day there (about 3 hours) we went to get food and go back to the room; I had a sick little boy on my hands and I was getting a bit burned as it was hahaha. Sunday night we went on a search for a restaurant that had FALAFAL!!!!!!!!!!!! After searching and taking taxis for like what felt like forever we found it. On the way back we stopped to get a bit more to add to dinner then home to watch a virgin falafal eater fall in love with the food of the land of milk and honey (Israel). Monday morning woke up early and checked out of the guest house to go see the sites in Kumasi.

CRAP I will come tomorrow to finish, my computer is about to die.