Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thoughts on Accra

I often try to place Accra within the context of Africa as I know it (from only a short trip to Kenya last year). I used to describe it as an African capital city, but also a coastal town. Or, "more similar to Mombasa than Nairobi". But the more time I spend here, the more I realize that it's not very similar at all to Kenya. Accra has neither the exoticism of Mombasa's mixed African and Arabic cultures nor furious extremity of Nairobi's vital urban center and equally vital shantytowns.

Accra is rather a sprawling suburb of mixed communities, each with its own micro-culture. There's no "bad part of town" and no city center. It's a place characterized most by its lack of extremes. It has never felt particularly unfamiliar or even very foreign.

I try with this blog to deliver unexpected and (I hope) intriguing nuggets of Ghana's culture as fodder for the imaginations of my readers (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!) when they picture my life here. But the very fact that I find it more interesting to seek out and identify differences over similarities betrays the fact that Accra is not that strange. As often as it's the differences that make life interesting here, it's the similarities that make life easy.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Son !

    Thanks for the "intriguing nuggets" !