Monday, February 15, 2010

Everyday Transportation

Have you guys ever heard of Grasscutter? It's a type of delicacy here in Ghana, and it looks like a foot long rat. Apparently it's very expensive... and delicious? I'm honestly not sure if I've experienced said dish, because I tend not to ask too many questions about the meat I consume. Ignorance is bliss right? There's no telling what kinds of food my home-stay mom served me those first few months. I shudder at the thought.

Anyways, I was traveling along the Accra-Hohoe road back home when the driver pulls the tro-tro to an abrupt stop. I was happily sitting in the front, next to the driver, with my friend sitting in the passenger seat. It was then, I noticed the small boy standing on the side of the road proudly, showcasing the day's catch: A Nice Juicy Grasscutter.

Needless to say, us Americans were a little grossed-out, while the Ghanaians were really excited. The boy had caught a rare beauty. The driver asks how much, and begins negotiating with the boy. I was then I realized hes going to have to put the grasscutter somewhere, and in typical Ghanaian fashion, he'll just hand it to someone or throw it on the floor and we'll be on our happy way. This everyday occurrence did not sit well with the Americans who like distance between themselves and dead rodents that look like they could eat your face in their previous life. Ugh.

So when the driver grabbed the grasscutter and casually tossed it on the floor- AT MY FEET, both my friend and I lost it. She screamed while I sat paralyzed in fear. And the Ghanaians? They laughed and laughed. I think we were the most entertaining thing to happen since the African World Cup.

The perplexed driver realized that we weren't, um, used to being around dead grasscutters, so he promptly grabbed it from the floor and proceeded to pass it back to the mate and away from the front seat- which was fine with me, except that they had to pass it INCHES FROM MY FACE. Shudder. More screaming ensued (us in the front), as well as laughter (from the Ghanaians in the back). That was one of the more traumatizing tro rides I've been on lately.

It's the dry season now, which makes things dusty. Luckily, the tros aren't getting tuck in mud, but you leave the tro covered in dirt anytime you go to or from a place. It's also the time of year farmers burn the fields for whatever reason. I assume it has to do with rotating crops. So when I travel, I sometimes see these blazing infernos in the fields next to the roads. It's a little unnerving, but the Ghanaians tell us not to worry.

I can't help worrying on tros though...


Anonymous said...

Grasscutter - Yummy! Aren't you glad you're not vegetarian anymore?

Love you,

Anonymous said...

Katie I can only imagine the look on your face when the driver passed the rodent in front of your face..ewwww
We could barley handle the mouse traps at the mt. house! lol I love and miss you a ton! bad luck trying to talk to you yesterday but I will try again soon <3 <3 <3
P.S Happy Late Valentines Day Sis!

Flossie said...

Hahaha! I would have had a heart attack.

dancewater said...

I just wanted to tell you that your grandma sent me this way - she said her granddaughter was in the Peace Corps and writing a blog.... so I just had to read!

Hope you keep writing, that was entertaining!