Monday, February 06, 2006

It's All in the Details...

I finally got a picture of one of my tunnel traffic guys- remember, the rasta guy who's always ready with a smile and yells AMERICA! every time we go through the tunnel? You still can't see his neon green safety vest, but I thought it was more important to give you a close up look at that priceless smile. I love this guy.

In the same vein, think back a ways to my visit to the DMV- or Licence Bureau as it's called here. Well, here's a picture of it. The entry gates are closed and locked because we took this on a Sunday. On any other day, it's bedlam and what you would see is a picture of a vaguely green building behind dozens of cars, hundreds of pedestrians, and probably the close up hand of a policeman trying to stop me taking pictures of "official buildings". We'll do the throngs some other time, but for today, I wanted to get up a picture of the actual place. It's a fairly large complex of buildings, all just like this one, with dozens of offices, large waiting areas, holding areas, testing areas, and hallways. Everything is open air, just covered by a roof, except the offices which have Dutch doors and jalousie windows. It is also one of the only public buildings in Ghana with public urinals- and plenty of signs on the walls reminding patrons not to pee on the building.

"Please use urinals!"

Presumably women are welcome to hold it until they get home. I know I surely do.

On the subject of "Official Buildings- Taking Pictures Of..." we have installment #2. This is our local police station. Each area has its own police station- Cantonments, Kaneshie, Adabraka, Abalenkpe, Osu, etc., and we are no exception. This is the East Legon Police Station, about three quarters of a mile from my house.

When I took this picture we were sitting on a dirt road that intersects the street the station is on. We were very casually sitting at the stop sign, inching forward to make sure the policeman on the porch was blocked from view by the nice SUV. Ghanaians can be touchy about photos of official stuff, mostly military, but we didn't want to take any chances. ;-)

Inside this building is a small jail/holding area complete with bars, a long counter behind which the duty officer stands, and just lately there has been an official silver "East Legon Police Patrol" vehicle that drives around the neighborhood. It's quite a hopping place many nights- just someplace to hang out. Any given evening there will be a dozen or more people just sitting around talking and enjoying the evening air. Otherwise there are no police cars assigned to us (those are blue and have POLICE written in big white letters on them).

Later this week I'll do some more pictures with details. Let me know if there are specific things you wish you could see/hear about. :-)