Like many people of my age, I’m not very good with mobile phones. Club fingers and bad eyesight don’t help. Of course, I’m much better than Fat Mac, who unfortunately hasn’t even figured out how to answer a call on his phone, yet.
I’ve gradually got used to my phone, and am using it much more nowadays, but I’ve not mastered using it abroad, apart from connecting to various WiFi. I can still remember the massive bill that Caro ran up on her iPhone when she came over from Australia a few years ago without realising the cost, and am wary of incurring similar expense. For some reason, neither Lindsey or my phone would work from the West Indies when we tried to phone home earlier this year. Leslie had no problems with his. We’ve no idea why. The SIM card we bought in China a couple of years ago didn’t seem to work on our phones there.
I was impressed with the ease of use of mobiles in Ghana. Having previously bought a local SIM card, Jamie simply bought a pre-paid slip from one of the hundreds of guys selling them at road junctions around Accra, for about the equivalent of two Pounds, and this gave him full use for roughly two weeks – apps, maps, Internet, local calls, and even calls to the UK which only cost a few pence. Two hours down a dirt track in the middle of nowhere, and he was still able to get a signal, check maps and find the right turn-off.
Three young people have failed to even locate the SIM card on my HTC phone. But I was determined to master the process of buying a card abroad and using my phone to the fullest.
Then I discovered that Fat Mac, who is currently in India, got someone younger to help him try to get an Indian sim card, but it required all sorts of paperwork including a passport photo, forms and proof of residence. Then I heard that it is almost equally difficult to get cards in South Africa, where we’re going at the end of February for a wedding in Cape Town.
I took few photos in Accra itself, and the ones I did take tend to give a slightly false impression. There were various modern buildings and some high-rise apartments, but we always either seemed to be in the car when we passed them, or it was night-time. So, the photos I took were mostly in poorer parts of town, when were were walking around. Often, the people were not keen on having their photos taken, which is fair enough.
Accra is not entirely represented, therefore, in the following.
Accra is by far the busiest city I’ve ever visited. It can take ages getting from one part of town to another, especially if the traffic is bad which it is for most of the day. There are masses of people and thousands of roadside markets selling all sorts of things. I totally failed to capture any of this in my photos!