Everything looks so familiar, but I don’t recognize any of the streets. The main signs reminding me that I’m not quite home yet, that I’m not in Accra, are the okadas and kekenapeps (motorcycle and rickshaw taxis) that are everywhere on the buzzing streets of Lagos. I wonder how recent a phenomenon these are, and if Accra will be just as full of these nifty means of locomotion. Last time I was home, the tiny Korean Ticos were still the most compact mode of public transportation in Ghana. I’m impressed with the agility, abundance and cheapness of the okadas. Surely they must be the fastest way to get around the congested city. Best of all I love the boastful bravado captured on the license plates, which all say, “Lagos, Centre of Excellence.” I must find the balls to ride an okada before I leave excellence’s very center.
August 16, 2012