Posted tagged ‘Ghanaian time’

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

August 24, 2017

Okay, we’re starting with the gross part of my day’s musings. Maddie, my cat, now 17, has surprisingly shown the prowess of her youth, her long ago hunting days. Last night I heard a thud, a loud thud, and knew it had to be Maddie as she wasn’t with me. Being both worried and curious, I got up to investigate but Maddie came into the room before I could. She was on the other side of the table, out of my sight, when I heard crunching (here’s where it gets gross so if you want to leave, please do so). I checked and saw she was eating the remains of a baby mouse, actually only half a mouse, the top half. I made suitable sounds of being grossed out, shooed Maddie away and used two catalogues to pick up the remains which I then tossed outside. My big takeaway from this is there are mice again even though I paid my own Pied Piper. I’m putting a trap down in case there are more.

The day is beautiful. It will be 79˚ or so, but the humidity seems to have disappeared. I have a few things on my list to keep me busy, and I have to drive friends to the Boston bus, but that’s it for the planned part of my day.

Less tomorrow is a Ghananism, my identifier for English adaptations Ghanaians have coined. Less tomorrow was used when something was promised for a certain day but wasn’t ready. For example, when I was told a dress from the seamstress would be ready on Tuesday, I’d go to pick it up, but it was never ready. The seamstress would tell me less tomorrow which didn’t necessarily mean Wednesday. It just meant sometime in the future. I came to believe Ghanaians used less tomorrow for Europeans, white people, who seemed to need a specific day. Ghanaians are more casual with time.

It wasn’t long before I embraced loose time, before I accepted Ghanaian time, which really meant anytime, instead of European time. If I tell my friends to arrive here at 5:30 for a soirée, I expect them around 5:30. Were I to tell my Ghanaians friends the same, they could arrive at 7 or even 8 and still be considered on time.

My training college worked on clock time, a necessity to keep the day on task. Planes left Kotoka Airport in Accra pretty much on time, but the rest of Ghana had its own pace, and I, after a while, also fell into that pace. If I hadn’t, I would have been driven crazy.

In my retirement, I have gone back to whenever time, to Ghanaian time, with some exceptions like doctors or plays or dinner reservations. I figure what I don’t get done today will get done less tomorrow.

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

June 29, 2015

The morning is sweatshirt weather, cloudy, damp and chilly. Everything is still a bit wet. We need sun, and luckily, the weather report is hopeful: sun in the afternoon. I hope it’s right.

My neighbor and I chatted this morning, and I sat on the damp steps for so long I could get piles. Okay, I know that’s not true, but that’s what I used to hear: sitting on cold ground was never a good idea because it caused piles. It wasn’t until I was much older that I found out piles are better known as hemorrhoids. Their connection to damp concrete was just an old wife’s tale, a bit of a weird one I think.

I have a few errands for later but that’s it for the day. My back is feeling better so I don’t want to chance hurting it again by doing anything. It’s a great excuse to lie around and do nothing, as if I really needed an excuse.

Every now and then I lose a day. I find something to hold my attention and before I know it the day has gone to afternoon. Often it is a good book as I am always loath to put down a good book. Sometimes I sit on the deck, get drowsy and fall asleep on the lounge. When I wake up, the sun is lower in the sky.

I seldom check clocks and I don’t wear a watch. If I need to be somewhere, I leave early enough to get there. My bedroom has a clock because once in a while I need to set the alarm, usually to meet friends for breakfast. My den has the clock on the cable box. I check it to make sure to watch a particular TV program. I think this dislike of clocks and watches comes from my life having been driven by time. I had to get up in time to have breakfast and to walk to school, later to catch the bus to school. Ghana was where time was of the least importance, but I still needed to know when my class was starting, and I had to set the alarm to catch an early bus. Beyond those, time meant little. You waited until the lorry was filled before it could leave. Nobody knew how long that would take. People arrived whenever which was defined as Ghana time. I got used to that. I learned to wait, to while away the time.

When I got home, I was again ruled by clocks and watches. Wasting time was sinful. It was the alarm clock every morning and bells all through the day to start and stop classes. Buses and trains left on time.

Retirement is glorious as time is of little importance. I go to bed when I’m tired and wake up whenever. I list appointments on the desk calendar, the one with Jeopardy questions, the one my sister puts in my stocking every year. I don’t keep a daily calendar in my bag the way I used to when I worked. I am a lady of leisure who has no need to know the time.


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