CODE 233: Rain, Rain, Go Away

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The relationship Ghanaians have with rain is a very peculiar one that has got me thinking over the past few days.

See, I was enjoying my trotro ride on the way to church last Sunday and, typically Ghanaian of me, I was late and thus decided to stare out the window to avoid the anxiety brought on by paying too much attention to the time.

Halfway through the journey, I noticed it had started drizzling and observed people scurrying to get out of the way of the oncoming rain. A fellow passenger and window-watcher was moved to comment about how the Ghanaian would rush to avoid the relatively harmless rain but would walk rather leisurely across the road even with vehicles — which could actually kill — bearing down on them. Now, that’s some food for thought, isn’t it?

A few people in the trotro mentioned how they’d never have left home that morning if they had known it would rain, confirming my long-held belief that, in Ghana, rainfall — or even the mere ‘threat’ of it — is enough of an excuse for not doing anything.

Late to work?

“The rain.”

Missed a meeting?

“Oh, the rain.”

No church today?

“Um, the rain.”

It’s almost as though, for Ghanaians, the rains are a sign from God to not venture outside their homes, and they take serious offense with anyone who suggests otherwise; I know this from experience, trust me.

Granted, rain — especially the heavy kind — has been known to trigger some tragic events across the country, almost perennially, but staying at home to avoid such trouble offers few guarantees of salvation, if you catch my drift. Feeling like Socrates armed with a newly minted piece of wisdom ready to be shared, I enthusiastically tried to discuss this theory of mine with the guy sitting next to me on the bus, but — wait for it — he countered with the argument that I was just being petty and jealous of all the people curled in the warmth of their beds because I was already out and at the mercy of the rain.

I give up, charley.

Forkins!

Joshua Ansah — Daily Mail GH

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