Thursday, 2 June 2011

Location Location Location

During a recent 'beat the clock' game, I was hard pressed to find the name of a capital city beginning with the letter D. I shot out of my seat and yelled 'Düsseldorf!' desperately, before remembering that Düsseldorf is not a capital city - Dakar would have been more appropriate.

Sometimes my mental atlas is dodgy.

An English teacher in primary school once told me that the next best alternative to travelling is to read about places and imagine yourself there. This is how by the time I was ten, I'd already watched the sun set over Mount Kenya, tasted sake in Japan, surfed in get the picture. You see, sometimes discovering isn't necessarily in the act of being there; it is seeing it come alive through the eyes of another person. Ghana, UK, USA, Ukraine, Latvia, Singapore, Greece and Netherlands...are some of the countries in which readers of this blog live. Imagine..a plethora of places to be 'visited' even right here within this space! I think I've died and gone to travel heaven.

So how about a little game? An informal and personalized geography session, if you will. Tell us about the city/town in which you currently reside. I'll start:

*My London

Home is...

Camden - which is variously described as 'alternative', 'fashionable', 'crazy'. I like to think of it as 'colourful.'

What's the first thing you do when you arrive (back) in London?
Start looking on my right hand side for oncoming vehicles, and not my left.

What advice would you give a tourist?
Always have an umbrella handy, and never be fooled by the sunshine.

Which London shops do you rely on?
Sainsbury's for groceries. The Tesco Express down the road for the emergency oh-no-we're-out-of-milk groceries, Viva Afrik Kenkey House in Leytonstone for - you guessed it - kenkey. They make the best kenkey this side of Europe. Adom Store in Dalston Market for apem (unripe plantain), and recently, The Wine Cellar, a Portuguese café on Kentish Town Road, for deliciously sinful sandwiches. Pak Comestics on Stroud Green Road for hair and beauty products. Be not surprised that most of my favourite shops are food-related shops.

What's your earliest London memory?
Realizing on the drive home from the airport that drivers here do not honk their horns much, and being slightly unnerved by that.

What's the most memorable meal you've had in London?
Eating sushi for the first time and knowing instantly that it would be my last. That, and having marmite accidentally put in my tea and gagging at the first sip.

If you could live in any building in London, which would it be?
Central St Giles, because it's painted in vibrant reds and sunny yellows and has a fascinating statue in the courtyard.

What is your favourite place in London?
The National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square, and the Southbank on a hot summer day.

What are your recent discoveries?
Apple Lucozade, Jessie J and brogues, not necessarily in that order.

What's your favourite London shopping street?
Oxford Street for high street fashion.

Tell us something we don't know about London
Soho in the West End was a hunting ground during the time of Henry VIII. When a hunter spotted a deer, he would yell 'Tally-Ho', and for smaller prey, he would shout 'So-Ho!'

A vous de jouer! Put your city/town into the mix and answer the same questions. Remember that this is your take on your city, so do not be put off by another person's entry, should they live in the same city as you. Now get playing, player :)

*Question format inspired by ES Magazine


Anonymous said...

Hey Davida, I'd just like to say I'm one of your blog's 'lurkers'! You always write such entertaining reads :)
So anyway here goes:
Home is...
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Dunno WHAT miracle made that happen but I adore the area, and specifically, there's a WHSmith two doors from me. I'm a u do the maths lol.

The first thing I do when I arrive in London is to catch up with my fav programmes on Sky+ which I always hope my flatmate would have recorded for me!

Hm..what advice for a tourist..definitely the one about an umbrella is good. Lol. Maybe jump on a double decker bus and see more of london?

London shops I rely on..WHSmith hey ho!

Earliest London memory..will have to get back to you on that one.

The building I'd most like to live in..maybe one of the eyelets of the London Eye, just for the amazing views from the top.

Fav shopping street..Portobello Rd, although it's more window shopping since the prices would most likely cripple my bank balance!

Something you might not know about London..did you know a cab driver has to know about 25000 streets in order to pass 'the knowledge'? Wow!

Great piece btw!

Anonymous said...

My Accra

Home is..
Kaneshie which is fairly central but the traffic is always a killer. Then again that's almost the case practically everywhere in Accra

First thing I do when I arrive in Accra..I barely leave the city, so I hope that changes soon. But a cold glass of water when I get home
always does the trick

I'd advice a tourist to bargain bargain bargain when buying something. Nothing's 'unbargainable' in Ghana

Shops I rely on...I get most things from Kaneshie market which is a short walk from me

I think my earliest Accra memory is going to kindergarten. I am Accra born and bred.

The new hotel near Cedi House looks like a great place to live.

I'm not sure that one street could provide a one-stop shopping need, but like I said Kaneshie market is pretty well stocked.

An interesting thing about is cosmopolitan, with great nightlife, and continues to attract an émigré community. Accra is a sprawling metropolis!


Davida said...

Hi Andie, nice to have you 'emerge' from the shadows :)
And guess what, I'm something of a bookworm too! There's a Waterstone's near me which I pop into so often that I'll soon consider applying to be part of their furniture! Just started reading The Spoiler by Annalena McAfee; already enjoying it. Real nice to 'meet' you.

And KB, I can't believe the coincidence. Kaneshie is my hood when I'm home in Accra, so I'm always in and out of Kaneshie market! All my favourite market mummies are there :)

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy reading your blog.

My hometown is Acton, so watch your bags and pockets when you come through here loool. Oh not really, but what else can I say I live opposite a cemetary.

Anonymous said...

My Accra Home is Bubiashie - a place where the people LOVE to party and where you'll get the best domedo in all of Gh:)

What's the first thing you do when you arrive (back) in Accra?
look around for the buildings, billboards, etc

What advice would you give a tourist?
learn to bargain and when you are lost, pick a car to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle trotro station you'll find your way home:)

Which Accra shops do you rely on?
the Kaneshie Market, the Accra Central Market and occasionally, Circle

What's your earliest Accra memory?
The traffic

What's the most memorable meal you've had in Accra?

Apapransa...and I'm not touching that thing again

If you could live in any building in Accra, which would it be?
The presidential palace:)

What is your favourite place in Accra?
the rooftop of my night the breeze is refreshing and the scenery's not bad at all

What are your recent discoveries?
the internet:), youtube:)and the download manager:)

What's your favourite Accra shopping street?
Anyone with accra central all over it

Tell us something we don't know about Accra
its full of people who are really friendly and very helpful
and to must learn to bargain asap

Davida said...

Totally agree about bargaining in Ghana - there's a whole art to it!