Spots

8 05 2009

Hygeine SpotI spend a reasonable amount of time at the local hygiene spot. Oddly this isn’t to keep clean but where I drink. The hygiene spot is my local bar (it’s outside the school of hygiene and spot just means bar, hence the name). Like most spots in Tamale it’s a converted transport container with one side cut away to form a couple of steel doors that are bolted shut at night. During the day they’re flung wide open in a gesture of hospitality, and in the evenings large speakers entertain the district with the local radio. Drinks are kept in a large chest fridge, if you ask for something at the bottom there’s much clanking and clunking of glass as the bottles stacked on top are moved. The till is a plastic tub holding the money. The toilet is open air, a pile of charcoal around which a basic fence has been erected. Seating is basically outside, with the choice of a shaded area behind or watching the road (and my house) on the open area in front. I’ve spent a good few pleasant evenings with a book or chatting while watching the world go by.

Most volunteers have a local spot and get to know the staff to varying degrees. When I’m in Bolga the staff of the “Feel at Home” spot make me feel at home by knowing my drink of choice is Club. They also have some of the best spicy goat kebabs going. In Accra I used to hang out at Isaac’s and there were only a couple of decent spots in the whole of Salaga.

Since Fred moved in I’ve got to know the staff better. Apparently for the first year I was considered stand-offish and unfriendly. Can’t imagine why, I always said hello before reading my book. Fred is the master of charm, to the extent that when our gas cylinder ran out while I was cooking our porridge one morning he sweet talked them into finishing it on their charcoal burner. He’s also persuaded them to deliver beers to our house on occasion. While my usual tipple is Club beer (Fred drinks Star – he has no taste) I am occasionally able to enjoy a gin and tonic. The major problem isn’t gin (a bottle of Ghanaian gin is less than half the price of 100g of cheese) but tonic. We’ve had repeated arguments that while it does say Schweppes on the bottle bitter lemon is not tonic.

Another Photo of the Hygeine spot:

The Spot

And another spot:
New Spot

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2 responses

8 05 2009
Penny

Now that takes me back! Gin adn bitter lemon was my drink of choice (when I was about 16)!

8 05 2009
Tim Little

I seem to remember trying to buy you one in Manchester once

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