So my eye's been giving me trouble and, understandably it's hard for my integrity not to be challenged when I'm doing a mighty fine impression of Blackbeard. Mrs Mary and Mrs Naana were concerned so Takoradi International School's (TIS) driver John took me to the pharmacist where I was prescribed some eye drops (6.50 cedi = £2.70) - only problem being, I've never been able to administer eye drops, I hate them... What I will say is, whilst the pharmacists in the UK are a mixed bag of abilities, here they are direct and efficient; in Ghana, they actually train for a year longer than doctors! I'd recommend that the pharmacist should be the first port of call for any nagging ailments rather than a doctor as it's a lot cheaper - no registration fees, no consultation fees, no prescription fees and no queues either! I was then dropped off at Africa Beach Hotel (ABH) in the hopes that a good rest would return me to health.
Relaxed poolside whilst I waited for Dudley - he was caught up babysitting for Bryan for a few hours. We then walked into Market Circle and all around the surrounding area; I got a good feel for Takoradi and finally found my bearings. I bought loads of instant noodles (50 pesewas = 21p) from the Garden Mart supermarket on Liberation Road, hoping that'll be my lunch for the next week but it all depends on whether the heat from boiling water alone is enough to cook them... Fingers crossed! I know TIS has a microwave in the staff room so I could hopefully use that if all else fails! Looked into getting some fabric but didn't have enough money on me (it's around 4 cedi a yard (= £1.70) - I only want just enough to make a cushion so will have to confer with Mum about rough measurements. On the way back, after walking for nearly 5 hours non-stop, Dudley treated me to a sausage on a stick outside Spike's bar - it was a bargain at 1cedi and very tasty. Also spotted a local bar/restaurant up the road from TIS so will check that out tomorrow as I want to try "red-red and beans", which they sell.
My personal un-budgeted increase in costs due to the end of my placement at APGSS (as I am buying all my own meals now) is made worse by the general upshot in prices all over Takoradi since new year. I have no idea how the locals manage, as I can only just afford one local snack, one bottle of drink and one evening meal at ABH - thankfully ABH has a complimentary breakfast (tea/coffee, orange juice, two rounds of toast, butter and jam) and provides a kettle in the room or I'd be even worse off. I would eat more locally during the evening but it's apparently not safe for me to wonder round after dark so I'd struggle. Although there is a restaurant down the road (owned by Georgina, a Link contact) so may wander down there tonight/tomorrow.
Also, after realising how easy it is to get around Takoradi despite the lack of road signs, once I've finished school tomorrow, I'm going to see if I can follow the map in my guidebook to find the bus stop to Busua.
Considering how adverse most of the British are to change (remember all that hoo-ha over "Jif" changing to "Cif"a few years ago?), I actually think I've coped pretty well, even if I haven't completely embraced the culture yet.