Travel Journal

Cape Coast - November 20-21 - Lazing on the beach....

(Thursday 22 November 2007) by Karin
Two days spent lazing on the beach, sipping fresh orange or pineapple juice under the coconut trees, uploading pictures and updating travellog, wandering around town and visiting Cape Coast Castle.
Realized I didn't have a beach towel with me so went on a towel hunt in town. I wonder how I'll feel when I see the stores and supermarkets at home. Already here, after Larabanga, I feel like there are so many more choices in fruit and vegetables. I am enjoying pineapples, oranges, watermelons etc. Even though I love papaya it is a nice change. I can't wait to be able to prepare an avocado, cucumber, mushroom sandwich on multigrain bread again. I think that's the first thing I want to eat when I come home. Anyway, I found a towel in a very European looking store but what an expedition. Once you chose your towel, you have to find a sales person that will give you a piece of paper so you can go and pay for it. After payment another person needs to check your purchases and she will scribble something on your receipt before someone else will pack it up. I thought that would be it but before you leave the store a fifth person needs to stamp the receipt which of course I had put away again. I guess this is one way of keeping the unemployment rate lower. It still is hard to find a job here.

Visit to Cape Coast Castle was interesting but I came out of there not feeling too well :-x. Cape Coast Castle as it exists today was built over a period of 300 years. Again, I am horrified by the extend of suffering that millions of enslaved people endured. Torn from their homes and families, separated from their children and loved ones, those who were enslaved were shackled, held in dark, overcrowded, unsanitary dungeons until they were shipped out. They got food and water but just enough to keep them alive. Women got raped. Any rebellious behavior got beaten out of them or they were put in the 'dead' cell with no food or water to die.
The conditions on board of the slave ships were equally, if not more horrendous. In most cases, these vessels were nothing more than floating coffins, where human cargo was literally stacked like books on shelves. Those who survived this 'middle passage' faced a bleak future and a lifetime of servitude at the hands of householders and plantation owners in Europe and the Americas.

Early morning I watched the fisherman bring in their nets and collect the fish. Interesting to watch. Fish is sold on the beach to the women who then prepare and sell it on the street.
And tonight, I disappointed another man. John, a Ghanaian man whom I talked with today is in love with me now and wants to marry me. Marriage proposal number ????? He wanted to join me in my room and was really disappointed when I declined his offer. Wonder how you can be sooooo sure after a few hours and most of them actually after a few minutes. By now I could have been married soooo many times.
All in all, an enjoyable two days. Unfortunately I will have to leave paradise for stinky Accra tomorrow.

 


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