“I will marry you” are the first words my cab driver says to me as I hand him my cab fare. I should be taken aback by this declaration, but I am not. This hasn’t been my first marriage proposal. Men in Ghana are very bold and persistent. I had two men claim me as their wife! How are you supposed to respond to that?! I tell them that I am too young to get married, and that I have a boyfriend back in the states, but this does not stop them from trying to convince me to marry them. They tell me i’m pretty and tell me they love me. With futile attempts, they eventually ask for my number. When I tell them I don’t have a number in Ghana, they do not believe me. They think that I just don’t want to give them my number – this would be true if i actually did have a phone. They would end up giving me their number. So now, I have numbers from these men who I will never see again. I’m sure there will be many more proposals to come.
Imagine being flocked by a group of aggressive young men who are shoving small knick knacks in your face trying to convince you to buy them. Or telling you to sign a piece of paper, which basically is saying that you will donate some money to them. But you didn’t know this at the time. This is what they call hawking. It usually happens outside of tourist attractions, such as the slave castles. The first time that we had encountered this, I was quite overwhelmed. We have to learn to be forceful and tell them no. Otherwise they will get us to overpay for things. Poor Liz fell into their trap and paid more than she should have for a bracelet. Though, from this experience, she now knows to cross check how much other people pay for souvenirs. This has proved helpful when we were shopping for gifts today.