SHORT TIME-NO TIME

Posted on August 11, 2009

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SHORT TIME:

Yesterday afternoon at around 5 p.m., a woman came asking for a room. She had the  polished appearance of a professional, and not that kind of professional, the banking/marketing type. Anyways she asked for a room, but I indicated our four rooms were booked, that the people were on their way at that very moment. Then, much to my consternation, she said she needed the room only for ‘short time’.

“Oh,” I said taken aback , “we don’t do that here. Go across the street to Lahana Avon Hotel . And tell them that FOUR VILLAGES INN sent you.”

“And be careful, ” I added jokingly.

For those not familiar with Ghana hotel lingo, short time means in and out in more ways than one. It also means no VAT receipt and thus  no revenue for national development. Short time is everywhere…I’ll let you do the sociological analysis of the phenomenon and its consequences for hotel and society….

Later, 6:15 p.m., it’s deathly quiet at Four Villages…what’s going on? no music blaring from the bar across the street echoing through our establishment. Charity and I say to each other, “What happened, did their machine breakdown? Imagine we had seven years of quiet before Nana Kofi’s hotel failed and he had to resort to rent rendering behaviour to pay back hefty loans that he took out for a white elephant extension built almost on the road…”

Dusk at Lahana Avon

Dusk at Lahana Avon

And that’s what caught Detective Charity’s eye. In a top room, almost directly above the bar,  a blue light shone. “That’s why the music is off. Nana Kofi has guests.”

“Ya, and I sent them….” having forgotten to tell her about the woman. “Hey, dear, that’s the answer to our problem. We should advertise short time on the radio and TV for Nana Kofi and Lahana Avon! Then the music will stop!”

NO TIME:

Around 7:30, the music resumed in all its penetrating glory and Charity decided to visit our old lady neighbour who gets the full force of the music-her house  is directly across from the beer bar.The house is built towards the front of the plot and…her bedroom is at the front of the house.

Upon her return, Charity told me she has a friend that lives near the turn to the cocoa sheds and she hears the music. Wow all the way there! But the old lady refuses to do anything-petition neighbours, go to the K.M.A. because “they won’t do anything. They have no time for us.”

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