Clashing Cultures-no stones thrown….Part 1-The Supermarket

Posted on April 9, 2010


Two incidents recently:



So while waiting for the launch of the Ridge Nyhiaeso Web site, I go to a little “supermarket” to buy a fruit juice and wile away a little time. Just before arriving at the little outside veranda, I notice I’m being pursued by an old man stumbling along with his hand out. I enter the shop and go to the standing fridge near the front.
Just as I’m about to open the fridge door, I hear a voice saying “Where are you from? Where are you from?” I see a woman sitting under an MTN umbrella on the veranda with food in front of her and a man sitting across from her also eating.

I point to my hat and her tone becomes even louder. So I lean over with a big grin on my face and point to my hat again. And again she says “WHERE ARE YOU FROM?”Finally, the man helps her out saying “Canada” reading the big white letters on the crimson red background.

with a big grin on my face

“You got it!”, says the jovial Canadian.

“You should have greeted me,” says the woman. “You walked right past me into MY store and you didn’t greet me. This is Ghana. You should greet me.”

“I just came to buy a drink. You were eating and talking with your friend.” I explained.

“It doesn’t matter. You should have greeted me,” she snarled.

Then I got angry, “Gee, lady, I just won’t buy anything here. I’m leaving.” And under my breath as I was walking away, I said, “Fuck you lady.”

I went to another little store two doors away, entered and got a drink out of the fridge, paid for it, sat down on the one and only chair in front of the counter and watched the soap opera on TV-not a word said.

I also watched as people came in, made their purchases in a very perfunctory fashion…hardly a word said!

Now, why oh why did that woman act the way she did-so hostile, so offensively…was it because she and the man were occupying the only two chairs under the MTN umbrella and there would be no place for me to sit down to enjoy my drink????? another theory hee hee….maybe the woman is married and she was entertaining a man friend at her store????? I don’t know…I was just thunderstruck! Or just maybe she a stickler for culture and reacts that way to everyone who doesn’t greet her, Ghanaian or foreigner.

Interesting that some people can use culture to protect themselves……

Hey, do you have a take? Have you had a similar experience?


Posted in: 1, ME