My new friend told me I couldn't leave without trying a slurpee. This was somewhere at the end of Summer. Sounded like a good idea especially since I was all for trying anything I hadn't had before (I guess it's normal when you find yourself in a different place for the first time). Summer rolled to an end and then Fall and then it was Winter. I still hadn't had a slurpee (matter of fact, I dint even know what it was. it could have been an exotic dish for all I knew though the name dint exactly sound exotic). For everyone else that's as clueless as I was when I first heard it, a slurpee is a flavoured frozen drink kinda slushy (ice that's melting). There's another (it really is the same) called a slushie. There's this shop on the oxford street in Gh that sells it but it's quite recent (at least it wasn't there a couple of years ago) and I haven't tried it.
Winter's almost over, I'm about to leave, I'm packing my stuff, I still haven't tried a slurpee and my stuff won't fit into my suitcase (last thing I wanted to do was show up at the airport with excess luggage). One thing I learnt, which I obviously dint learn in Gh was to keep receipts of all purchases I made. Why? Cos depending on the item, I could return it to the shop and take my money back, within a certain period of time (now, how cool is that? :D ). So, my stuff wouldn't fit and fortunately, I'd bought quite a number of things the previous week that I dint mind returning (at least I'd get my money back).
I picked a number of stuff I bought from the same shop so I wouldn't be moving round from shop to shop (it was almost Spring but it was freezing out there) and headed on out. I get to the shop, return the stuff, take my money and head on out to catch a bus back home. I was a couple of minutes early (had like 15mins). Wasn't sure if I should head back into the shop cos it was pretty cold and it wasn't a heated bus stop. And then I had a light bulb moment (brilliant idea). I had spotted a 7-eleven shop not too far from the bus stop (about 4mins away) and since I'd still not had my slurpee, I decided to go try it out (I had the time besides, what did I have to lose?).
I get to the 7-eleven shop, pick a large slurpee cup and fill it up with a mixture of different flavours. I'm sure I spent too much time trying to decide on which flavours to go with cos when I got out, I spotted the bus I was supposed to be going home with driving off. Oh my goodness! It was a weekend and the next bus would come by in like an hour and a half. I couldn't wait that long. Besides, I had to repack and I dint have that many days left. I knew there was another bus stop about 10mins away so, I walked that way hoping a bus would come by that would be headed my way.
Slurpee in hand, I begun my 10 minute walk. Now, it was about 25 degrees below zero, it wasn't snowing but there was thick snow on the ground (for some reason they don't plough the snow from the sidewalks on weekends). So yeah, I kinda understood the stares I was getting from other paedestrians and occupants of vehicles that passed by me. The stares did get worse when I got on the bus. Yep, I caught a bus just when I got to the other bus stop. It wasn't exactly going in my direction, but it was headed to the bus terminal at the mall. There, I knew I'd definitely get another bus that would take me closer to home (at least the shelters at the terminal were heated).
I waited like 15mins at the bus terminal and I finally got a bus that was going towards my neighbourhood. That was good news in itself but there was a catch. The bus did drop me close to my house alright. But I had to do a twenty minute walk to get home. I lived in this neighbourhood where everybody (the grown ups) had a car. Buses did operate in my neighbourhood, but that would be early mornings and late afternoons where students were either going to or coming back from school. The buses dint operate on weekends (no school). To go out on a weekend, I'm either hitching a ride with someone or I'm doing a twenty minute walk to catch a bus.
By the time I got home, my slurpee was frozen solid (wasn't slushy anymore). I did have a bit of it on my way (walking, in the bus and at the bus stop), but I had to stop cos it'd got too solid for the straw to be of any use, plus I started concentrating on keeping my fingers warm. They were near frozen even through my mitts. I placed my slurpee in front of the heater in my room until it melted a bit, and then, in the warmth of my room, I was able to really enjoy my slurpee.
The moral of this long winding story: Never give up on what you believe in regardless of how crazy it may seem even to yourself (would have really helped if I'd had a car though. I still can't believe I put my fingers through that torture).
P.S. my estimation of the number of minutes it takes to walk from one point to another really is about how fast my legs can carry me.
May the souls of all the lives lost in the plane crashes in Gh & Nigeria over the weekend rest in peace.