Friday, January 31, 2014

More Updates (Shoprite)

Shoprite in the Oxford Street Mall has completed its attempt to do something about its fly problem. The plastic sheets covering the refrigerated shelves have been pulled down (that really did look awkward and I'm guessing was awkward for shoppers too) and the flies really are just roaming free (on the fruits, veges, in your face, etc.).

Shopping there really just makes me feel like I'm in some local open space market with flies flying on the food and in your face. Maybe that's the kind of feel Shoprite wants its shoppers to have (we are in Ghana after all). Well then in that case, feeling more than achieved (they just need a dumpster next to some of the food, maybe an open gutter too) and I'll complain till I'm blue in the face (not sure that's possible, I'm African and got skin to show for that) and nothing really will be done about it.

Thinking up a copy line for Shoprite (they just might need a different one for their Ghana shops). That should make sense, I'm supposed to have a Master's Degree in PR and Advertising (though the advertising bit seems to have fallen away somewhere. that's what happens when you don't practice what you learnt).

So here goes (after completing school how many years ago and not doing anything advertising related since)... Drum roll...
"Low prices, a local feel, the Shoprite way"
And I'm thinking for the television and print ads, when the "a local feel" bit comes up, pictures of flies and roaches can be shown. For the radio ad, the sound of flies and roaches can be played. Of course no one knows what the fly or the roach says, but if someone was able to figure out what the fox says, well, we can come up with what the roach and the fly say too.

So? Do I have a shot in the advertising industry?
If not, in my defense, I wasn't given a brief, "tweaa".

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How To Kill An Ant!

Mix chili and sugar and keep it outside the ant's hole for it to eat. After eating it, the ant will search for some water near a water tank. When it's there near the water tank, push the ant into it. Now, the ant is wet and will go to dry itself near a fireplace. When it reaches the fireplace, put a bomb into the fire.
The ant is now injured. Then take the wounded ant to the ICU. There, the ant will be put on the ventilator. Now, the ant is safe in the hospital. However, at night, sneak into the ant's room and remove the oxygen mask from its mouth and kill the ant.

I like to be original (mostly) with my posts but I couldn't help it this time. Someone sent this on whatsapp and though I was in public, I couldn't help lol-ing...
Since I'm not much of a selfish person, I decided to share, and if you haven't already seen it, I'm sure you were lol-ing all over the place. If you weren't, well, you have an interesting sense of humour and boy would I love to spend 5 minutes with you.

Friday, January 24, 2014

LOL Moments...

There's this car I see parked not far from my office that gets me in stitches every time I see it.
I am guessing the toilet roll on the dashboard = box of tissue
toilet roll = cost effective, gets the job done
box of tissue = gets the job done, not as cost effective as toilet roll
Yesterday on my way to work, somewhere around Jamestown (I mostly use the High Street), I saw this man crossing the road, which really isn't a big deal. There are stop signs placed on either side of the road at vantage points so pedestrians use them when crossing. This man picked up one of the stop signs and held it up while crossing the road. That was actually very smart because most people just run across the road without bothering with the signs. But I was in stitches as I watched him cross. Why? The man had just a towel around his waist and held a pail with a bathing sponge in the hand that wasn't carrying the sign.

I am guessing he was crossing the road to go take a shower or he had just finished taking a shower and was crossing the road to go get dressed. Why did I find that so amusing? Well, the man walked across the road like what he was doing was very normal, done by everyone and not in the least bit weird. Me, I found all that weird, and he did look very interesting holding a pail in one hand and a stop sign in the other, plus he must be in his mid 30's or early 40's (I might not have had too much of an LOL moment had he been a kid or in his teens).
I didn't think of getting a picture though until he was on the other side :(

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Updates (Shoprite)

No, I don't have a personal vendetta against Shoprite.
You know how people choose to ignore others who do wrong things because they just don't care about them and punish those they care about because they want them to learn and do the right thing?
I actually enjoy shopping at Shoprite (minus the cockroaches and flies of course). So, if the wrong thing keeps going on at Shoprite and I keep mum about it, that just means I gave up on them, realised they have no interest in changing their life and I have stopped shopping there.

Yes, I do still shop at Shoprite (that really is how I'm able to get pictures and stories etc.).
No, I don't go to Shoprite purposefully to snoop around. I go there to shop (I presume like everyone else there) and then I see something, so I write about it mainly because I want things to change not because I dislike the shop or the owners (don't even know who owns Shoprite).

So yesterday, after my post (way after my post), I had to get a bottle of wine so I headed on to Shoprite at the Oxford Street Mall. I enter the shop at about 2 minutes to 9pm (the shop closes at 9pm). I get my bottle of wine, I'm about to pay for it and then something catches my eye. Naturally I move to get a closer look. All the refrigerated shelves that stocked raw vegetables and yoghurt and other stuff I can't remember had been covered with plastic sheets from top to bottom. I had never seen anything of the sort ever. There were spaces in between the plastic sheets I guess so customers can reach to pick up stuff from the shelves. The covered shelves included the last picture I put up with the fly.

Of course I wanted to take a picture of this especially since I am not 100% sure my explanation makes total sense, but before I could get my camera (phone really) out, one security guard approached me and said I should hurry up and leave because the shop was closed (thought they were supposed to be patient and cater to all customers that make it in before closing time). As the guy wouldn't move until I made a move to pay for the bottle of wine in hand, I couldn't take any pictures :(

I am not absolutely sure what the plastic sheets are supposed to do, but I'm guessing to somehow protect the raw food from flies. How? I'm guessing again that the plastic sheets, which were actually very thick (I felt them) would keep most of the cold air in thus keeping flies out (I imagine flies dislike cold). Interestingly, I look to the regular shelves directly opposite the plastic sheet enclosed refrigerated shelves, and there sits a fly (at 9pm) on a tin of canned fruit.

So, yes, Shoprite in the Oxford Street Mall is doing something about its fly problem. As to how effective this something is, well...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Shoprite! Like Seriously?

Almost feel like adding "duh!" to that.
The shop I've been going on and on about for the last couple of weeks is Shoprite (for those who haven't already guessed). In Mightier Than The Sword II I go on about the Accra Mall branch of Shoprite being infested wit cockroaches and in Mightier Than The Sword III (this post comes with pictures too), it is about the Oxford Street Mall branch of Shoprite being invaded by flies. I have never been to the Weija branch of Shoprite (don't want to imagine what I'd find there).

Sometime last week, I visited Shoprite at the Oxford Street Mall and guess what? I had my very own personal shopper that stuck (literally) with me throughout my shopping experience at Shoprite. There were times my personal shopper hovered above me, other times my personal shopper led the way, but most of the time my personal shopper stuck to my shopping cart. Sad thing is my personal shopper was kind of camera shy and disappeared anytime I took my camera out. Interesting thing is there were other personal shoppers around (looking for clients I guess) and I managed to get one on camera before it disappeared.
Totally exhausted. Lemme catch 40 winks before getting back to work (if I'm able to catch some yoghurt too, all the better)
Seriously? Shoprite? You want your customers to shop while swotting flies too? Really? Maybe you should just relocate your shops to some stalls in any of our local markets (seems that will be more appropriate looking at the setting you want for your Ghana shops). Reminds me of this time when I was a kid. I wanted a box of cornflakes and my mum got some for me from a shop somewhere in Makola Market. She got back home and carefully opened the box because she kept hearing these curious sounds coming out of the box. Inside the box were two tiny mice that had drilled holes into the plastic bag containing the cornflakes. My mom carefully resealed the box with tape and returned it to the storekeeper the next morning. The storekeeper apologised and refunded my mum's money. Bottom line, one should not be surprised with such an encounter when shopping at Makola Market, but one should be very annoyed when having to encounter flies while shopping in a mall.

I just don't get it. Is it that flies don't exist in the originating country of Shoprite? In that case shouldn't Shoprite have conducted some market research before setting up shop in Ghana? Aren't their Ghana shops managed by Ghanaians who know the problems we have in Ghana?

There are so many food establishments on this same Oxford Street and you don't exactly see these being invaded by flies (unless the problem exits there too and it is very well hidden. in that case, bravo). How are these food outlets able to deal with this fly problem and why won't Shoprite manage theirs?

I have seen kenkey being sold by the roadside (by a gutter of course) where the fried fish is in a glass display case and in serving a customer, the kenkey seller inevitably lets a fly into the display case and closes it. Now, the fly is trapped in the display case with all that yummy fish.
Shoprite, don't be fooled by your many display cases where you keep your cooked food.

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but let there never be a time when we fail to protest".

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Automated Fish Dispenser (AFD)

Yeah, I had that look on my face too first time I saw it (the look that says what the ... is an AFD).
Well, this is it:

Painting is on a wall in Jamestown
It took a couple of seconds for me to realise it was just a painting by someone with an incredible imagination and more than enough time on their hands.

The writings are not legible in the picture. Will type it out here (not sure if zoom in is available on my blog).

There are three AFD's. One is for Salmon, the other for Tuna and the last for Red Fish.
The instructions are written between the Salmon and Tuna AFD.

  • All Automated Fish Dispensers accept voice and manual input.
  • All machines accept debit cards from all local banks and international ones.
  • Fish is not dispensed on Tuesdays.
Beneath the Tuna AFD is written *GO INSIDE FOR LARGER TUNA


I haven't edited any of the language in my blog. All I've written is as it appears on the wall. Person that put this up speaks impeccable English too (or was helped by someone who does).

See this on my way to work most days and it always puts a smile on my face, regardless that I've seen it so many times.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Mightier Than The Sword III

In Mightier Than The Sword II, I mentioned how a foreign retail and fast food company in Ghana was infested with cockroaches. I also mentioned the company has three shops in Ghana with the latest barely a month old (now, it should be about two months old). I reported how for the love of consuming food that wasn't cockroach infested, I'd decided to ditch this shop and try out this company's new shop (hoping cockroaches hadn't yet discovered it).

To the best of my knowledge (and my ever curious eyes), cockroaches have not discovered the new shop (yet). The cockroaches got beaten to this discovery by the flies. Found this out two days before Christmas.

Flies around food really is no news in Ghana (not much of a big deal). It's something we see over here everyday especially since there appears to be this desire to sell and buy food next to open gutters. Thing is, when some of us do not have that desire and choose to walk into a shop (totally away from any gutter, open or otherwise) and spend good money there, we don't expect to get what we can get cheaper and more conveniently by the gutter (especially when the shop is located in a mall).

The other reason I am writing about this is, you should see this shop. It's got cleaners moving around all the time (I almost got knocked over by one cleaner who was in too much of a hurry to mop the floor right under my feet). One would definitely think if a fly made its way into this shop, their over zealous cleaners will spot it instantly and get rid of it before a curious shopper (yours truly) saw it. Interesting thing is, I stood by the display case (which I should add is refrigerated) for more than 10 minutes, taking pictures etc. and still no cleaner. Yes the fly looked immobilised (possibly by the cold) and I saw it next to covered food, but trust me, even if I had seen the fly next to packaged tissue, I'd still have been disgusted (who said it wasn't done with the open food anyways and was just taking a break cooling off). The sight of a fly (even though I am very Ghanaian) is not one I want to contend with. How is cholera spread again? And typhoid fever? And leprosy (yes, leprosy)? Flies are interesting like that and can carry parasites and diseases transferring them from one point to another. Show me an open gutter or a pile of rubbish, and I'll show you at least one fly.

Oh? Why are these sweet looking cakes covered? I could do with some dessert. Well, let me just cool off for now. Hearty lunch I just had - said the fly
I didn't do this in Mightier Than The Sword II, but I'll do it here.
Apple juice for me now, will have a bit of doughnut later - said the cockroach with a sweet tooth
I should add that two days before New Year's day, I went to the first shop (the cockroach infested one) and I did not spot a single cockroach (at least not in the part of the shop I was in). Hopefully a permanent solution has been found to that situation.
What's that saying again though? "Once bitten, twice..." (I am very shy).

Kwaku Doe - The Comeback

It's been a little over 7 years since I started writing about Kwaku Doe. From first talking about him in my  Plight of a Hungry Man  ser...