Doors of the aircraft open, and the heat threatens to consume and wrap itself around you like a hot baby chicken roasting in an oven. The night lights flicker from a distance, and the air seems still and heavy, yet sweet and inviting. The smell of the earth and soil is heightened by the temperature, eyes closed, simply relishing.
I take a look back to smile that knowing, deep, insatiable smile of 'we have arrived' at the family that accompanied me along the way, relishing all that is around me before I take a step off the jumbo jet. They who accompany me ruin my moment as they push me forward in their own anticipation followed by acrimonious yells of ''Hurry up, and get off, idiot! What are you doing?''. I narrowly avoid broken limbs and manage to exit the open air metal steps descending to the floor heels click clocking unsteadily from the rough departure.
Humph! How so unlike a lady-like dis-embarkation (if there is ever such a word) from a plane, how so unlike the likes of a first lady on the arm of a president as you so often see gliding down the open air steps. Good thing I'm no first lady, and even better that there wasn't a president nearby...
Winter 2009 brings back some memories. A time, where this trip was absolutely, totally, with no doubt called for. With an unsavoury upheaval and a glitch in the daily life continuity, Shofars blew, trumpets horned and off course, spur of the moment by unconventional means, tickets were paid for and flights confirmed. Sulking at the fact that I was way below luggage allowance and thinking of the accessories that had been left behind and forgetting the not so needed many that had been brought along, it was an upward and onward journey.
Taking in every single thing that the eye could see. The brightly lit lights of an approaching beautiful African land from an air born window seat. The sun setting as plane touched down. Many people sweating profusely under the heat. Duh! Hadn't they sussed it out? Wear the much needed polo-neck with a vest underneath upon departure to fight off the cold chilly air. Fling off the no longer needed polo neck upon arrival to reveal the much needed ventilation of said vest as well as modesty still in tact! From the slow ride on the bus from terminal exit to airport arrival, and the glances at my fam with big old polo necks on - my giggles are stifled under my boarding pass used as a fan to mirror the actions of those much less accustomed to the temperature. Dare I mention I gained a swot upside the head from the victims of my giggles. Hmmm.
Luggage and all necessities in tow, we trail after the aunties, cousins and uncles who so kindly meet us at our arrival point, with hugs and kisses followed by coos of ''oooh, look how you've grown'' as they inspect you up and down and side to side. Customs wave us past with not even an inclination to look into our luggage - what luck! At least I wouldn't have to explain the need for packing an outfit for each day...and shoes for every day and evening...hey, I was planning to give some away!! :/
Everything in tact, everyone off the plane, shiny foreheads and white gleaming smiles, dust in between the sandals and toes... oh yes, prepared was I. Sandals were happily resting in my hand luggage patiently waiting to be finely fitted in place of hot sweaty boots that had been on too long. We lumber suitcases and luggage into the cars to take us to our various destinations. The air con on, windows wound up, hi life on the radio, bliss. Then!...The car halts in a sudden movement as car horns blare.
The driver winds down the window, as car horns toot behind him angrily. He shouts at the one that caused the obstruction.
'I will break your head with a stone, oh! Did you even earn your drivers license you imbecile with monkey ears!!'
The smells of Tilapia and Banku, Jellof rice and Kenkey fill the air and the happy lively music and banter of those having their own private street party ring through the air.
We continue after the momentary mishap and my heart simply screams...welcome home to Ghana!!