First Class Bus Hell
21.09.2008 - 23.09.2008
As a last stop in Ghana on our way to Togo we wanted to visit a small village, Wli, at the far east, famous for some grand waterfalls originating in the mountain range bordering Togo. To get there the fastest way possible, we had to go through Accra again, which we decided to reach by an 8 hour trip with STC bus. These busses are the expensive tourists busses, that look like most other European tourist busses, including aircondition, and therefore should make for a much more pleasant form of transportation, than we were used to from our tro-tro experiences. However, as with the radios in the tro-tros, the aircon in an STC bus apparently also only have two settings; 'off' and 'freeze!', so we had to wrap us up in whatever we had of shirts and scarfs in our hand luggage (which was not a lot), in order to avoid getting a cold. At a reststop we found out, that the temperature on the aircon was set to 16 °C, and when we adressed the driver with our concern of getting a cold, the driver told us to put on jacket, and we apparently became the laughingstock of the entire bus, since it of course is pure logic that you need to bring thick sweaters, scarfs and jackets with you when you take a busride in a tropical equatorial country.
Besides the aircon the STC busses also feature TV screens, that non-stop show Nigerian movies, which are simply hilariously crappy movies; that the Ghanaians for some reason love. However, it gets pretty tiring after the first couple of hours, which was why Sune decided to fall asleep to some calming music from his iPod. When he woke up an hour later, he still had his plugs in his ears, but no iPod in the other end. Anyone in the bus could have taken it, and no one in the bus seemed very helpful, and since we couldn't begin friskin' everyone in the bus we felt pretty powerless when we reached Accra and everyone just left. It is pretty ironic that after all our transport in tro-tros with many very poor Ghanaians, it was the very first time that we travelled with the wealthier class in Ghana, that we had something stolen from us. At least we learned a lesson from it, which we have had confirmed several times later on; it is definitely not the poorest people that are the most dishonest.
When we reached Accra, Sune had of course caught a nasty cough from the aircon, and we had to stay four hours at a local police station in order to file in a report about Sunes' iPod, that we needed for our insurance. The staff at the police station gave a superb performance in african bureaucracy and inefficiency, that for example included having about ten persons at work, but only have three of them to actually do any work, and having three different persons write our statements in three different places. However, we finally got the police report that we came for.