It’s a Special Challenge: Pt (II) – By Bernadette Araba Adjei

*This is the concluding part of this article. In the first part, discussions centered on the state of our roads, traffic in the city, hospitals, lack of water et al.

Our DVLA

So as you drive your hard earned (carry cash to buy) car, you have to alert especially at traffic lights because your DVLA certificate might have expired. If your insurance and DVLA are on the same day you are likely to remember the renewals but if they are apart you may forget one of them.

Then the police nabs you, jumps into your car and it matters not if you have infants in your car. Then as you drive to the nearest police station with wild thoughts of wasted time and parting of money on your mind, Mr. Police asks for your license hoping to catch you there too. Ha, Mr. Police you are out of luck I renewed it last month!

And what a renewal!

You enter the DVLA and are met by a “goro boy” who honestly believes you cannot read and write even if you are in a suit. Who cares? They seek to guide you to every office, fill every form for you.

If its renewal of road worthiness- you have to pass your car over some fearful hole with rough rumps.

Hmm, please check, your test may be branded “fail”, but you still go through to pay for the road worthy license- no sweat. The security man at the cash point barely has time to direct you, ah you don’t want “goro boys” to chop so he can also chop; why should he mind you?

The teller at the cash point is unhappy her bank has put her in DVLA and not an embassy and she is not shy to show it. Her face is squeezed, she hardly opens her mouth. You pay regardless, she is not the reason you are here.

You gratefully go for your sticker. Queue, queue jumping, who you know annoyance, sweating, more squeezed faces. You get your sticker; please check that it is really your car number BEFORE you leave the yard.

Renewing your Drivers License?

There is the additional ordeal of going to see that lazy looking man in a green container shop at the back. He is your only choice for an eye test. He shines a bright light in your eyes asks you to read line….., then says you can go!

Oh remember the DVLA starts work at 8.30am. And their staff are never in a hurry for anything.

Want some solutions?

  1. Always make sure your DVLA and insurance documents are in order.
  2. Go the the DVLA early to avoid rush and get some cheerful faces, afterall the day has just begun, Goro boys are more relaxed still hopeful of making their quota so bother you less.
  3. Sell your car and contend with trotro
  4. Any other suggestions?

Our Embassies

Yes so I need a visa to travel to wherever. You have to get up early, look for somewhere to park and be harassed for it.

Go and queue, contend with annoying pompous security men and women who behave as if they are the ones issuing the visa. And why are our taxpayer-paid police men decorating the American embassy assisting in harassing Ghanaians?

And you are sure to come across some semi-literate “visa contractors” who do not own a passport and have never been to the airport and who claim to know all there is to know about travelling abroad.

And some “pastors” who insist that it is when you give that God will give you what you want.

Other visa seekers who are slanging and posing because they have “been there before” and they think Ghana is sh**t (forgive my French).

If you do not have all the relevant photocopies, you are sure to come across a photocopy guy who refuses to listen to any suggestions you make because he has been doing it all the time and knows best. And he also has an attitude.

Oh did you get the visa?

The “goro boys” will accost you for some money.

Did you not get the visa?

The Visa contractors know all about Appeals.

Want some solutions?    

  1. Stay put and don’t travel
  2. When you travel don’t come back
  3. Any other suggestions

Our shops/boutiques

You enter a shop to buy goods. If the shop is crowded you can be sure the prices are good and with that comes insolent shop assistants. Give that shop a couple of years it will fold up or wind down, take your pick.

A boutique does not have a changing room. Be adapt in guessing your size because goods bought are not returnable or refundable!

Want some solutions?

  1. Be mobile and flexible in the shops you use
  2. Shop for clothes when you travel aboard or ask friends and siblings to shop for you
  3. Thank God if you find a good tailor or seamstress – (they can be expensive oh)
  4. Any other suggestions

Our Estate Industry

You are old enough to rent a place? Be ready for fork-tongued estate agents and arrogant, greedy and avaricious landlords. You pay “agent fee”, transport at every viewing of a property.

You hold your breath and try not to get angry as you are shown house after house totally unsuitable for your needs.

Eventually you settle for one. You pay agent commission, three years rent advance. If you don’t pay the entire rent advance, you then owe arrears on the advance for the house you have not even lived in.

The keys are handed over and then you discover all the problems with the house within three (3) weeks of occupation. But hey you are stuck with it for the next three years. Pray the landlord’s “son from abroad “does not need the property within the three (3) years.

Want some solutions?

a. Stay home as long as you can

b. Take a mortgage as soon as you can

c. If you need to rent a place pray hard for a smooth transaction, it happens

d. Any other suggestions.

 

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