Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just another day in paradise?

I swear I must be walking around Ghana with "I'm updating a guidebook" stamped on my forehead. Yesterday I was set upon by a group of curio sellers as I was jotting down a phone number outside Cape Coast Castle who angrily claimed that they didn't hassle tourists as most guidebooks stated. One even declared that he was going to kidnap me so that I wouldn't write any more 'lies' about them. I didn't even have a guidebook on me – just a pen and paper – and I certainly didn't tell them that I was updating a guide. Needless to say I made a very hasty retreat! Oddly enough I also had a similar experience outside Vic Baboo's Cafe in Kumasi a few days ago where I was harangued by a group of touts who gave me no end of grief for the unkind words that had been written about them by previous guidebook authors. I must admit it has certainly been very surprising just how clued-up everyone here seems to be about travel guidebooks and the impact they can have on business.
Picture: Sunset, Biriwa Beach, Ghana


The pale observer said...

This is worrying though - it only proves the older guidebooks were right about the negative harassment!!

Kim Wildman said...

What's funny is that there is nothing about tourists being hassled at Cape Coast in the Bradt guide (plenty of other places though, mind you, including Kumasi)... so definitely a self-fulfilling prophecy. Hassle the guidebook author and you will be written up!!

The pale observer said...

They just weren't thinking ahead... but then that would be normal...


peregrina feminina said...

Oh Ghana. I can't believe someone said they would kidnap you... well, actually I can. One time I was there and we parked in an "illegal" spot. A police man approached and said he would arrest us. A few cedis fixed that problem.

But anyway, Ghana is both eager to please and eager to make money as I'm sure you discovered! It can definitely be a bit much.

The pale observer said...

Kim - we must have literally crossed paths... I was delayed a day though and arrived back in Ghana on the morning of the 8th.

Very disappointed we couldn't meet up!

Well have a great time in Cape Town - I LOVE that place. We had great weather there last week.

Do you have any final thoughts on Ghana???