It had been an arduous trip but I made it to Brazil, then to Natal, and then to my hotel. It was time for me to try and relax. I went down to the lobby to have dinner and watch the England – Italy match. I invited myself to a table at which an Economics professor of Mexican descent living in Los Angeles but formerly of San Antonio and an AFP reporter of Scottish descent but based in Milan were sat. I seemed to be the only England supporter in the lobby and they lost.
I went to bed with the sound of the pitter patter of the rain against the corrugated metal sheets that made up the roof of the hotel verandah which was right outside my window. The following morning, I woke up to the sound of the pitter patter of the rain against the corrugated metal sheets. Hmmm, I had no plans to watch football in Brazil in the rain. The journalist gave me a ride into town where I was able to collect my FIFA tickets and then I promptly returned to the hotel. Later in the evening I attempted to find the American night-before-match party with the Economics professor but we were out of luck. Thus we returned to the hotel to watch the San Antonio Spurs win the NBA championship.
I was doing a poor job of enjoying Brazil so far, being unable to free myself from the comfortable hotel lobby. Thus, the next morning after breakfast I just marched myself out of the hotel determined to enjoy Brazil. It was Game Day anyhow so it was now or never. I had by this time been put in touch with a Ghanaian friend of a friend (let’s call him Bot) so I got a cab to his area of town. He happened to be having lunch with his travel partner, also Ghanaian, so we chit-chatted a bit. Bot had received a quite frantic request for help from my friend over the weekend about my plight. He and his friend were quite curious as to why I was suddenly traveling alone. They assumed that I must have had plans to travel with my boyfriend but that we had just had an ugly breakup. I wish it were that juicy. I explained the scenario and they couldn’t understand it. Well, neither can I.
I remained with them for the rest of the day going to the game together and enjoying the night-life near Ponta Negra afterwards. THE BOYS (those boys) were sat not too far from me. The poor kids. Beginning with the 30 second goal against Ghana their faces had taken on a sour countenance. They never truly recovered, moping around town like wet cats, each time I saw them.
I run into them quite a bit actually and I never could really bring myself to be ugly towards them. The Ghanaian in me (or is it my mother in me) believing that they will get what is due them so no need for me to act out. Yeah, insane.
Since we were staying at the same hotel, I saw them at breakfast which was complimentary with the stay. I usually sat with the journalist so they got to see me giggle my way through conversation. I ran into them in town almost every day and at all times of the day and night. I’m not too sure for whom the torture was greatest – them or I. No, I didn’t want to see them and be reminded of how much they had wronged me.
At the Ghanaian concert the day after Ghana’s loss to the US, I saw them arrive, and lost myself in the crowds. However later in the night I was spotted in the middle of a dancing frenzy. No, I wasn’t two-stepping. “Guy” came up to me and grabbed my arms wanting to dance. The anger that had been pent-up began to show. How dare he? He and the boys had not wanted to travel with me, so why don’t they just leave me alone?! They had no care for my well-being nor my safety but now they wanted to grind up all against my body and introduce me to their friends? I think not. I pulled away, “I can tell you are angry with me…and for good reason, I do not blame you”, “Guy” said. “Should I be angry with you?”, I replied, for I still wanted to believe that it was “Pete”, not “Guy”, wh was responsible for trying to turn my vacation into a nightmare. He shrugged, then spoke. “Well, I don’t like people not being happy with me, so forgive me, let’s forget about it”. Urgh!!! The rage boiling up in me. What insolence. I wanted to slap him and poke his eyes out. But instead I gave him dagger eyes. I reminded him about our conversations in the past where I had told him that most importantly I didn’t want to be alone in Brazil. “Beh, you are not alone? I see you all the time with people…” came his response which I let trail away.
I soon lost them and returned to the hotel…upset of course. This encounter had happened shortly after a man had approached me, spoke to me in Twi, asked if I were Ghanaian, and when I half-nodded, tried to grab my hand stating in Twi “there’s a Ghanaian man there who wants a Ghanaian woman to dance with..should we go?” which if you are Ghanaian you know is not really a question. UGH!!!!!! I’m this close to being through with Ghanaian people (men) and their foolishness.