Taking Delivery

Buying it is one thing, getting it home is another altogether.  First, I had to buy the battery, which calls into question the term “a driveable vehicle”.  An 18 plate battery is what is called for and they don’t come cheap.  So much for it being a driveable vehicle.

I decide to take Gomez’ offer of delivery.   It took him two days to get it to me, I am still not sure why.   Westerners criticizing the sense of time of people in developing countries is a terrible cliché, I have lived in the Caribbean and Latin America and am quite familiar with how it is more cliché than reality.  However, there is a uniquely Ghanaian sense of time that I am gradually beginning to appreciate,  actually far worse than I have seen elsewhere.   Here, if someone says, “I am on my way”,  it does not necessarily mean they are physically seated in some means of conveyance located between where they are and where you are.  As often as not it means that they are thinking of leaving the place where they are soon. It may well be that they are going to pass by a third location to do something else before they get around to actually heading in your direction.  To remove the uncertainty about when someone is coming I have learned it helps to seek as much precision as possible about where the person is at that moment and what they are doing.  “I will be there soon” or “I am on my way” do not mean what it does in Calgary or Paris. Unfortunately I had not yet assimilated this wisdom when I was trying to get my Landy home.

Gomez  told me about 9:00 AM one Saturday they were bringing it that morning.   It is only about a half hour drive, so when at noon no-one had arrived I called to ask what was going on.  It became clear that they had not left Bubiashie yet.   By evening there was still no Defender in my parking lot.  I was told they had had some mechanical problem and would bring it in the morning.  Two fellows did arrive about noon the next day, I was never really given an explanation for the delay.   There were a number possible problems they could have had, which became all too apparent later on.    One of gentlemen (in the tam hat in the photo below) was the fellow who had pretended to be Gomez the day I went out to look at the vehicle.  This was the guy I gave the money to, which was ironic.

Counting the money. You would think with so many cedis on the table there would be more smiles
Jonathon with the pre-restored Defender, in front of our house in Accra. Note the dents in front fender.











Now that the machine is accessible we can get acquainted.  I can’t drive it yet but I am going to spend some time sitting in it, crawling under it and climbing over it.