Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Things My Dad Says

Compared to mum's visit, dad's was a whirlwind. I contribute this to two things: the coinciding of his trip to a national holiday - leaving us stranded in Accra for two extra days - and the fact that it was only ten days long. I guess he didn't take me seriously when I told him how long it takes to get to my house :)
After spending way too long in Accra (read: over 36 hours) dad and I (and a rather sturdy, retro-tastic suitcase filled with cheese products) scrambled onto the last bus leaving to Kamasi. The trip was largely uneventful, but I did manage to find and justify buying grapes: HIGHLIGHT. Our guesthouse that night was pleasant and equipped with a TV; I mention the TV because it completely distracted me from an early morning departure .... watching the original 'Last Air Bender' was totally worth it.

Being late meant a longer wait time, but dad got to overdose on culture so I don't think he cared. I have to admit, he was a pretty sneaky paparazzo. He basically documented everything - I think he took over 600 photos in 10 days. He was like a kid in a pile of toys he could secretly document. Referencing Hitchhikers almost non-stop for the entire trip, we arrived in Tamale safely (though a little cramped ... I swear I had eleph-ankles for an entire month).

Interesting fact: I stayed in the same room that mum and I shared before, but this time it was cheaper. Why? Because my father is a man. Nevermind the fact that they're my parents - a same sex couple always pays more. So weird ... anyway, until dad succumbed to his snoring, I read ' The Restaurant at the End of the Universe' outloud and fell into a peaceful, improbability-driven sleep. The next morning we rolled to Bolga (seriously - non-stop traveling at this point), and when I say rolled I ain't kidding:

So far, dad had basically seen the inside of buses and guesthouses. Naturally, neither of these things prepared him for my caddy-shack - pit latrine included. He was kind, though, during his documentation of it, saying things like, "yeah, Roo, it's uh .... it's really cozy ..." Obviously, my house appreciated his political correctness. He also kind of renamed my cat 'shit head,' as in, "What, shit head?" and "Get out of the way, shit head." Sometimes he just said the word 'shit head' as she sat, staring at him in that crazy, cock-eyed way of hers: BFF's for life.

Without slaughtering any goats, we managed to have a pretty successful welcoming party, during which dad (like mum before him) completely out-danced me and recieved a chief's smock. He definitely deserved it, look at him:
For that matter, look at her:

Basically my village LOVED my parents - they are always welcome. WIN.

Aside from having the same sense of humor, my dad has this uncanny ability to say exactly what needs to said, completely unprovoked. They're lightbulb moments, like, "I knew that was true, but only after you confirmed it, kind sir." He's kind of like Mr. Miagi; here are a few of his revelations:

1. Why wouldn't you go to school in DC? Rookie.
2. You need to stay far, far away from boys. Seriously. Wear horse blinders if you have to - you're too easily distracted. In fact, you need a sabbatical.
3. I know you like boys; I used to be the same with girls. Therefor, please see above ...
4. You inherited your horrible timing from me (but also my devilishly good looks - YOUR WELCOME).
5. I love you, Roo.

Okay, so that last one's a given, but the rest of it made up a weeks worth of great "life" discussions with my pops. On top of setting me straight, he managed to simultaneously intimidate and impress everyone he met; I kept saying, "See? Now you know why I try so hard ... just look at my parents!!" So true.

After roaming the village for a few days, I did the only thing possible to perfectly culminate his short trip: I sadistically subjected him to THE NIGHT BUS. Basically, I'm an asshole. And he was miserable. Unlike me, he was unable to curl up like a lapdog in the spacious bucket seat - he spent the night battling terrible, unsubtitled Ghanaian films and creepy Christian Gospel. I honestly don't know which is worse, but I'm fairly certain I won't be reminding him of my cruelty any time soon ... oh wait ... HI DAD!

In Accra we spent his last hours doing the only thing that brings me unadulterated joy: SHOPPING. The Cultural Center in Accra is an assault on tourists; luckily, I'm two things: obnoxious and honorary FraFra. After schmoozing all the Bolgatanga boys with my language skills, I learned how to say 'pain in my ass' and relentlessly recited it whenever they quoted outrageous prices. It worked - dad still got cleaned out, but it worked. I'm not sure how he felt about all of the marriage proposals, but he didn't punch anyone (and we saved a lot of money), so I see it as a clear victory.

We repacked (again) and hung out at Ryan's for happy hour (again) before making the trip to the airport. After a speedy check-in, he decided to go find his gate. I'm not joking when I tell you that one of his parting sentences was, "You know, I'm serious about a boy-sabbatical, Roo. Trust me, you'll be fine. (As long as you stay away from the boys.)" It's a story I've been telling people ever since - ten days in and my dad knew I was too distracted by boys; I should emphasize here that I live alone. It gets great laughs, mainly because it's true, and I can't think of any better way to sum up his trip: STAY AWAY FROM THE BOYS. Or was it, "You'll be fine, Roo"? hehehehe. I love you, pops!


Ps. Speaking of parents, I promised a shout-out to fellow volunteer David, so here it goes: Hey, Mrs. Fields! I can't wait to meet you when you come for a visit and thanks for reading!!! *HUGS*