As I was leaving the high school on Thursday, a black man asked me if I knew where the Seguridad Social building was. Because he was speaking quickly and had a heavy accent, I told him that I was not very good at Spanish and that he would have to talk slower. Then he asked me where I was from. I told him, “Los Estados Unidos,” and I in turn asked where he was from.
I can usually tell when someone is from West Africa but the person usually ends up being from Nigeria or Senegal. Not Ghana. But this man replied that he was from Ghana and I got really excited. He’s probably one of 10 African people in this town and he happens to be from Ghana! We switched to talking in English and I found out that he was 23 and has been living in Spain for 8 years. We had a pleasant conversation and I gave him my phone number when he asked for it. I subconsciously calculated that his time in Spain should make him more Westernized than the Ghanaians I met in Ghana.
In the two days since we met, he has called me at least 3 times, not to mention his text messages. In our first conversation he tried to persuade me to come to Pamplona with him. In our second conversation he expressed his dismay that I would not be going to Pamplona with him this weekend since I was so friendly when we first met. In our last conversation he called just to see what I was doing and I unsuccessfully tried to convince him that the connection was bad and that I was having trouble hearing him.
And thus I remembered exactly why it was that I didn’t like being in Ghana. You can call it “coming on a little strong” or you can call it having a totally different concept of what is socially acceptable. What woman in her right mind would stay in Pamplona with a man she just met? He not only asked me to go with him to a different city but had the balls to tell me that I had offended him when I politely rejected his offer!
I told him to call me when he got back from Pamplona so that we could meet for coffee next week, but after his third call today I will no longer be accepting any calls from Sam the Ghanaian. I’d rather not blow him off, but if he is already this pushy I am not going to want to be friends with this guy.
I wish I didn’t begrudge Ghana, but my recent experience has at least confirmed that I am totally justified in my poor attitude. I just hope that at some point I will be able to find some reason to change my mind and appreciate Ghana.