A small corner of Ghana lights up my heart
(Due to being very, very sick since I came back from India, I am quite behind with posts, but I will be posting up the missing ones in the next 24 hours, as well as trying to catch up with everyone else's blogs. Sorry for the influx of comments in advance!)
I am, by most people’s definitions, a bit of a loner. I prefer coffee, alone, to a round of beers at a bar. I prefer to visit museums in the company of myself, and no one else. When I do socialize, I prefer parties at home, relaxed and full of conversation, when the beer hits you only when you realize you are all laughing much too hard at the last joke. I have become accustomed to being someone who does not “go out.” Certainly not to the club, maybe to the bar.
And yet, and yet.
I have to say, there’s a small bright spot in my heart for Epo’s Spot. Tucked back behind the busy lane of Oxford Street, garishly lit with red string lights but somehow perpetually dim, it welcomes everyone. Come evening it’s nearly always bustling, doing a fair trade in beer and popcorn and pizza, accented by one cedi Cokes in glass bottles. Not more than plastic chairs downstairs, a chaotic mess of bar, restaurant and flip cup tournament grounds upstairs, Ghanaians and expats alike come for the ubiquitous pizza and cheap beer towers. These eighth wonders of the world provide a veritable fountain of beer for 15 cedi, making it the cheapest, most relaxed way to sit back, hang out, and get properly smashed, knowing that there is always a taxi outside waiting for you. Given the longevity of Accra’s nightlife, even in a place as relaxed as this, you will always turn in before the bar closes down.
Whenever I am pulled out of the house, convinced by my friends we need a Saturday that does not consist of us working sleepily on a bottle of wine, or following a friend to his dj-ing gigs, the night starts or ends at Epo’s. There we find the uproariously drunk Dutch, extremely forward Ghanaian lesbians, AFS volunteers and university of Ghana students, all lured by the promise of cheap beer, lackadaisical service, and a table that is yours until you abandon it. It is one of the very few places that NYU recommended to us that we actually go to, and lay claim to as our own. In fact, when a scholars group came to visit NYU Accra, a few were invited, a few turned to many, many turned to a flood, and suddenly the whole place was filled with NYU kids, taking up too much space and talking too loudly. And those who live here, they moved themselves downstairs and away from the din. It felt like a violation of something that was not an NYU campus, an intrusion on one of the few slices of real life that study abroad students could participate in without calling attention to themselves.
It was that night that I realized I didn’t need to be pulled out to Epo’s. I actually really liked its slow paced, relax with your beer atmosphere. Since that night, with Spring Break and being very, very sick on the other end, I haven’t been back, though my friends have. I found myself jealous I wasn’t out with them, helping finish the beer tower and passing the time. It’s been a long time since I was jealous I couldn’t go out to the bar.
(Image is my own)