Things that don't fit into most people's cliche of Africa but are perfectly normal in Ghana, No. 2

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

FanIce in Ghana
As a European living in Ghana I have made the experience that there are a lot of things that don't fit into most people's image of an African country but at the same time these very things are completely normal in Ghana. Even though I've had a lot of preparation in Germany before (and lost some of my illusions there already), there still were some things I myself wouldn't have expected and which surprised me. Last time I wrote about phones and staying connected in Ghana, this time it's:

No. 2: Ice Cream

Advertisement for FanIce, showing the ice cream variety
Okay, probably it's not knocking anyone from their chair to say that you can get some ice cream in an African country or Ghana in this case. Most people would believe that you can get it in supermarkets in the big towns. But you wouldn't believe how ubiquitous and easy to get it is. Going through town, you will see almost as many hawkers (people carrying the goods they sell to pedestrians or people in passing cars on their heads) selling ice cream as you see people selling water.
Especially if you go to a Tro-Tro (minibus) station it will be hard for you not to get an ice cream.
There's some for every taste: Vanilla, Choco, Tropical Fruits and the most popular one: Strawberry Yoghurt.
Also it's relatively affordable: Even the most expensive one is still less than a softdrink or most fruits.

Front: a handcart, Back: a FanIce bike
 Like previously mentioned, ice cream is extremely easy to get by. Especially in the town center there are a lot of small shops selling ice cream and supplying the other traders. As you walk the streets you will always come across a young man carrying a cooling box stacked with different kinds of ice cream on his head, or you might be overrun by another one riding a bycicle like the one above.
And everytime you're sitting in a hot Tro-Tro stuck in a traffic jam, you will be thankful for their hard work.
All this has its dark side though: the plastic packaging. A fair amount of rubbish you see are the ice cream wrappers. I have a Ghanaian friend, who recently suggested to recycle them. He's convinced that the producers might even save money like that. I'm not sure how serious he was, but maybe someone should get serious about that.

-  Sarah

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