Yes, Accra has changed. And I get the impression that change is still occuring at a rapid pace. Physical development is plain to see; computers/mobile phones have revolutionised personal and business communication as they do elsewhere across the globe. The government is democratically elected; the local currency, the cedi , is equivalent to one US dollar; non-African foreigners mingle easily in town; international restaurants offer traditional English fare, pizza and Chinese food. High performance gas guzzlers are backed up in traffic and taxis are barred from exclusive neighbourhoods. There is no mistaking the sights and sounds of affluence dotted all over Accra. They are plain for all to see.
And yet, and yet....
I am irritated by the poor water supply, frustrated by the tiniest break in electrical power, baffled by the number of people I must involve in every single move I make. Sweat pours from me and I stink of mosquito repellent. People tell me they are used to the heat but they avoid going out in the torrential rain. That seems weird to me. Don't the two things go hand in hand? And let's not even talk about drink-driving or policemen who ask for 'something for the family'.
The delicious food I have craved for so long is still biteyourfingersoff delicious but, spicier than I imagined and, full of carbs! Haven't people heard of the Atkins Diet? Seriously, I'm going to have to hit the gym as soon as I get back to London.
People smile when I mention these things. Ghanaians are far more critical of their own country than any old Writer Girl who pops over for a few days. Still, I wonder if I should be writing about Ghana at all. Have I been living abroad for too long? We'll see. I want to talk to some people; find out more. It's still early days.