May 4, 2009

Godwin talks: cross-cultural relationships--food!

We have a new site where you can read all articles from This is Ghana in a much more organised fashion. Read Godwin talks: cross-cultural relationships--food! there.

Godwin talks again...

Over the next few weeks I want to talk about cross-cultural relationships: enjoying all its goodies and battling all its challenges. Some of the challenges I experienced were expected. For example, I had to strain my ear at the early stages to understand what my sweetheart was talking about and watching movies that I wasn’t used to, like The Big Lebowski. But one of the things I wasn’t expecting was the plethora of food I would have to eat.

I used not to eat cheese because I had the idea that cheese was made from spoilt milk and was not good for human consumption, but as I speak now cheese is one of my favourite foods. Nowadays, if you give me pasta without cheese it’s like giving me kenke without stew or shitoh. (Ed: I can’t believe anyone thinks Kenke is fit for human consumption but, like, that’s just my opinion man).

My girlfriend took me to a Lebanese restaurant in Accra. I was really looking forward to having delicious fried rice and chicken, the “foreign” meal that is popular among young Ghanaians. But I saw strange names of food on the menu that made me more confused than I was hungry. So I decided my sweetheart should make the choice. We had mint tea and that was the first time in my life to have it. It was an eye opener because mint grows wild in my part of the country in the rainy season and it’s only used to repel mosquitoes and other troublesome insects. Little did I know that this smelly herb could turn out great tea and settle an upset stomach. I really enjoyed the mint tea.

Just as I was readying myself for the sumptuous meal, the waiter appeared and put on our table a massive communion bread. I thought to myself: “Oh, has my angel seen my death and therefore decided to offer me my last supper like Jesus had with his disciples by ordering communion?” Out of surprise, I looked in her eyes and asked, “Honey, what is this?” And she told me, “Lebanese bread.” And I asked, “Do people eat bread for dinner?” I thought I couldn’t eat it. That is what you get when you get into cross-cultural relationships. I decided to have an open mind. “You have to go for this!” I told myself.

At the end of the day, I ate my last supper, but I did not die. I really enjoyed the hommus and the cooked beef. I didn’t know there was any food like Lebanese bread that people enjoy and it was quite a sumptuous meal if you have all the little things that go with it.

If you’re thinking of getting into a cross cultural relationship, you will eat strange foods you’ve never seen or heard of before. That goes for my sweetheart. She eats almost all Ghanaian food except Kenke. It could be fun and exciting. So, in all this, what is needed is an open mind. Until next time…I’m going to heat some leftover pasta—with cheese!

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