Why the beep can’t I walk in peace?

Here in Accra, you don’t hail taxis. Taxis hail you. I noticed that whenever I was walking on the street cars kept beeping their horns at me. I asked the guards at the embassy if I was walking wrong on the street and they just laughed and told me it was just the taxis trying to get a fare (silly naïve foreigner). Today as I was walking one block and then waiting for a friend for about five minutes, I was constantly shaking my head “no” – I probably turned down at least 25 taxis.

The taxis are all two-toned. Their front and rear fenders on both sides are a yellow or an orange, and the doors and hood and trunk are all another color—any other color. Of all the combinations I’ve seen, my favorite so far was a purple and yellow one. I’ve yet to take a taxi. I have been lucky to have embassy transportation and very warm and welcoming co-workers and neighbors. When I do take a taxi, I’ll probably choose by color. I’ll have to bargain with the driver beforehand for a price, preferably not too exorbitant of an obruni price (obruni are we foreigners), and I hate bargaining, but I guess I’ll get over it faster if I get to ride in a purple and yellow taxi.

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