old meets new

white maaaaaan

The sunglass vendor slides me an easy smile and holds in his hand three different styles.

I’ll give you a very good price

I shake my head, smile, and move along. No sale today.

Although I could probably use a pair of sunglasses. It’s bright today.

I’m wandering Oxford Street, in Osu. The sun beats down and merchants seek shade, respite. There is a contrast here. Dozens of old style market stalls, all ranges of colors, fabrics, plastic wares, football jerseys. The stalls sit in the foreground, backed by casinos, electronics stores, fast food joints, banks. If you need something, anything, you can wander and probably find it.

Like socks.

Today it’s only a short way and I find exactly what I’m looking for. A mini-pyramid of all socks, all sizes, all patterns. Neatly laid out right there on the street, snuggled up against the endless parade of beeping taxis.

The stripes call me.

how much for one pair

five Ghana, please

I had come with 50 in hand, thinking that this upscale neighborhood would beg higher prices. Bargaining is expected. But I find myself feeling okay with this initial bid and, to be honest, not in the mood to quibble. It’s lower than I expected, and buying on the street is really about finding a win-win. 5 per pair works for me, works for him.

I finger through a variety of matching sets before I find what I need: blue and gray stripes, black and gray stripes, both ankle high.

But then I see the ones that set my heart aflutter. Black Stars. Ghana flag socks, perfect for tonight’s match against Kenya. Perfect for school. Perfect for weddings, parties, anything. They’re certain to wear quickly, but no matter. I’ve found my soul socks.

I hand over our agreed happy medium. He packages five pairs in a single rubber band and offers a black plastic sack.

no bag please, keep Ghana clean

I offer, with a smile.

He smiles back, entreats me to visit again, and waves as I wander off.

Now I’ve got my colors.

Published by Radutti

Teaching in Ha Noi, screwing things up daily but surviving to write about it. ...everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

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  1. I really, really liked this post. Finding the diamond in the rough of socks. I am a NY-er, and can identify with talking with street vendors. Some of my favorite memories are from either bargaining or finding a precious treasure in the least likely place. Hope the match was a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it! Brings back memories of my first walk down the street! Maybe we bought from the same vendor..at least your descriptive slice, makes me feel and think so. Thank you for the beautiful memory!


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