Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Weird Stories from Austria

The recent story of an Austrian incestuous father, Josef Fritzl, defies all imagination. He imprisoned his own 18-year old daughter, Elizabeth, and held her captive for 24 years. In the meantime, he fathered seven children by her.
Rosemarie his wife and mother of the victim must be one of the most naive people on earth to have lived with a man, who had a double life and regularly went to sleep with his daughter downstairs, without ever suspecting his actions and movements. A husband sneaks out in the night to his second home presumably on a fairly regular basis and there is no iota of suspicion.
This is the second case of abduction and imprisonment in a cellar in Austria. Not long ago another girl, Natascha Kampusch, escaped from her captor after eight years of imprisonment in a cellar. I think the Austrian Police should do random checks on cellars to find out how many unfortunate children are still locked up - Austrian cellars being very secure prisons on the one hand, and recreational centres for sexual perverts on the other.
This is a bizzare world!!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Accra: Post-Nations Cup

I arrived at Accra on Saturday March 31 - my first visit since the African Nation's Cup which Egypt won.
There is still a freshness that seems to have lingered on from the facelift the city received in the run up to the nation's cup. The roads are very tidy and all the buildings seem to be freshly painted - at least in my part of town.
It is also my first visit to Ghana since the revaluation of the cedi. Every 10,000 cedi has been compressed to just one cedi. The cedi now rubs shoulders with the US dollar (at US $1 to .94 cedi.). I had been curious to see what effect the revaluation woud have on general price levels. True to my expectations, prices of many articles and services have been rounded up in favour of the sellers. A price hike of 1 cedi seems insignificant whereas a price hike last year of 10,000 cedis was clearly significant and a seller would have given a lot of thought to it before implementing such a change. I found many of the items I tried to buy to be cheaper in Holland and just wondered what the common man in Ghana must be going through.
It was perhaps a good thing that President Yar Adua suspended the revaluation of the naira in Nigeria.