Three weeks into settling into my new place and a week after calling it quits on my business, I feel like I’m finally in my element. Everything – hot water, running water, electricity — at the new apartment works. I’m paying Justice, the grounds keeper, to mop the floors once a week and wash my dishes, take out the garbage, and sweep daily for 20 cedis a week ($8 per week). I’ve decided to keep Mutala on so that he can pick up lunch/dinner and do errands around town. He’s just happy to have a job.
In the mornings, I read one of a handful of books and review stock charts. (Sometimes I will visit my old stomping grounds in East Legon.) By 1pm, I have Mutala pick up food. At 1:30pm, I start reading up on news in the US and Europe. By 2:30pm (9:30am EST), I have comfortably seated at my desk or somewhere with reliable Internet and watch the computer screen until 9pm (4pm EST). I usually have a position on; it’s important that I sit here to make sure nothing unexpected happens. Due to the relatively slow Internet speed, I try not to do too many transactions in a week.
For some reason I find this routine both productive and effective. Previously, in the US, I would have to wake up by 7am in New York to get a hold of what was going on — and even earlier when I lived in California. Now I can wake up at 8am and comfortably work until the US markets opens at 2:30pm.
I also like this set up because I can almost pretend that I don’t live in Ghana. I don’t give anyone any critical duties that I can’t do myself; I am locked away in a comfortable, functioning living space. There’s no empty promises, sweltering heat, nor inching traffic to worry about.
The only thing I don’t like about living here is that there is no gym across the street. I figure that’s a small price to pay for significantly higher comfort and productivity.
Even though some people think I’m not busy running around town “working,” I frequently find myself exhausted when the market closes at 9pm local time. Usually I over-order food for lunch; I will eat the leftovers for dinner. Perhaps once a week, I will go with friend(s) to Republic for a drink. They serve good local cocktails for 6 cedis. I’m in bed by midnight for the cycle to start again.