All this week I’ve been investigating how I could take the CompTIA Security+ certification test. And I’ve run into a few disappointments. My biggest relief was finding a few testing centers in Accra. Two of them were a taxi ride away, about $3-4 Ghana cedis (GH), I estimated. So I decided to go to the testing center closest to the hostel to see how much the test would cost. I was heartbroken; it would cost $400 USD to take the test here, compared to about $250 USD to take the test in the U.S. Disappointed, I left the testing center.
I flagged down a taxi and told the driver “Danquah Circle.” Taking a taxi is always a game because you never know if you will win. They deliberately overcharge riders they know are foreigners, but locals can usually get a fair price. My strategy was to say as little as possible, so as not to give away my foreign-ness. I sat nervously in the car, wondering how much this guy would charge me.
As we approached Danquah Circle, he apparently asked me for directions, but he asked me in the local Twi language. I couldn’t act as if I didn’t understand him, because then he’d know for sure I wasn’t from Accra. So I just said the only thing I could say, “Where the fuel station is.” He seemed to understand and did a U-turn towards the fuel station. As we got closer, he said something else in Twi, while signaling his finger at the fuel station. I just responded, “Yes, here sir.” He calmly pulled over to let me out. I hope I passed the test.
I discerned that most locals, upon reaching the destination, give the driver the amount of money they feel the ride is worth, giving the rider the upperhand. Foreigners, however, seem to negotiate the fare before riding, giving the driver the upperhand. I felt the ride was worth $2 GH…I handed the driver two $1GH, hoping he wouldn’t try to negotiate with me. And he took it! He didn’t say anything! I was amazed.
So does that mean I passed for a local?