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Inside Ebaby!

Isaak from Ghana, My Friend

My headline on Ebaby! mentions that I’ll be touring the world with my band someday. The headlines on English, baby! seem to be more visible than on a lot of other social networking sites, so I get a lot of messages from people looking to find friends who want to chat about music. People often message to ask, “Will you come to Thailand?” or “Do you stop in Slovakia?” I always just tell them, “Sure. What town do you live in? Do American bands play there?” I figure it can’t hurt to network a little. Sometimes I give them my email when they ask for it.

This is often the first thing I do when I get to the office and I’m often a little hung over when I show up. One day, after what I can only imagine was a really rough night, I must have given a member from Ghana my phone number. I see people give out their phone numbers all the time on Ebaby! but it seems hard to me to talk to a stranger on the phone…that’s what the Internet is for.

Anyway, a few days later my phone rang with a call from a phone number with like 14 digits. I did’t answer it and I got a message.

“Hello, Jason. This is Isaak from Ghana. Isaak from Ghana. Your friend. This is Isaak from Ghana. You call me.”

I had to play it a few times to make sure I was hearing right. Throughout the day Isaak kept calling me. I asked around the office what people thought he might want. We guessed that he probably just wanted to practice English with a native speaker and we wonderedhow hard it is to call the US from Ghana. I mean, he could have Skype on his computer at home, or he could have to climb a mountain, pay 10 dollars, wait in line for an hour and call from rotary phone.

Isaak called me so often that it kind of freaked me out and I never answered the phone. He called at all hours, many times a day. Then one night I was in Seattle and a little drunk when Isaak called me at about 3 am. I decided to answer.

Jason: Hello?

Isaak: Hello! You never answer your phone!

Jason: I know…I travel a lot. [Which is true!] What’s on your mind?

Isaak: What?

Jason: What’s on your mind when you call?

Isaak: What?

Jason: You call very often. What do you call to say?

Isaak: I call to say don’t worry about your trip! Everything will be OK! Don’t worry!

Jason: Oh, OK, I won’t worry. I wasn’t worried.

Isaak: When do you come?

Jason: Well, like I told you in the emails, it’ll be a while, probably 2009 or later. [Can’t I dream?]

Isaak: OK. Well don’t worry. I take care of everything.

Jason: OK. Thanks Isaak.

I guess it just turns out that he’s excited for me to come visit him. He says that a metal band has never played in his village. It’s my dream to be the first one.

A few days later I got an email from Isaak that said“Hello Dear: Missing you more than ever.” I got a good laugh out of that. He must have heard someone say that somewhere, like in a movie, and not quite understood what it meant. It’s always nice to be called “dear” though, I guess. Even by Ghanaian dudes you’ve never met.

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