The other day I called British Airways Ghana to confirm my flight from Accra to New York. The booking agent asked for the reservation code. Because of the bad connection and my American accent, the agent couldn't understand what letters I was saying, forcing me to use phonetic code to spell them (A as in alpha, B as in bravo...etc.)
I've never learned the NATO phonetic alphabet, and I find having to come up with my own codes strangely stressful-- there is pressure to quickly come up a good word that won't be confused with any other word. It has to be sophisticated and unique, but not too nerdy. (You can't go around saying "H as in heteroskedasticity", for example.
When I came to the letter "F", I said the first thing that came to my mind: "F as in fufu."
The room full of Ghanaians and expats gallantly stifled their laughter till I finished my phone conversation.
I have worked in economic policy and research in Washington, D.C. and Ghana. My husband and I recently moved to Guyana, where I am working for the Ministry of Finance. I like riding motorcycle, outdoor sports, foreign currencies, capybaras, and having opinions.