It’s Sunday at approximately 2pm, I have put 5GHS in the collection box, did my hair which cost 30GHS, gave the girl who did my hair a 5GHS. Took my car to the washing bay 3GHS, I will give the guy 5GHS and he will tell me “mommy no change dey my pocket inside” and I will tell him to keep it. Finally I bought some nose drops and gum 15 GHS, 55GHS and its not even the start of the week.
The guy who usually washes my car said to me that he wants a job as a driver (he has a license and everything so he says). People see you driving a fairly knew car, living in a decent area, and they think there is a secret stash of cash somewhere that you just pick the notes like you pick a leaf of a tree. Low and behold you say you don’t have money and they say you are P.O.P, stingy, a miser.
Ok, so I sit in my air conditioned office, I don’t have to do any manual labour and I make more money, but the reality is the more you earn, the more you spend and at the end of the month, (or the beginning in some cases), we both end up with the same dry pocket.
If I was living on a lesser salary, I wouldn’t be able to own my own home or car, but instead of renting a one bedroom apartment, I am paying mortgage. I have air conditioning instead of a fan and I drive to work instead of riding the tro-tro. With that comes a mortgage, a higher electricity bill, fuel for the car and all the other petty expenses like insurance, roadworthy, estate management fees etc. I don’t get any “tip” for a good job well done, the most I get is an email or a lunch. Don’t get me wrong. I am privileged, some people don’t get half of what I have. At least I can afford to take myself to La Palm hotel for a nice dinner once in a while or the company does a party at Golden Tulip on the odd occasion, but it all comes at a cost. I can’t go to the office in an old pair of jeans and a t-shirt with holes in them, so I have to buy a good suit. If I was to walk around with nappy hair, I would be sectioned under the mental health act. It all comes however with a cost.
I do feel bad though, at least I had access to free education up until university level. Although there is free education in public schools here, you still have to buy uniforms, books etc… Some schools here in some instances are conducted under trees, then the teachers are having their own issues with pay. Also if you come from a very poor background, your parents are more likely to pull you out of school the moment you can earn a buck, so going to university is almost impossible. If your lucky you might get a job as a house girl or boy in a good home who will pay for you to learn a trade. If not, you not lucky, you end up selling pure water in the traffic.
Its not all doom and gloom though. The spot where I frequent, very basic, a container spot, a couple of ceiling fans, and a marquee outside with plastic chairs and tables, but he has enough customers to afford a generator when the lights go off (very necessary here). A woman at Makola market, sells second hand goods, managed to build a 5 bedroom house for herself and travels to UK, US and China to get her goods. To the naked eye, she is a market seller but the reality is she is making money on this here shores.
As for me, my 13th month salary has come and gone, I’m here living as best I can for another year.
I was saying to a friend, although I want my own husband and couldn’t do it my self, I don’t disrespect those ladies who do Ashawo or date married men for a living, times are hard and you just got to get the money where you can find it…LOL