I love watching Friends re-runs. Every episode seems to relate to some aspect of my life. I remember an episode where Ross moved into the building and it was like a day or two after, a neighbour came over asking for a donation towards the building manager who was retiring. He wouldn’t pay out because he didn’t know the person. How many times has there been a collection for someone you barely know and as much as you don’t want to pay out, you do, just to save face.
There is a young lady in my office getting married. I barely know her apart from to say Good Morning, if that, and it is unlikely that I will be attending the wedding. No scrap that, I won’t be attending, yet they have started a collection and I am out 10GHS because I don’t want to look like the stingy girl who would not contribute to such a joyous occasion.
My dad also told me, “if you don’t do for them, when it’s your turn they will not do for you”. Who knows if that day will ever happen for me, but either way, it’s a blessing. I guess.
Money goes so fast in Ghana. Today already, I paid out 20GHS for a beef wrap and a cup of coffee (fries were not included). I put 20GHS in my car (I have put in 100GHS this week). I need to buy a new tyre for my car, brand new is 200GHS, a used tyre (or home use) is 50GHS. It’s going to cost me 300GHS to repair the A-C in my car (I have spent almost a grand on that already). It costs me 30GHS to do my hair and anywhere between 50 – 100 for the weave itself (trust me, it is more cost effective in the long run if I just fake it).
I could go on and on about the cost but you kind of get it. In London, I could live on £50, put transport aside, but I could live and eat quite well on that. Here, even when I pinch my purse, I spend about 50GHS. Yes if you do the conversion it is probably the same amount, but if I am living on 2,000GHS a month as opposed to £2,000, then there is something wrong with that picture.
When you go into a shop, people blame the dollar, well most things are imported. But yet, the dollar is not even given a consideration when it comes to my salary.
People want made in England products, but a product like myself, made in England, is not worth paying the salary for.
I remember smother asking me why I haven’t managed to save a dime since I got here. Then she came to stay for 6 months, she would have stayed longer had it not been for the fact that her money had ran out. She thought that changing the money into pounds would mean more cedis, and yes she did, but then the cost of cement also increased with it. I laughed the day she told me that “this money goes like water”. Indeed.
The economy seems to be spiriling out of control, and only God knows what the government are doing to slow it down. From what I can see they are being reactive and not proactive, which for the intelligent man, it is plain to see, but no, they wait for the cedi to crash before they try one step. When that doesn’t work, they wait for it to crash some more until they take the second step.
But, there are people who can afford, those that have, the business owners, the Government Ministers, and the Senior Management, so they food stores can sell that shawama for 20GHS because if you don’t, they will.
So I have a number of options, first corruption. I can delay on paying a supplier until he gives me an “incentive to follow up”, I can go back to my country and enjoy my sterling here once a year. I can start a little business on the side (although I still don’t know what that is), or I can marry rich (if there is a rich single man in his late 30s left).
Hopefully, I will get that book deal and the interview with Oprah and all my problems will be solved.