It’s The Change That Caused It & Other Stories

The last time we bought rice was before the recession but we’re going to need to buy in the next weeks. The last time I checked bag costs N24,000, I don’t have the heart to check the current prices and neither does my mum and as I am writing this are considering buying from Benin Republic, we hear it is cheaper on the Cotonu side.

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I take a stroll out of the office to go and get a doughnut, I walk up to the seller, I tell him I’ll take two, I whip out a N100 bill and extend it to him, he looks at me and very gently nods his head in a way that most probably won’t even notice. He says he’s sorry but a doughnut is now N100, but he’ll give me two for N150. My heart sinks. I’m speechless and stare at him for a second before mumbling a request for one. I collect it and walk back wondering whether hunger isn’t better than a N100 doughnut with no jam. I poke my hand in the hole in sadness.

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I decide I need to change my phone case, it has run its race. I stop at a merchant where I get my reliably fake wires and cheap tech accessories. It’s at the entrance of a small mini-market on the way to my house. Narrowly enclosed by walls on each side, it’s like a passage way of sorts but unlike proper Lagos markets no one is grabbing you into their stalls. He shows me different cases and I settle on one. He says N1,000 and I immediately respond with N500 and the haggling begins. Eventually we settle at N800 and he begins to package it. He starts a conversation about how he would have given me at a cheaper price but that restocking is the problem as the economy would ensure he makes a loss. He looks at me, and tells me that before I never priced (haggled) him. He says “It’s the change that caused it”. I walk away

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Doesn’t he know that “The Change” doesn’t control the oil prices? That we were going to end up here whether we had a change or more of the same luck.

But does it matter? The prices of everything including sensible leadership has gone through the roof and our money has bored holes in our pockets and fallen to the ground. Who cares about bloody oil prices when rents due and salary hasn’t been paid since…A man does not even remember, a man has been broke for too long.

I hope everyone of us makes it out of this mess in one piece. I hope we learn our lessons, I hope we move forward. God help us all.

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