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Not even aware that we were in her focus, on exiting our Food Store, we entered our vehicle. We settled in and observed a body up to our window.

Closer observation revealed a late 30ish woman, with bright red cork-screw hair and matching acrylic nails. Physically she appeared in good health, but we were not immediately sure of her mental fitness.

We looked for the piper in her.

She did not disappoint.

She beckoned us to talk to her.

We rolled down our glass and she delivered…

“Ah just asking for a lil 65,000 laptops to help meh with dem school chiren…”

We looked at each other and immediately reflected on the scene five years ago when we were approached by a skulking character who asked us to help plug a $17B hole in the economy. We have given financial and other assistance many times and in greater quantity, but we refused them both!

We doh like the idea of people spending $300B in budgets, drawing down the HSF, borrowing loans and on top of that asking us to help with “chiren!” Worse still is that some people only needed a budget of $300B to give “chiren” laptops.

And we doh like it more when they tell us hummuch dey want!

We reflected deeply on our bank balances and the recession – a word hardly anyone uses. We thought about the disappearance of foreign investment; how hard it was to obtain foreign exchange, and the constant pilferage of goods from our stores and high security costs. We thought about the precipitous decline in our sales, so low that sometimes we make only a few dollars a day. We thought about Franky in the back-seat who had to close his business and all the other businesses that closed down.

We drove away even more depressed than before we entered the supermarket to buy some back and neck for a pelau.

Abbigail Ajim

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