I had dinner at this swanky restaurant the other day. Swanky here denotes that there were tables and chairs as opposed to a shady spot under a tree. So anyway, after a hearty meal I had to settle my bill on the way out and then things got a bit hairy. While things have been getting thick economically, others have been getting thinner. I found this out the hard way when I had to pay for four chapatis. To save money, they had made the darn things half as thin for the same price. But the girl next to me just thought I was a hog.
The shilling is on a free fall. Like a fat kid diving for the last bit of cake or like Mike Sonko's IQ dropping whenever there is a camera crew around. Big up to Treasury and the Central Bank for doing stuff to help stall the drop. Our sources inside these places tell us that technocrats have been burning the midnight oil to turn the tide and thus some new economic policies have been announced to the public. These include crossing fingers, blaming those other guys and my personal favourite, NOT doing anything because it will sort itself out.
We are starting to feel the pinch though and with that comes the conspiracy theories. Is it aliens? Are guys filling up their war chests for the next elections? Is it blatant stupidity by the government? Ours is the worst performing currency. IN THE WORLD! Mind you, it's not the most worthless. Just the worst performing. That's after countries like Iran, North Korea and even Uganda despite the fact that they are still in 1957 as evidenced by UBC's coverage of last week's match. Yeah the Uganda bit hurts. It doesn't hurt quite as much when you are being beaten by military dictatorships.
Back to the pinch in the wallet though. I got into a matatu the other day in town and the fare was Ksh. 80 and by the time I was Ngara the tout announced it had moved to Ksh. 100. He cited the exchange rate. We almost beat the poor idiot up. But things really are getting out of hand. Have you been to a supermarket lately? The price tags will have you wondering whether it's to be paid for using monopoly money.
Oddly though, one aspect of life that has been hit by the worsening economy is crime. Have you noticed kidnappers have completely gone off the grid? They packed up and found honest employment just so they wouldn't have to deal with the exorbitant expenses that come with the trade. Feeding their captors. Buying masks and chloroform. Communication charges. (Everyone knows all kidnappers are on Safaricom just for the mpesa). And that is all after paying rent and getting ETR machines. (Kidnappers have to be tax compliant too just in case they ever run for public office).
So that is definitely a silver lining. Well that and the fact that we are nipping this whole obesity issue in the bud. I mean obviously we can't get fat if we aren't eating, can we? But things aren't that bad so keep your head up and keep that stiff upper lip. If we get into the same matatu or supermarket, we will be crying together. Hmmm. Either that or we can start a 'chama' for kidnapping. The Americans are busy occupying Wall Street so maybe we should go occupy nyama choma joint and follow the government's lead. Feelanga free.Things could be worse.