“How much is this?”
My peeps are you aware of how complicated this simple question can be in this Lagos?
It was a straight forward question when I lived in the north.
It was also simple when I was in the east but now in the west, not so simple.
So, I approach a guy selling some stuff and I ask,
“How much is this?”
For a split second of clarity I see his brain work and I have an imaginary conversation with him.
“Madam, it depends.”
“On what?” I ask.
He actually has a mathematical equation that brings into play all the variables
“Quite simply, it depends on how much you can afford to pay for it.”
“If you came here in a Range Rover sports, it does not matter if you are dressed to the nines or tying a wrapper round your chest, I will charge you N20,000”
“Now, if you came here driving say a Camry, the year of the car comes into play. Anything from 2010 I will charge N18,000.”
“If you are driving a Corolla or still even the Camry but an older model, other things will come into play. If you have a personal driver and you are wearing Brazilian hair and dressed well, I will charge you N17,000. If you do not have a driver and dressed very well, I will charge N16,500. If you are dressed simply then I will have to look at the condition of your car. A car that is well taken care of will mean I will charge you N16,000. If it is a beat-up car, then you probably can pay N15,000. If you come with public transport, then it will depend on how well you are dressed, the kind of phone you are using and how well you speak. If you come by foot or okada, it is trickier. That is where my experience and instincts come in. if you are a man, the chances of you not being a car owner is high, once men can afford to buy cars they buy immediately. A woman can be a millionaire and choose not to buy a car. It is trickier like I said but if on foot I will charge anything from the minimum this item can go for which is N12,000 to N15,000.”
Then imaginary conversation ends as I realize the man is speaking.
“Madam, it is N15,500.” I smile and shake my head.
This is why my car will not get its much needed body work I tell myself as I wonder what gave me the extra N500?
Next time, I will wear bathroom slippers!!!