Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Happy New Year?

A good first week of the year to everyone!
I’m back in good old sweltering Naija and it feels good! The normally
insane Lagos traffic that I’ve grown so used to is back and so am I
with my incessant stream of expletives I hurl at slow coaches who are
better off driving in their sitting rooms! God, they make me wish I
had long arms to reach out and hurl them out of my way. They make me
hurl! But that was then, a looooong time ago, some place of blessed
memory, a faded dot in the past. Now, today, a week later, just a week
after the fuel ‘subsidy’ was completely removed by our eminent
president of the people, Goodluck Jonathan, I am now being cursed to
get out of the way by those slow coaches. If Betty had a manual/stick
gear shift, I’d engage the gears half the way, and coast the rest of
the half on neutral - I’d switch the engine off if it wasn’t so
dangerous. These days I mind the calories Betty burns; her food is
very precious to me. I share the concerns of over a hundred million
other people about our future over the hundred and twenty percent fuel
price hike.

The second week of the year, and these concerns are being voiced out today en masse in protests going on all over the country. A labour strike has called for this week and from
what I observe, it is being effected by everyone I know, including me,
well they didn’t say not to work from home. My question is, as I’m
sitting here, how the heck am I going to have to pay over a double of
what I used to pay for just a week ago, that is, doubling my budget
for the rest of the year with little increase on my revenue as at the
moment? That’s not talking about my brothers who have whole families,
have spent a lot over the Christmas to give their loved ones a
memorable holiday, are about sending them off to school and then boom!
Suddenly the money they judiciously put away has to be more than
doubled if their kids are going the same level of education they got a
month earlier. Or the ones who went to their respective home towns for
the festive season only to be told, commencing their journey home,
that fares have tripled. I even heard some commuters had to sell what
belonging they had so they could get home – and that’s not counting
the families.

Well, third week of the year, strike’s over
now and everyone’s back to work. Petrol prices have been reduced by a
smidgen and it’s suffering and smiling as usual for us. I’m in kind of
a daze though, because I’m sitting here wondering what all the fuss
was about, I’m asking what we have achieved with our indignation and
what the point was having all those people who perished in the cause
agitating against corruption. The hard stance and tough talking have
suddenly evaporated and I can’t help thinking about the grass left in
the aftermath of the elephants’ fight.

In summary, I think our world is getting
smaller and becoming more and more complicated as the days go by.
Greater territories than countries are being carved up and shared and
their inhabitants have little say in the matter. Suddenly affiliation
or patriotism towards ones country is like hoping to hold on to job
long enough to see your children through their education, retiring and
getting a good pension thereof - foolishness. Much like the borderless
worldwide web we have come to know and understand, our countries’
economic barriers and buffers are becoming more and more permeable by
the day. The law of governments become subservient to the law of
commerce. The route to survival? Self sufficiency. Every man should
seek some way of starting some enterprise, farming, weaving, some
business of some sort or earn a little on the side, save and invest.
That way one still maintains some sort of control over ones affairs in
spite of the raging madness that goes on around us. Let us begin
looking for the black goat while it’s still daylight. Have a great
week everybody!