Do you know your level?

In my quest to purchase a shirt for a male friend as a birthday present, I visited one of Kampala’s elite men’s clothing stores in one of Kampala’s elite malls.

I enjoyed myself, strolling about, admiring the world of men’s fashion. After a few minutes, I believed I had found the ideal shirt-a soft white marvel of male excellence. I glanced at the price tag.

Seven hundred thousand smackaroos.

I blinked, rubbed my eyes and looked at the tag again. The price hadn’t changed.

“Excuse me”, I asked a saleslady nearby. “This is a shirt, right?”

She had the weary look of a madam who was tired of poor people.

“Yes, it’s a shirt”.

I waited a few seconds before opening my mouth again.

“I think there may be an error with the price. Would you take a look?”

She didn’t move a muscle.

“There is nothing wrong with the price. That is the correct price”. She held my gaze and won. I looked away.

“Hm”. I toyed with the shirt sleeves before I thought of something. Maybe this was a trick purchase. Maybe there was a complimentary gift in the pockets. Return tickets to Mombasa for two perhaps!

Excited now, I patted the shirt down. Nothing. With a sigh, I glanced around the shop and begun to notice, finally, that this was no ordinary clothing store.

Plush carpeting. Incense wafting gentle scent. Everything so expensive that even after seeing the price tag, you refuse to believe.

And then I looked at the salesladies. Their suits were tailored to perfection, their nails manicured from here to Russia and in the shine of their shoes, I could see my reflection.

I noticed they were all staring at me with pity. How to get out with my dignity intact?

“I like this shirt, but need to go to the ATM. I only have three hundred thousand shillings” I explained nonchalantly, waving my hand airily.

“Let me come back. Reserve it for me please”.

Yeah. Sure.

images

Me is on the right

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