Having travelled to a few countries I should know better than to convert every price tag I see into Zambia Kwacha. I will not pretend that I am the exclusive person who does this, I am sure many people who have travelled to other countries will relate. You go to KFC and ask for a meal before you buy you are already recalling the price at Hungry Lion, you get a T-Shirt and your eyes pop when you see the price before lamenting, "This shirt for this price, its better I go buy it in Zambia." There seems to be this inherent desire to convert literally everything, it is quite a tasking exercise.
So this time around when I made my trip to England, I told myself that I will not convert. I am in a new country which has a different standard of living. I convinced myself that I would not convert and allow myself to spend the money freely. I was managing quite well until I decided to get a haircut. That was the moment I hit a brick wall. If it was an addiction, I would have called it the point I relapsed. When I discovered that I had to part away with £8.50 for a haircut approximately K87, chineke. My mind went straight to my barber man at Olympia Market who charges me K13 for a haircut and shave mind you. If someone in Zambia charged me £8.50 for a haircut, I would wish to know what drugs they were sniffing. I have stopped converting a lot of things but the haircut is not one them. It is my last form of resistance.
This little realisation brings to light, that there are some who have an assumption that things are always cheaper outside. I used to think that way too. This is based on the assumption that the stuff is made in these countries therefore must be cheaper. You then hear people shouting, "Bring me a laptop, bring me a phone, bring me a car if you can manage." Well the truth is some things are cheaper and others are not (like a haircut).
I know that in the next few days my last form of resistance will crumble and I will eventually have to have this beard and hair cut. The barber man may just have to use a chainsaw to remove the £8.50 from my gripping fingers. And I cannot guarantee that a tear won't drop when I release that money. Until then anyone who asks about my beard, I tell them I am auditioning for a movie and I need to look the part.