Tales From My Motherland: Always Convert

I think in sterling. It’s the currency I get paid in and settle my bills in. Other currencies mean nothing to me, not unless I convert them to sterling. Whenever I cross the borders of the United Kingdom, I commission my mental calculator. It’s the only way I know whether or not I’m getting a good deal.

“How much do you charge to shape eyebrows?”

“Waxing, razor or tweezing?”


“Aunty it is N1,500.”

250. 500. 750. 1000. £4. 250. 500. £2. £6. Marginally cheaper than the £7 I grudgingly pay at my local salon when I can’t be bothered to trek to Upton Park. I decided £6 was a small price to pay to trim the bush masquerading as my eyebrows.

Oya, come and shape it for me.”


“Julie Julie! How much will you charge me for twists? Not too tiny, medium sized.”

“Aunty na N10,000 you go pay.”

250. 500. 750. 1000. £4. Multiply that by 10. £40. In London, yes, but in Abuja?!

You be thief?!As I dey here so, if you shake me, that kind money no fit fall commot for my body. I beg call better money make we start.”

I ended up paying £20.


“My friend, this big bottle of Dettol, how much?”

“Madam na N3,000.”

250. 500. 750. 1000. £4. Multiply that by 3. £12. *dead* WHAT?!

Na gold you melt pour for inside bottle?! Una like to make person vex for this market. Which kind price be that?!

Madam na so we dey sell am. The price don go up e don reach three months now.

“You ,’ I said pointing a finger at the trader, “YOU, you fit buy Dettol for N3,000?”

“But madam, no be me wan buy am,” he giggled.

Cheeky monkey.

“That other size nko, 750ml, how much?”

“That one na N1,500.”

“Chineke! £6 for that small bottle?!” Sigh. “Oya bring that one but na N1,200 I go pay o.”

Wetin man go do? I was desperate.  


“Do you do hot food?”

“Yes, we do Panini’s and toasted sandwiches.” The waiter handed me a menu.

House Special Panini, N2,000. 250, 500, 750…£8 for a Panini. Everytime I pay £3.89 for one at Starbucks, I curse Tesco for being so far away from my Office. I flung the menu.

“Madam, you’re not ordering?”

Not on your life mate, not on your life.

My friends couldn’t stop laughing at me. I didn’t care. No one, NO ONE was going to cheat me in Lagos.




    I got SWERVED in WARRI and in ABUJA, but for the sake of 4 pounds I let it go.


  2. Lol, na 2 only open ya mouth make dem hear “oyinbo accent” ehen, so dis wan sef na JJC , ok! Price musto change na….If you no sharp for Eko, u go dull 4 lyfe!!!


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