“…And that will be R50 please.”
The cashier waited for the customer to pay.
“But it’s just milk, how can it be R50?”
The cashier just looked at him with confusion.
“Sir, its the new VAT laws? Haven’t you heard about it?”
“Do you want the milk or not sir?”
“Um… yes, alright, thank you.” He handed his debit card over, to her and paid for the milk. Leaving the shop and walking to his car had given him time to think. R50 for milk? Seriously? How bad had South Africa gotten since he was last year 8 years previously?
“Mom! I’m home!”
His mom came out of the kitchen into the living room to welcome her child back after sending him out to get milk.
“Thank you son! No troubles finding the shop?”
“No, not at all… Mom, why was the milk so expensive?”
“Haven’t you heard about the new VAT laws? And also, there are barely any farms that actually produce food any more so we have to get our food from other countries. The price needs to be put up.”
“It’s just the way it is now.”
“And what about all the potholes? I mean there used to be a lot when I used to live here, but now, Jesus… So many.”
“They don’t even bother fixing them anymore.”
The reality of just how far South Africa had gone in the wrong direction since he had left it. It wasn’t even a surprise that these things had happened, just a surprise about HOW bad it was.
He needed to watch a Rick and Morty to take his mind off of the problems.
“Mom, what’s the password for the Wi-Fi?”
“Well, we don’t actually have any Wi-Fi anymore… The prices just got way too pricey. Only the richer areas have it supported anymore, and only the richer of them can actually afford to have it.”
“You don’t even have Wi-Fi?! R50 milk and absolutely no Wi-Fi, why don’t you just come live with me in America? It’s not the best, but it’s so much better than this hole. Please, Mom.”
“I just don’t have the money right now, you know that!”
“You can live with me! I’ll pay for it all, don’t worry Mom!”
Tears welled up in his Mom’s eyes.
It made him feel terrible that he had left her here for so long. The fact she wanted to leave so badly, and had no option but to stay after this long made him feel worse.
He would repay her by giving her a great place to live in California , with him. This country was just going to keep going further downhill, until eventually it will be easier to deal with by just bombing it.
A once beautiful country, gone to waste.