It was a glorious Saturday. The kind that was just perfect for a visit to the PHCN office to pay light bills despite it being humanly impossible to recall the last time a bulb flickered with government-generated current. It was that kind of lovely day that a few hours were spent getting a car checked and oil changed while gisting in the mechanic’s workshop with my brother and thinking of the future. It was the kind of day when the search for duct tape took me on that ill-fated journey to The Palms mall at Lekki, the venue of the event of the shattering my tender heart.
In the process of running some very banal errands with my brother, we made it to the Game store at the mall in search of duct tape. If you’ve been to that store, you may have noticed a shopping area close to the section for appliances, where random items which have been heavily marked down are displayed for sale. On lazy shopping days, I like to stroll past and see what oddities they happen to have there. On this lovely day, sitting in all its glory was a Kenwood Premier Major kitchen machine. (Well, four of them actually.)
Now, lately I’ve been thinking a lot about cakes. A lot. I’m constantly ogling pictures on Instagram and I follow maybe a dozen bakers for my steady supply of cake picture medicine. And so naturally, I began to think that maybe baking may be my thing. I started to shop around for a kitchen machine and settled on the same little Bosch model that I grew up baking with. Little, functional, plastic, ever faithful. I was on the verge of ordering it on Amazon for the equivalent of less than forty thousand naira, when my sister suggested I get one with a larger bowl and food processor-ish features. And it looked like this was my day.
So here in Game I see this Kenwood gem – stainless steel, 6.7 litre bowl, three whisks, glass blender, meat grinder, chopping attachments, you name it. Best of all, it’s on sale. However, there are two prices on the same item. One large yellow price sign placed on top of the box reads ‘Was N76,000/ Now N45,000’. Another sign close enough but not directly on the item says ‘Was N250,000/ Now N120,000’.
Confused but hopeful, I point out the two prices to a shop staff and ask what the correct price is. She confidently tells me it’s N45,000. I’m struggling to breathe. I decide to wander through the store while checking the price online. I’m chattering away about how I’m so excited and I’m imagining all the things I can do with it. I see it for four hundred pounds on Amazon and two hundred and twenty thousand naira on Konga. At this point I and my brother are convinced the lady I got clarification from has no idea what she’s saying, so after finding what brought us there in the first place, we decide to walk to the information desk and ask again – as we were not about to carry the item to the counter only for my bank account to disgrace me there. I fetch another member of staff from the desk, show it to him, and he tells me it’s N45,000. My smile could have lit up Nigeria – PHCN be damned. My brother adjusts his stance in preparation to lift the large box, only for this bobo to say ‘Wait, who put this price here?’ I respond ‘I should be asking you.’ He goes on to say the N45k price tag was actually for a water dispenser displayed close by, and that the correct price was N120k. I felt like I should slap him. But you know how humble you are when you can’t afford stuff? I jejely walked away without protest, bought chocolate chip cookies and Amstel Malta to heal my pain, and went on my way.
I’m not sure you’d understand, but that guy broke my heart. He lied to me. How can I learn to trust again? That kitchen machine was meant to be mine, and right now I just might have been whipping up some batter or dough to make the cakes and cookies that will make my friends at work grow fat while devising strategies to build my empire à la Martha Stewart, but here I am, thinking of what should have been and nursing what’s left of my heart.