Have you ever been truly cashless? Government wants you to go down that route, but if my experience yesterday was anything to go by, just prepare to be stranded and possibly die of hunger if you believe them.
I left home with some petty cash and my ATM card. After running some errands, I had emptied my wallet of cash and I was hungry. No problem; right? ATM card to the rescue. I walked into a food outlet, ordered a meal, and handed my card to the attendant. Card declined. “Mister man, please try again. There’s money in the account”. Card declined the second time. Yeepa!
My village people have found me. By this time, the worms were out marching and protesting in my stomach. Why today? If you took a quick glance at that picture of mine above and thought, “This Mister Mo is fine sha!”, please scroll back up and take a closer look. You will see me desperately trying to hide the lines that hunger had drawn on my face. As a matter of fact, I think my hair grew greyer too. Walahi-talahi!
Like a boss, I pulled out my smartphone and I tried to log into my bank account to see what demon had swallowed the money in there. “Unable to validate user profile at this time; please try again later“. There was an “OK” button at the bottom of the pop-up that displayed that message, but my dear friends, there was nothing okay about this situation at all.
What kind of wahala was this?
Cashless Mo Meets Cashful Babe
I didn’t care about the embarrassment of standing there and being told my card was declined thrice (yes; I let him try again). It was the hunger that was killing me at that moment. There was this beautiful lady right behind me. I was politely asked to step aside so she could be attended to. When she stepped up to the counter, she waved the cash in her hand and said, “This is why I came with my cash; I don’t want trouble.”
Was she rubbing this in or just being pleasant? I went with the latter. We made small talk about ATM card problems in Nigeria while her order was packaged. From our gist, clearly our mutual bank was having issues, and she being the Girl’s Guide was prepared. I, Robin Hood, would suffer.
So, I waited around while trying at intervals to see if the issue had been resolved. It was a wait in futility. I thought to myself, “There is fuel in the car. Last last, I will jump in and drive home”. Right? Wrong!
The whole saga hit a hilariously low note when it dawned on me that without any cash on me, I couldn’t even pay the parking ticket and leave!! I was properly grounded. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t shop, and couldn’t leave if I wanted to. I had to sit in the car for hours till the bank wahala ended and I could use my card again.
If you have no idea what it means to be truly cashless, this was it. 😂 😂 😂 I could say to you, “Always have cash on you, people”, but did you read that part where I said I left home with cash? So, what good is that advice?
To think that just the day before, a Punch newspaper reporter had called me for a telephone interview about the state of ATM card usage in Nigeria. Did I say something wrong during the interview? I hope your day was much better than mine. Have a wonderful weekend!