I think that I must seem like a very approachable person. Either that or I have the word “easy-target” tattooed across my forehead. Whatever the reason, it means that I am constantly harassed by people wanting money or trying to sell me stuff that I absolutely do not need. If it isn’t a car-guard telling me to give him more cash, then it’s a random woman asking if she can have my bracelet... yes, the one that was around my wrist at the time!
Today, I was in a shopping centre, innocently minding my own business, when a salesperson grabs me by the hand and starts inspecting my finger nails. After a moment or two, he concludes that I simply cannot live with fingers in this dreadful state, and then starts rubbing my right thumb with some kind of loofah-buffer contraption. Now as you can imagine, it is very difficult to get away from someone when they have a steadfast grip on one of your hand! So I had to stand there and hear all about the wonders of this nail thingy – “Ooh, look how your nail shines... Aah, feel how smooth it is” – all the while wondering how long I’m going to have to hold hands with this stranger. After some time, the man obviously decides that my thumb is now sufficiently smooth/shiny and then proceeds to thrust a nail-kit box into my hands. “For you, it is only R800”, he tells me with a grin... a grin which rapidly fades when I tell him that I am a student and that I have absolutely no intention of spending nearly all of my grocery money on my nails!
After making a not-so-quick getaway, I scurry out of the shopping centre and head for a garage to fill up my car with some petrol. One would think that it would be safe to sit in your car and not be disturbed, but oh no, not in my case. As I am waiting for my tank to fill, and watching my bank-balance empty into my tank, a man comes up to my window and starts enthusiastically spraying my wing mirror with some kind of wax. The can of wax then gets thrust into my hand, as he vigorously rubs down my mirror, all the while telling me about the wonders of this product. As I was in the car at the time, it was impossible for me to get away, and so I had to sit through not only a mirror-wipe, but a back door and front wheel rub-down too. After quite some time and much sales pitching, I get told that I can buy this can of wonder spray for only R400. But wait, that’s not all! If you act now, you will get another can ABSOLUTELY FREE! No jokes.
After making many excuses, and receiving a withering look from my previously very-friendly salesman, I decide to cut my losses and come home before I could get cornered by yet another sales person. So now I have a shiny and smooth right thumb nail, and a very clean wing mirror, right wheel, and back door. All WITHOUT spending R1200 on stuff that I really can live without!