Other Side of the Mirror: Rich man, poor man

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By : Bikram Vohra

You know you are not the money type when:

You find yourself going about the place switching off air conditioners and lights and yelling about wastefulness.

You discover you are always bringing the conversation to rising prices and you repeat yourself about what you can’t afford.
Two minutes into someone talking international on the phone and you erupt and say, pack it up now, you have said what you had to say.

Every shopping expedition is daylight robbery.

You keep used up one dirham butane lighters and buy gas to refill them.

You wake at 4 a.m. and try to balance your budget but it is all topsy turvy and the outgoings beat the incomings hollow.

You think the annual increment of 150 dirhams is a big deal.

Your idea of a vacation is two economy tickets to the home town while everyone else is going to Europe and Disneyland and fun places like that.

You find that whenever you see a scrap of paper you start doing sums on it, like if I get the three thou from there and the fifteen hundred from here and if I can delay the card payment till the last date and add 600 hundred here and four plus seven is eleven and we have to give the school fees on the eighteenth which means this nine hundred saved is history and ….that sort of thing.

Your car insurance has to be renewed and that means there goes the budget for the month because you had forgotten hadn’t you and now it has looming at you, grinning hideously.

All your mail is bills and reminders of bills, those envelopes with the visible windows on the front.

You know you are not the money type when:

You never reach out for the bill in a restaurant because hey, you never asked to be invited anyway and if you did pay for the others you’d take 21 days to recover. You say things like, do we have to take a gift. Your days made if you discover a hundred dirham note in an old coat.

Your day is also made if you win the bottom line in a game of bingo.

You go to garage sales and find virtue in bargains.

You can never understand why people don’t appreciate the value of repairs.

You keep your old things because you have an affection for them, no heart to throw them away, right, right, right? Sure. That’s why you have to shake the TV before the picture settles. You have a special pair of shoes you only where to important occasions and that also has a hole in the sole.

Your idea of a big splurge is visiting a food court on a holiday.

Anything that says “free’ excites your curiosity.

When you travel abroad you spend all your time counting how much is spent, how much is left, will we make to Tuesday, what is the best exchange rate and walk a mile for it. Your tip usually elicits a sneer from the bellboys but what the heck, it is your money. There is more money in the small change saving box in the kitchen than in your pocket. You can’t afford any bad habits.

You want to be a member of a club but why would you be a member of a place that would have someone like you as a member.

You never put extra postage stamps on your envelope.

You are convinced that all cab drivers are crooks and conspire to rook you.

You find much happiness in wearing imitations, so who needs the real thing.

You keep telling your kids how cheap things were in your time, what do you mean you needs hundred dirhams to see a movie, in our time we could make one for that much. You take the family to a show and spend two hours mentally adding and subtracting and coming up with no good news.

You hate people who win lotteries and raffles and the papers carry their pictures with that silly grin. You know you are not the money type when

No one laughs at your jokes and if you have a party everyone is suddenly too busy.

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