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The awkward conversation of money


chris - trujillo

LAST FRIDAY

Time is ticking on my WordPress account and I have to make a decision. Do I renew the subscription for another year? I know the answer, and it probably is ‘yes’.

Good. End of blog post. The end.

Cool. 

(attempts small talk)

Wonderful. Would you like a glass of Inca Kola? 

How are things your end? 

Okay. Well, it’s just that the price exchange is not favourable for Peru. We aren’t talking about a matter of $5 when buying a piece of technology. And when it comes to buying an upgrade to WordPress, you have to pay $120 Australian. That’s close to 300 Soles.

Is 300 Soles worth it? Well, yes, but I have to manage my money.

I never learned to manage my money well. And I’m not talking about while living in Peru. I’m talking about life in general.

My bank created an account for me when I was 10. It taught me with cartoon characters called ‘Dollarmites’ that it was important to save my money rather than to spend it at once. Then, that way, I could buy better things. The things I dreamed of when I was 10 were video games, and bikes, and all things Pokemon.

As an adult, up until last year, I could buy these things every week. I just couldn’t buy the more expensive things. But I didn’t really want them.

In a mining town my pay was good but not like that as a miner. I watched everyone around me take on loans to get houses and nice cars. They took on loans to get these things, but don’t seem to be affected by them. I guess I have a fear of loans. I feel if I cannot afford it, I cannot afford it.

socks

Some of my grand purchases this year: socks!

When I bought a year’s subscription to my blog last year, I saw it as an investment. I dreamed I would have a greater readership, of course.  I had a month to go until my first job (six weeks until my first pay check) with a lot of time on my hands.

At that stage I would retreat to the mall and hide in the Starbucks. I needed that experience to keep some sanity, to process my surroundings in a safe spot. Even though the flat white didn’t taste like a flat white, it was called a flat white.

Two months later when the remainder of my money wore thin, I received my first pay. And it was fantastic. I blogged about the Converse shoes I bought, and the nice shirt, and the expensive pair of black skinny jeans. The shoes wore out quickly for Converse, and still need repairs, and I rarely wear the shirt, and I live in the black jeans. I spent almost my entire pay at the mall that day when it was supposed to last a month. Within two weeks I realised I needed to buy a new phone, which cost the amount of my entire first pay check.

But since then I have been more careful with my pay. South America hasn’t been cocaine and orgies, booze and one night stands, or travelling every day to a world wonder. It’s been life. Buying food and paying rent, considering paying for a bus ticket or a taxi ride instead.

I’ve learned that everything here in Peru has different prices. There’s always a cheaper option if you’re willing to look for it. There’s always a compromise. I could go to the American style supermarket for my fruit, or go to the local markets or stores for my fruit. And trust me when I say these are REAL MARKETS, not like any market I’ve seen in Australia where the best ones seem to offer the same arts and crafty things.

20180725_094910.jpg

Markets. So many markets.

The trouble is that I don’t think blogging, and a reader’s accessibility to it, should be compromised. This have become my journal entry of my experience here, more than anything, and I think I need to do my best to uphold the integrity of it. After all, what am I doing here if I’m not going to write about it?

SUNDAY MORNING

WordPress keeps sending me emails, reminding me that I only have one month, one week, three days,  one day until my subscription and domain ‘Awkward Conversations With Burnzy’ runs out.

For some reason I keep procrastinating the renewal.

Then, I change my mind. Not a lot of people are reading this blog anyway, and certainly not strangers. They will find my blog regardless of whether or not I spend money on it. Really, in the end, my blog has become nothing more than a scrapbook. It’s a journal entry for me.

I don’t need to buy a subscription. I can write on here anyway.

MONDAY MORNING

I wake up on Monday morning and see an alert on my phone. WordPress has thanked me for renewing the subscription. “What?” I think, and check to see whether or not I have read the words right. It’s true. Somehow, my Australian account with a minus deficit has found the funds to pay WordPress.

For a while I think WordPress is fucking with me  is showing the Christmas spirit. Maybe it has a ‘help a promising blogger’ (ha ha ha) Christmas sponsorship (*No offence WP. I’m a big fan. Love your work). 

I think there’s a mistake.

It’s been a Christmas miracle.

And it was a Christmas miracle in a way. Because on or around the same time that WordPress was about to cut me off after my card details bounced on their last attempt to renew, the company I haven’t worked for in 14 months gave me an unexpected payment.

I don’t know if you believe in anyone. The universe. God. American freedom. The Queen of England. David Bowie. Family. Communism. Your head-of-state. Vishnu. But I do believe in something, and I can’t but feel that something is sending me a message.

“Don’t give up. Keep writing. Keep sharing your writing. Someone will read it.”

Categories: money

Tagged as:

Chris B.

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