Monday, May 21, 2007

More Monday Moaning

This story in the NY Times made me aware about how credit seems so appealing only to come back and bite you in the ass! This happens to many Kenyans too who come here and aren't educated about the dangers behind the slick slogans behind the credit cards. The pre-approved offers turn up in the mail and against their better interest the card is obtained, one charge here another charge their, the grace period with 0% interest ends, hefty interest rates kick in and they become slaves to their debts. Before you get a credit card of any kind, I advise people to read the small print and go to the net if you don't understand any of the terms; better safe than sorry! I guess nothing in the world is free anymore.

I heard a very disturbing story the other day. My sister was telling me about this West African friend she has who has been having some problems with his father back home. You see his father had been married to their mum for many years and then all of a sudden he decided that he would get a second younger wife and relegate his first wife to the periphery. Their dad was in his 50s when he decided to do this, I guess mid-life crisis or something was kicking in or something. So when he got this new wife, it seemed that my sis' pal and his brothers new that she wasn't exactly top drawer material and tried to tell his father not to marry her but you know how parents are, he was hearing nothing of it and went ahead and married her. So the second wife goes ahead and pops out 6 kids in quick succession, yes 6! I asked if the two of them have never heard of birth control and it seems not to be a priority for the dad or his new wife. What makes things worse is that the new wife sends the children to the first wife to take care of and continues to live her life. The sons heard of that and were planning on sending their mum money so as to move out of that situation but the new wife fell very ill after her latest pregnancy so she is stuck taking care of the kids while their dad for some reason or other left home and went to live in another town. Word came back to them that their dad was looking really run down and haggard in this new town he was living in, but before word had gotten to them; their father had been demanding not asking that they send him money. You see every month they used to send him a few hundred dollars (which is alot of money in Africa) but now his demands have escalated to $1,000/= on a monthly basis. That is alot of money even here but since they don't want their family name to be tarnished they are scrimping and saving to send him the money. I heard this story and I was happy that my family is as simple as it is. But once again I have to say this, when people in Africa send those e-mails and go to Moneygram to collect their cash they should know that money out here doesn't come easy at all! My college room-mate once told me how a pal from back home once had the audacity to send him his bank account number and routing number asking for my ex roomie to send him money since it was some holiday of sorts, needless to say my ex-roomie deleted his contacts and blocked him on e-mail very very fast.

I was reading this story and I am not surprised at how stupid some people can get. How do you expect to send drugs via DHL and not get busted. Anyway the less said about that, the better.
The human condition is indeed baffling to say the least...........
ps: For some reason or other I didn't allow comments on this article, must be the Monday Morning Malaise striking full force!

13 comments:

aegeus said...

Credit is not a good way to go. Just use it for emergencies like hospital admissions etc and repay before the grace period ends. I have been bitten courtesy of my dad and i am not going there again, i did a post sometime last year.

Now that is a crisis for money we all face even here at home. When dad and mum ask for money you had better scrounge and send some otherwise you shall be ostracised. Ah the joys of being a first born! :-)

As for that DHL story..do not get me started! Fridge had sentimental value? Hehehehe!!

aegeus said...

oh! me i am first!

Acolyte said...

@ aegeus
Congrats!
I had a card the other day and it had a balance of a few hundred dollars left on it. I used to wonder why for some reason it took sometime to go down till I looked at the interest rates that had kicked in after the grace period, I transferred that balance chap chap! And paid off the card I transferred it to, from then on I learned to read the small print!
As for that chap the bad thing is that they got the dad used to receiving money so it got hard to cut him off.

egm said...

My policy is, use the card only as a last resort. And even then, pay it off asap. Even that little interest that goes to them pains me. Why should I give my money to someone else when it can be earning interest for me? Credit companies are smart and very cunning, so if you are not careful, you can find you just work to enrich them.

Now that I read it from you, I don't think it's a Monday morning malaise affecting you. On two of my posts I have had to go back and re-enable comments after I discovered they were disabled. There seems to be a bug with blogger that for some reason is disabling comments when you post! Yaani WP is looking more and more attractive at this rate! I'll just have to figure out the picture thing asap then move and forget about blogger.

3N said...

On credit cards, you have to be very careful. I am a victim of ill spending while in college and now I have to pay back. As you say credit cards need to be used for emergencies only.

The heroin/fridge story is it possible the woman had done this before. Sometimes I feel like some of these stupid sounding criminals have had success before but since it can’t be reported it looks as stupid…

modoathii said...

DHL-Drug Haulers (un)Limited???

siongei kuhusu kardi...i'm a victim. i tried the last resort vibe...diddn't work.

farmgal said...

I hate banks and there sweet credit offers ...alafu you miss one payment and you have to pay £30 arrrggghhh

Majonzi said...

I am lucky too that I don't have to send money home! But for those who do, there are some who enable the receivers. Imagine the sort of investment or business enterprise one would establish with $1000 that would offer returns to the receivers?

Mr. A. C. Milan said...

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x21p35_a-new-story-of-miracles-match-trail

Archer said...

That mathe for the drugs in the fridge is my hero. Talk of taking denseness to a whole new level! Seriously, didn't she think she'd arouse suspicion coz the transportation costs more than the fridge itself?

kusota said...

credit cards are great when you are spending, but get overwhelming when you get $25 late fees slammed down your throat, plus sijui increases in interest rates ... kwani they want people to have zero balances ... ama what's their problem? Dr. Aco, do you have a solution?

Ichiena said...

Spend what you have. Hizo credit cards are never worth it unless you have a trust fund or something like that.

Just when you think you have heard all the silly things in this world, out comes a fridge story!

Klara said...

Me I ogopa credit cards sana..Anyway that Storo ya DHL cracked me! I thought this drug traffickers were too clever for such! I guesss that Mama was countin on Luck..