@Fest Life as a R50 note at fest

Life as a R50 note at fest

My day started as usual. I was scrunched up at the bottom of some stranger’s bag who was over-hyped by the excitement of Fest. I guess I shouldn’t be that pessimistic considering this person rescued me from someone else’s carelessness. How do these people get by knowing they’ve just dropped someone as precious as myself on some random dance floor? Oh well, considering all the great live music, I guess it’s in some way conceivable that I would get sidelined while they sway to the beat.

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Money boxes are so cramped and stuffy, how do some notes survive all day in one of these? Photo: Amanda Murimba

Last nights antics aside, I am certainly hoping I’ll have a more fulfilling day.

Right off the bat, my current owner seems to be more impulsive than budget-driven. We haven’t even reached the Village Green and I’m already being traded for some half-priced comedy tickets. Well, at least they will get a laugh out of today, and I guess I can take comfort in knowing I’ve helped support some artist in all of this Festival madness.

It’s a bit of a wait at the Rhodes Club Box Office, but soon my journey starts again. Thank you to the lovely couple on their honeymoon that manage to ensure my escape. It was getting a bit depressing living in that tiny money box. Honestly, I don’t know how all the larger notes do it.

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True love blossoms between sweaty palms it seems. That’s at least my experience of it. Photo: Amanda Murimba

I guess it’s true that marriage makes two people one because not long after a stroll in between the sweaty palms of the honeymooners, I find myself the bargaining chip for some kitsch jewellery somewhere in between incense and homeopathic remedies. The way these guys negotiate a ring, necklace and bracelet combo from the store owner beats me, but they certainly look very happy with their new Fest wear.

I kind of enjoy the laid back aura of the tents on the Village Green, but I never stick around long enough to really get into the vibe of it all. I wonder if I’ll ever make it to that Mexican food truck I heard the R5 coins go on about last night.

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Me taking a stroll around the green in someone’s pocket. Photo: Kate Maclean

Small change seems to have the best days at this market during fest. I once heard a R2 say she touched Pieter-Dirk Uys, Tyson Ngubeni and multiple Hare Krishnas all in one day. True story!

For now it seems I’m being slipped into a back pocket and taken to what smells like something sweet…pancakes? Fudge? No. It’s good old perfume. Something for the lady I suppose, though the pocket I spent those few minutes in could use some too.

It’s not long before I find myself in the cubby hole of what seems to be a student car. Loud music. Exclamations of slang that keeps devolving from year to year and a well-rounded mess of coffee cups and mint wrappers. Judging from the number of empty cigarette boxes and take away packets, I am pretty convinced I was their ray of sunshine before a call to the rents was the absolute last resort.

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Selfie with the gang from Zimbabwe. Say cheese, bread and guap guys! Photo: Amanda Murimba

“Hey mom, can we meet for dinner tonight?…

…yeah sure I don’t mind whatever you make. Sure you don’t want to head to Longtable?”

…okay, great! I’ll see you at 7pm and I’ll bring Stacy.”

Immediately after the phone call I meet Stacy, who brings some wine to the car party and asks for me in place of it.

I thought this was where I would end up for the night, but it looks like some other notes caught her eye. She takes a stroll from where the car is parked to check out the Arch Market stalls just as everyone is packing up.

I didn’t think people actually bought money with money but  I guess you learn something new everyday. My owner fiddles with me a little bit, rolling me up and folding me in half before deciding I am worth two collectable Zimbabwean dollar notes.

I make it safely into the wallet of the trader, who seems very happy to have me.

I guess this is where I call home for tonight.

Amanda Murimba

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