The Northern girl selling biscuits at the mouth of Legon campus half rises as I approach her table. She must be in her early 20s if that. Slim, almost thin, with a small round head on a neck that is almost too long. Her hair, entirely concealed in a pinkish head wrap,
I point at a bottle on the table and ask, "How much is that?"
"3y3 three cedis oo", she says more as a warning than a response.
"why, how much are the others?"
"the same thing oo". She says. Then adds, "Right now everything has gone up". The apology is more in her eyes and how her shoulders slump ever so slightly as she says it. Like she is personally embarrassed or sorry for the price hike itself.
I throw her a side-long smile and dig into my wallet. I jerk my chin at a pack of biscuits. "Add that"
She nods enthusiastically, and begins tying the biscuit and drink in a black rubber bag to go, and rummaging for change from a tin.
As I reach for the bag, she suddenly adds,
"Please, take this one" and reaches for two lemon sweets from a pile.
I flash her a friendly grin and thank her, feeling a bit awkward about not paying for them.
It still amazes me, these little gestures of kindness, even with things getting increasingly harder, especially for traders like her.