so i woke up, hungry and broke but didn’t find out till midday when i wen to a store to pick up some groceries. I can assure you that being broke in New York City with a load of bills to pay isn’t my idea of having fun. It wasn’t. I was broke and owed my roommate who had paid for my grocery shopping, $23.54 but to me it was a ton of debt. How was i going to pay her back if i was broke on the 24th of September and i wasn’t expecting a check till the beginning of October? My financial situation was indeed bleak. I had a palsy sum of $10 in my wallet but i wasn’t about to use that even to buy a slice of pizza for fear of being rock-bottom broke.
As a Fulbright scholar, i was being paid a stipend that should tide me over till the next month but my new found demon called ‘card swiping’ just wouldn’t let me be. I kept swiping at stores and restaurants till the ATM was forced to inform me that i could not withdraw as i had ‘insufficient funds’ in my account. I went from being chirpy to developing a full blown migraine and body temperature in a matter of 5minutes. My roommate advised i called the bank which i didn’t. Rather, i took myself to the bank the very next day and it was nicely explained to me that asides a $100 pending transaction, every other penny seem to have been spent by me. All the hopes that had accompanied me into the bank slid through the concrete floor. I was alone with ‘broke’! I headed back to my apartment in midtown Manhattan to bury myself in my books and inside the walls of my room. I hoped it will help……….
My roommate came in and i moaned about my situation so she laughed a bit and suggested a place that may be hiring for peanuts but at the point, i was desperate to do anything if only it would save me from starving. She also nicely refrained from reminding me i owed her money. She even asked if i needed a loan till i got my check but i figured $24 was enough debt already. All my friends i told that i was broke all offered to send me money. Even my friends back in Nigeria. I was deeply touched by their concern.
Luck smiled on me the very next day. My friend called me from Massachusetts and she was almost incoherent with joy on the phone ‘go check your account’ she said repeatedly. ‘go check your account. IIE has paid our stipend today’; to me, this was the best news in 2weeks! I suddenly went from being ‘broke in New York’ to being ‘safe in Manhattan’.