“Do you have the time?” ‘Tip.” You see this repetition throughout the novel, Tram 83, by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, but what exactly does it mean? Well, I guess there is multiple meanings to it and I will give you my perspective on it.
“Do you have the time?” First time I read this, I thought, “Prostitutes,” because back where I am from (Orange County), you see prostitutes in every street light corner and you will hear them say something along the lines of “Do you have the time?” I am assuming they are asking males this to see if they have the time to give them pleasure for money. And I would understand why the need to be pushy about this line because this is their job and they need money to survive. Another thing I think this line could mean is do people really have the time? Is it 1:00 o’clock or what is it? They are legit just asking what time is it. And the last thing I think this repition could mean is that they are asking someone if they have the time to pay attention to them and give them love. It is maybe more like a relationship type of thing but they could be asking for the need of someone’s time to love them in any way possible.
“Tip.” I can only think of two things this can actually mean. The first time I read it, I assumed it was someone asking for tip money for doing service, for example like a waitress. They probably ask because not everyone gives tip and they need that money to survive. Another thing I think it could mean is advice. Maybe someone needs advice and help to get their life together because it is not easy living in a society like that so they need a “tip” to get by.
So, what is the actual meaning for these repetitions? I guess it is how you see it. For me, I see prostitutes and money tip, but others can think of a whole other meaning.