Time is of an Essence

In the novel, Tram 83 written by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, the idea that stood out to me was the portrayal of the rural city-state. The quote (which reoccured throughout the whole book), “Do you have the time,” made little to no sense to me at first. It had no meaning until the point was given that the meaning is very limited. It only meant that the people of this rural city-state did not have the means to survive and this was their way of surviving, it was the only thing to give them pleasure -literally. While reading the book I realized this to be true, the people of this rural city-state had nothing. No will power to keep them going, no money to keep them going, nothing. It seems reasonable that this act of prostitution is the only thing to motivate the people who live here. It is very cryptic but also very true and honest acts of happiness.

In many countries that do not have the means to live healthy and sustainable lives their birthrate seems to be way higher than countries who do have the accessibility to certain things needed to live a healthy life. It seems to be that many people that live in these conditions just have sex. Many people wonder why and are very much against these actions because it leads to much higher poverty levels, but I feel that we (the privileged) do not have a say in these actions. We do not know what it is like to have little-to-nothing. We also don’t know what it is like to have constricted happiness. We are able to have more and are capable of getting more necessities. So when we judge people, such as the ones of this city-state, we do not really know what it is like to be in their shoes.

In relation, I figured out that the usage of the white, “Do you have the time,” was a way of the people living in this rural area to find happiness. Which is sad but it is the harsh reality of this city-state.

This is one of many examples of how prostitution is one of the only ways of living in rural areas.


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