A Penniless Girl from a Third World Country

Tera Harmalet
5 min readJun 8, 2021

A penny is two decimal places, right? I thought my life is zero, but I realized that I don’t even have decimal values.

It’s not like I am not trying. Then, why don’t I even have decimal values? I think I know the answer.

In some countries, if you want to make a few dollars, you can use apps or websites which reward you when you finished small tasks such as taking surveys, watching videos, etc. In other words, even giving opinions and engagements on the Internet pays you. When no such service exists in your country, you look up to such apps and websites since you are desperate for a few pennies, and it says, “The app is not available in your country.”

Let’s try to hunt jobs as a freelancer. There are only a few websites for freelancers locally. Only a few jobs are available on them and most of them are nearly dead. What about finding on social media? Well, many of them are scams which let you experience anger explosion. The supply of jobs is very low and the unemployment rate is very high. If you do not possess a specific skill in demand, the probability of landing a job is pretty low. When you can’t rely on local services, you look up to international services. To use international services, you need an account which accepts international transactions, and it says, “The service is not available in your country.” Despite not having an account, at least, let’s set up a profile, and it replied, “Your profile is rejected.”

Today is the data age. Ads, spywares, and trackers are your devoters who always follow you. Selling data makes millions. Content is king. Creating content is a profitable business now. However, it is not the case if you live in a third world country. “No problem! Take all of my info! Wait, I will share my whole life’s experience as well. Take them all.” and yet you won’t make a penny out of your data. Of course, to make a few pennies out of your content, you need to be part of the respective program, and it says, “The program is not available in your country.”

What about selling products on the Internet? Well, it says, “Shipping is not available for your country.” You fill a form online and you need to choose the name of your country and it makes you realize that the country is not even on the list. Services available for most countries, none of them is available for your country. When a country is under international sanctions, those who suffer the most are people trying very hard to make ends meet. For the selected few who are under the blacklist, they are like, “Since I cannot use my name, I will use his name.” then they have an easy way out. And, you call it, “The power of money.”

Even if you don’t want to, you have to look at the situations of local markets since no options left. Being high in unemployment leads to lower payments. You saw an IT job poster. It said, “You need to know three languages, at least two years work experience and proficient in this skills and that skills.” and then you look at the monthly salary offered and it is not even near 200 in dollars. Also, the possibility of “You will be treated as a piece of shit.” is pretty high. Here, it is common knowledge that those who hold power love oppression and suppression very much. As for skilled professionals, they are like, “Eternal sufferings? Nope, I am out.” and they flee the country.

Under strict economic sanctions, you can’t do anything at all. “Don’t worry! We are here for you!”, brokers and agents introduce themselves to you. Normally, it should have been able to do transactions and interactions directly between B2B or B2C and vice versa. It is faster and cost-effective. But, here comes the agent fees and broker fees, and they are expensive. Taxes for the country and protection fees for armed forces in some regions lead to expenses upon expenses. You do business to profit, right? The commodity price skyrocketed when it reaches consumers. When the salary is very low, the commodity price is super high.

How about a local entrepreneur route? Let’s take a look at the small business situations in cities first. The country heavily relies on imports. Most small businesses are retail shops, food stalls and other services. Here come the shopping centers, restaurants, hotels and they basically monopolize the market. Setting up a small business and making it sustainable is a difficult process. Only the rich get richer and richer. As for small business owners, their hands are full of struggling for business survival.

What about “I have an innovative idea. I should produce my own product.” route? Don’t worry, local products are treated as trashes. Lack of trust plays a major role here. And, it concerns with social psychology. It is the same as the ugly frog loves the beautiful swan. Also, there are many untold underlying social issues because discriminatory behavior is very strong in the community.

In many towns, it is rare to see a shopping center, but there are bazaars. In some rural villages, there are no shops at all and most villages suffer transportation difficulty. In the past few years, the government put a lot of effort in building roads and bridges. Where did the money come from when the only export of the country is agricultural products, oil, and minerals? As for a country with budget deficit, tax isn’t enough. Yes! It is debts from the first world countries. After you somehow learned that information, you see things differently now. You see the road you walked on, not as a road, but as the debt of first world countries. Is this what you called “a drastic change in perspective”?

While first world countries are approaching towards artificial intelligence (AI) age, the country is still stuck in the agricultural age. Foreign investments are like, “ I want to help you in transforming into an industrialized country. But, your government isn’t stable. There is no law to protect us. So, call me when your government is stable. Until then. Good luck!” and they disappear.

So, how are people surviving in poverty? Luckily, the country is very rich in natural resources. Ruby, sapphire, jade, diamond, pearl, gold, silver, platinum, copper, coal, lead, zinc, iron, tin, tungsten, chromium, nickel, oil, petroleum, natural gas, rare earths, and so on are here. Also, the country is blessed with forests, mountains, streams, rivers and the sea. Digging mineral resources and gems, and producing forest products and sea products is risky. But, people risk their lives anyway to make money. And, most of natural resources are sold to other countries through illegal trades. However, only a few percent become rich and the rest is still in poverty.

Are there any options left? “Hey, join us!” says scammers, swindlers, pickpocketers, thieves, and robbers. In the worst case, murder can happen. When people are in poverty, the crime rate is high. You won’t talk about morals when you can barely put food on the table, right? Despite having said all the difficulties, actually, becoming rich is not that difficult if you know the way. Yes! Become the favorite dog of power holders and lick their shoes. Then, a somewhat luxurious life is on the way to you. Come to think of it, at this rate, even being a beggar can be considered an honest job.

Do you know? Being born in a third world country is like you don’t even have a chance to stand at the starting line in a race.

And, now what? Pandemic and coup détat? Nice! Let’s laugh in dystopia!!!

June 8, 2021

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Tera Harmalet

^w^ My Personal Journal ^w^ (Anime+ Games+ Nature+ Animals+ Tech+ Sports+ Folklore) person who loves historical & futuristic themes 💛