This lead to an unfathomable increase in prices. Even red things like tomatoes became expensive. Sheep became lobsters. And cooking oil seems to have suddenly been extracted from Siberian tigers. Basically, you would have needed a bank statement to buy a burger.
So the Sudanese Consumer Protection Society decided to call for a mass boycott of all meat products, including chicken - which is a meat apparently. Most people joined in on the boycott. Which is surprising, given the recent trends of impervious attitudes towards the country's dire situation. Nonetheless, this boycott had a significant effect on the market. Apparently, a kilo of lamb went from an embarrassing 30 SDG right down to a very random 15 SDG.
This is very well. But all these numbers seem arbitrary. They're too whole and too divisible by each other and other normal numbers. Why aren't there any decimal places? And how could a two day meat boycott bring down the price so significantly?
You can't help but think that the so called government controlled market is not controlled at all, nor is it government. The austerity measures taken by the government targeted imported goods. But meat in Sudan is a local commodity. Sudan doesn't import meat, it actually exports it. So how is it that meat - which comes from local sheep, local cows and apparently local chickens - decided to be expensive? You can only assume that it was a decision taken by the meat itself, because no human would have such preposterous logic.
I find it very difficult to understand economic trends in Sudan. It might be my poor knowledge of economics, or the government's poor knowledge of economics, and lack of common sense, and incompetence, and stupidity, and abundance of safari suits. But, most economic trends in Sudan are not trends at all, they're in fact sudden occurrences. The government seems to lack that thing that gives people a bit of an insight into the future, what's it called? Oh right, planning.
What's more worrying is the inconsistency of statistical data regarding the economy. Various articles on the meat boycott quoted different numbers regarding Sudan's dependence on meat exports. The range was 1.68% to a ridiculous 40%. Not even butchers make 40% of their income from selling meat. So no one actually knows how much meat - or any other export, be it sand or black people - actually contributes to the country's economy.
So, instead of boycotting things that don't make sense, every Sudanese person should buy a calculator and start doing some numbers. Because no matter how much you boycott, if it's all fictitious and arbitrary, all your doing really is denying butchers a living. And obviously prolonging the sheep's lives; the sheep themselves don't want that, they're probably organizing group suicides right now.
I bought a calculator, yes I did; it's a Casio fx-83MS - which sounds like a power ranger's fantasy. And I did some numbers. It turns out that in order for meat exports to contribute 40% to the Sudanese economy, one sheep would have to be sold for around $4,000.71 - see, decimals. A sheep. Just one. It's unrealistic, and so is every other number I've come across.
Yes, the melioristic approach to the evermore demanding standards of living is a good thing, and the proof that the espirit de corps of the Sudanese population has not yet diminished has made us all proud, but what are we fighting for? Lesser arbitrary numbers?
It's easy to be perturbed by such events, but it's actually easier for such events to occur when economic policies are made around a tea lady wearing socks to repel sexual gestures. So let's not boycott randomness, let's boycott ugly people, since they're all in the government.