Esther (not her real name), 28, a professional living and working in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, is writing a regular diary on the challenges of leading a normal life.
Zimbabwe is suffering from an acute economic crisis. The country has the world's highest rate of annual inflation - and just one in five has an official job.
Queuing has become a fact of life in Harare
My sister, who is working abroad, called me after she read my second diary. She sounded like she wanted me to take the next flight out.
But life goes on here - it's just a question of adapting.
If you can't afford a bus ride to work, at least you can cycle. If you don't own a bicycle, then you have to walk.
I've heard of factory workers here who are doing just that, walking for three hours to get to work, and then walking the same distance back in the evening.
If you cannot fill up your car with petrol, there are numerous fuel traders who sell the commodity in five litre containers.
That keeps your car on the road, one day at a time.
And if you have power failures, you can stock up on firewood and candles. After all even South Africa has electricity blackouts.
People learn to improvise. That's the beauty of the human spirit - it hardly ever breaks in hard times.
Changing money can be confusing with the new $750,000 note
And anyway, there's always fun to be had laughing at the bus conductors as they try to work out how much their 750,000 Zimbabwe dollar notes add up to, and how much change they owe the passengers.
The Z$750,000 note was introduced in December and it is an arithmetic nightmare.
Amazingly there are still lavish weddings held here, that can match any wedding reception anywhere in the world.
Those with a bit of foreign currency to sell on the parallel market need to raise billions to fund these occasions.
The fact that salaries do not meet your monthly expenses, let alone set aside any savings for a rainy day, can really get those creative juices flowing.
Whatever you cannot find on the official market, you will find in abundance on the parallel market.
People sell everything here - vegetables, cooking oil packed in 50ml (yes 50ml) plastic tubes, sugar by the tablespoon - anything really.
And that is the small stuff. Young people are getting into business in a big way - mostly in commodity broking.
So we are alive and well in Zimbabwe, getting ready for the change that HAS to come, for the sake of those who don't have foreign currency stowed away for a rainy day.
Esther has answered some readers' question sent in following the second instalment of her diary.
Question from Eric Hauptman, Colorado, US
It would be interesting if you could graph something like the bus fare over the last year or the pair of shoes. Also, how exactly are such large sums of money distributed? Is there a one million Zimbabwean dollar bill? I assume also there is a large black market in other currencies, such as the euro or US dollar.
Esther: Our highest denomination is a 10 million Zimbabwean dollar note, and getting change for it is no big deal. On Monday 11 February a loaf of bread cost me 5.4 million Zimbabwean dollars. We were buying it for 5m Zimbabwean dollars on Friday 8 February, after it had gone up from 3m on Tuesday 5 February. Before that a loaf was 2m. So the price of a loaf has nearly tripled in one week. The black market for foreign currency is alive and well, in fact unless you are extremely well connected (know someone in the government) it is the only source of foreign currency.
Question from Chernor Jalloh, West Africa
Why don't you just bail out? If your account is credible, then it is crazy to stay in Harare.
Esther: I do not want to leave my home, why should I? Why should any of us. All this chaos can be resolved. What we Zimbabweans want is restoration of the economy, we want to be able to buy homes, upgrade our vehicles, have savings that are not eroded in value by the day. We cannot all go to join the diaspora!
Question from Brian Tucker, Melbourne, Australia
Would you prefer to live the life you have now or the life you had while Ian Smith was president?
Esther: I was not alive then. But I do know no human being wants to be oppressed, and the black man was oppressed then. My issue is that we are once more oppressed, only now it's by a fellow black man.
Question from Ray Mwareya, Mutare, Zimbabwe
Esther, why don't you comment about Western-led sanctions on the Zimbabwean economy that are behind your sorry economic misery?
Esther: I do not want to get political, as I am not a politician. I am just a young woman who is old enough to remember life in the 90s and who cannot accept the way things keep going downhill. As for the sanctions, I know that there are so called 'smart sanctions' targeting certain individuals, who then hide behind them to justify their own shortcomings as leaders. The fact that someone can no longer travel to Europe has no bearing on the fuel supply situation or the availability of drugs in our hospitals.