MAKE A PLAN !!
- 22/ 1/ 2006 <--Prev : Next-->
MAKE A PLAN !!
Zimbabwe has been ranked the unhappiest country in the world
according to a report released this week. The World Database of
Happiness in its findings revealed that Zimbabwe was the unhappiest
place on earth while Malta was the happiest place.
The survey carried out by the Dutch stated that "money is not the
main reason for happiness."
Zimbabwe, Moldavia and Ukraine ranked lowest on the survey, with no
more than 20 per cent of their citizens happy. Professor Ruut
Veenhoven, of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, who commissioned the
survey also found Denmark, Switzerland, Colombia, Iceland, Ireland
and the Netherlands to be the top 10 happiest places to live.
That fellow Veenhoven obviously did not interview anyone that I know,
what utter rot !!
We may not be the happiest nation in the world but I doubt we are the
unhappiest and we are certainly the most innovative nation in the
We Zimbabweans are an intrepid bunch, "lets make a plan" has got to
be our community motto !!
Our lives are indeed much more fun than the lives of ordinary mortals.
We are absolutely amazing under duress !!
For instance most Zimbabweans have not been to a garage or service
station in years !!
Our own personal service station lives in the storeroom a the bottom
of the garden. Its simple, when my car starts to look thirsty, I
despatch Sebastian down to the storeroom with instruction to "fill
'er up please" just like the good old days of yore.
It's not the most easy and efficient method of filling a car but at
least we have one of those modern pumps and we don't have to suck up
the first few mouthfuls of fuel as we used to in the old days.
To fill my car these days costs $6 and a half million dollars !!
Oil and water levels are checked monthly by our own private fuel
attendant and tyre air pressure is maintained with the help of a tyre
pressure gauge and pump that attaches to the cigarette lighter !
Water (or lack of it ) has been probably the single most irritating
thing to some folk in Zimbabwe. I know our rural people are quite
used to surviving on a couple of buckets a day that they have to
probably carry for quite a few kilometres every day, but when one is
accustomed to opening the faucet and having water appear
miraculously, one gets kind of spoilt.
So when there IS NO water, it is quite a shock to the system
naturally ...However many a happy shower has been taken with a
neighbour and many parties have indeed developed when one has to
visit ones dear friend on a regular basis to obtain the precious H20.
We have a friend who thrives on his thrice weekly visits to a
neighbour to obtain water, they probably drink more beer and wine
than they fetch water on most days !!
Electricity cuts have been another challenge that one has had to
endure, some are lucky enough to be able to start up their generator
when the lights fail, but to others, candles must suffice and it is
amazing how much fun one can have by candlelight !!
The best thing is that the telly does not work and one has to get
down to a game of scrabble or candle- light monopoly !!
The potholes in the roads have been a constant source of
consternation and amusement. I started a campaign a few years ago
entitled "Adopt a Pothole" and it was hugely successful as everyone
took on the task of fixing his or her favourite pothole.
A local joke is "How can the cops tell when someone has had too much
to drink ?" Answer - "because he drives in a straight line, anyone
who is sober drives in a wildly erratic fashion to avoid the
My car is no fun on a pot holed road. Its very low slung (like its
owner) and so its not so easy to detect a pothole in enough time to
avoid it. Those snooty folk in those large 4 x 4s have it easy .....
way up there so high.
But as our said our motto is "make a plan" and so I am in the process
of devising an ingenious but simple plan.
It involves opening the sun roof and a erecting a periscope and if
that is not possible, I shall employ a young school leaver to
accompany me to the shops. I shall seek out a gangly sort of fellow,
who has just past his "O" levels, I am sure he would love to earn a
few bob in the school holidays.
He can stand on the chair of the car next to me, with his head out
of the sun roof and warn me of any impending potholes.
This will also sort out my dilemma at the stop streets in the suburbs
where the grass has grown so high that I am unable to give way to the
I cannot for the life of me see anything at all at any intersection
because of the long grass. Here again my periscope invention will be
a superb asset !!
The potholes are no joke believe me, a small car could disappear for
days when there is rain around.!!
And talking of rain, what bliss, what absolute bliss. It has rained
and rained and rained. The earth smells dank and musty, the grass is
green and verdant. The dams are filling and we are all praying the
City Fathers will one day soon lift the awful water restrictions.
The people are happy in spite of their daily miseries, rain has
always had that effect on people in Zimbabwe.
Of course an over abundance of rain will always bring its own
problems and this afternoon we watched in fascination and millions of
caterpillars marched determinedly across the road in a dogged search
of something that only they knew.
Maybe they were very edible and sought after Mopane worms, maybe they
were the much dreaded army worms, who knows ?
But we do know that this season has been vastly different to many of
our previous rainy seasons and we await the consequences with just
enough energy left to be able to .... hopefully.... "make a plan" !!