THE NEW BULAWAYO C.B.D.!!
- 27/ 2/ 2005 <--Prev : Next-->
THE C.B.D. OF BULAWAYO HAS MOVED .... no longer does one buy ones
furniture at Meikles, ones lingerie at Haddon and Sly and ones school
uniforms at Sanders !!
Oh no, the Central Business District of Bulawayo has definitely moved
away from what we once knew as the centre of the City of Kings.
If you need a recharge card for your cell phone you will find a willing
seller sitting patiently at every robot, every intersection, every
cross roads in the city. One on each corner diagonally facing the talk
hungry passengers in the vehicles, which hoot for attention, and then
the nimble footed seller winds his was hazardously to sell you a card ,
in just the right amount of time it takes for the traffic light to
change (or who cares if it takes longer !!)
Oh by the way, a traffic light is called a robot in Zimbabwe !!
Now if you do not have a cell phone (mobile phone) you can find a phone
shop just about anywhere, phone booths are a thing of the past, cos
someone stole the phone !!
I think the most ingenious phone company I have ever seen is the one
right outside the Posts and Telecommunications Building in Bulawayo.
There in the middle of the pavement (sidewalk) is a table, an umbrella
and an array of bright blue telephones !!
Manned by a lady who takes your money, times you with a stop watch, and
it does not take a genius to see that the wires are cunningly concealed
under the tablecloth and lead their way into the storm drain and most
possibly into the Posts and Telecommunications mainframe phone system
Now if you need flowers forget the once famous Joan the Florist or
Wright's Florist, they no longer exist, BUT the City Hall flower
sellers are doing a roaring trade.
They no longer sell just those loose flowers in colourful plastic
buckets, they have become very talented florists in their own right.
You can buy anything from your entire wedding floral requirements
including the brides bouquet, to a funeral wreath, an upright
arrangement featuring proteas, gypsophila and a magnificent array of
flowers, to a very tastefully done Valentine's posy with cellophane and
satin ribbon !!
Morrison's and Zippers Dress Shops of course no longer exist where one
can buy that special imported outfit, but there is always the Bend Over
Bazaar out side the City Revenue Hall.
Imported outfits abound here, imported from China, Botswana and
Swaziland !! You need a good strong back here because you need to bend
over and examine the goods which are lying on the pavement on a
polypropylene sack !! But you can get some good bargains here they tell
me and the vendors are lovely people...
And if you need to try the garment on .... no problem ... off the
vendors' backs come the babies... dumped unceremoniously on the floor
and the towels used to tie baby on back, are smilingly held in a neat
square while you undress, in the middle of the market square,
accompanied by a great deal of appreciative clucking, nodding and
squeals of delight at how nice one looks in ones new garment!!!
An Hairdo is also hard to find these days unless you make an
appointment with Mark at least six weeks in advance !! But if you stop
off outside the Renkini Bus Station or outside any suburban shopping
centre, you can have your hair braided beautifully (if you have about
seven hours of spare time) or if your hair is too short, you can have
long extensions carefully woven into your existing locks !! Right on
the sidewalk in the nice open fresh air too, sitting comfortably on a
Broken a heel on your shoe ? Well don't worry about trekking lopsidedly
all the way to Jivans or Jacobs, there is bound to be a shoe repairer
in your neighbourhood, probably sitting right outside your garden, with
his various stiletto heels or pieces of leather from which to cut you a
whole new sole !!
If you are looking for fuel, don't be daft and expect to find it at the
more traditional garages (service stations) like Dulys and Thelwalls,
pop into the alley behind any garage and there is bound to be an
enterprising fellow with a 44 gallon drum and a hose pipe !!
And the piece de resistance, if you need bird seed, veggies, millet,
sorghum, dried bean, macimbi (mopani worms), solar panels, ghetto
blasters, anything electrical smuggled (oh sorry I mean "Brought in")
from Botswana, in fact dried or fresh anything at all, the colourful,
bustling, noisy vendor markets in Fife Street and Fifth Avenue are your
very best bet.
Bulawayo is indeed Beautiful.