AN APPLE A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY !          - 13/1/2009      <--Prev : Next-->

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is an old saying Mother used to quote, but in Zim these days, due to the currency restrictions, we can only purchase one apple a week !!

Yes its true, it does not matter how much we have in our banks, we are only allowed, by law to draw enough money, to buy one apple, once a week !!

I suppose it has the required effect, reducing us all to the obligatory Marxist principle ! Our common denominator is one single apple per week !!!

Its actually great fun living in Zimbabwe, I always remember my singing teacher at Eveline School once remarked that I had a "perverted sense of humour", and that, apart from the obligatory apple, is essential in this beleaguered country !

One has to laugh at it all, it certainly saves one from crying .....

At least the banks are quiet, if every employed person in the country, (and there are only ten percent of the population working remember) can only draw five billion dollars a week, that means the girls in the bank are sitting twiddling their thumbs all day long. But I suppose it is preferable to the days when the crushes at the banks had to be controlled by soldiers !! My friend Jeannie was badly hurt in a "bank trample" which was the new name for a "bank queue".

There are many things that make us Zimbos exquisitely happy.

Today HeeHoo gave me ten whole US dollars which purchased some airtime for my cell phone. Now I had in fact become quite disciplined about not using my cell phone, it's really quite easy. Gone are the days when one can pick up a cell phone on a whim and send messages to one's offspring telling them that you love them. Instead one has to head home and dial the home phone hopelessly, again and again and again, but if one has perseverance and tenacity, one can possibly get through if one is exceptionally lucky !!

Now ten US dollars, at 67 cents per message will give me nearly 15 messages to my offspring !! Now that's is blissful happiness is it not ?

I am also happy that the cell phone system works so seldom, as HEEHOO is now on the road to mental recovery !! Previously he would carry four phones (as do many of the local businessmen) - one phone for each of the three local servers and one for a S.A. phone, in the vague hope that at least one of them might work sometime !!

Now THAT is heart attack material ...... but now he does not bother too much thank goodness, about carrying even one cell phone !!

Another excitement is being able to pick one's own veggies. The days of going to the market and buying one's veggies are over. Pay ten billion for an English cucumber ? Not a chance, it would take me two weeks to save up for it !! Now HeeHoo has to be satisfied with spinach, aubergines, chillies, and lettuce. (And he manfully never complains)

Meat is not a problem for us thankfully, as HeeHoo Must Fish and his Kind Papa both have butcheries and we can do a sort of counter trade for meat so its back to the Atkins diet which HeeHoo loves.

Another exciting aspect of living in Zimbabwe is called "Dodging Those Who Are Dodging The Cops"

We live on a main access road to the city and every day one has to take ones' own life in one's hands as the car in front and the car behind, and the car in the next lane, when they see the police road block up ahead, suddenly, without warning, career off in another direction,or swing into a quick maniacal U turn.

Their main aim is to avoid the cops at all costs whatever their reasons and our main aim is to avoid them ! Ayrton Senna type driving is then the order of the day to survive a trip to town.

Schooling is another pleasure. No "Back to School" rush in Zimbabwe, no furious buying of school uniforms, books, pens pencils etc, these are simply just not available !!

And besides which my four adopted daughters are easy to get ready for school, because school is not taking place, the Powers That Be, have simply cancelled schooling .....

Mind you I gather that Aggie and Pence have back to school items so e mail them on (pence@yoafrica. com) if you need stationery of any sort.

One can also derive much happiness from a fruitful phone call. Now First Worlders expect a fruitful business phone call, but we Third Worlders are exceedingly grateful for the same !! We are thrilled in the first instance to get through on the phone, any phone !! And when the phone is answered it is another bonus !!

Then when the person on the other end is bright and cheery and exceptionally pleasant and obliging , one has a day made in heaven ... I phoned Mr Battery (about a car battery problem and a delightful lady called Wendy answered. She was so sweet and so obliging that I made a mental note to deal only with her in future. Telephone Wendy on 241391....

Enchanted experiences also begin (and sometimes end) with the Robot Colour Guessing Game Now a robot is called a traffic light in most parts of the world, ours here in Zimbabwe have a peculiarly distinctive flavour in that we have no globes for our traffic lights.

It makes for fun and games I promise you. People approach a robot in fear and trepidation ... "Are the lights working at all? Are they red, green or amber. ?

One out of four could possibly be working but the globes are really dim and one struggles to see what colour they are.

So its a kind of Road Rage Robot Russian Roulette.

The Bold and The Beautiful always take the initiative. There is nothing a civilised as "first come first serve" or the usual four way stop option. The bigger you are the faster you go .... and beware anyone else in your path. Oh I wish HeeHoo had bought me a Hummer !!