TREADMILL TREMORS          - 4/8/2008      <--Prev : Next-->


I am sure there are many places where one should not attempt to use one's laptop !!

In the bath is one prime and obvious example, by the pool is probably another, yet another bad place is in a taxi and I will not elaborate on my reasons for that !!

But a new "no no" to be added to the "Places where one must not use a P.C." is on the treadmill ......

I really only wanted to utilise the excellent Tel One ( ) directory that Zimbabwe telecommunications offers on the internet. Just google Tel One Zimbabwe and hey presto, and if you enlarge the font majestically, you can read the entire Zimbabwe telephone book without your specs too !!

And once I had found the number I needed, the number of the Australian High Commission, I was then going to kill two birds with one stone, jog on the treadmill and at the same time try and get through to the High Commission to ask a question about visas.

Now we all know, not only Zimbabweans, how difficult it is to get through to a real live person in a government establishment.

Press one for visa, press 2 for passports, press three for consular matters etc etc etc ad nauseum.

What perfect place to while away the time, pressing buttons on the telephone, then hanging on for hours and hours, whilst steadily and merrily jogging on the treadmill, one ear hooked to the phone, the other ear to the i pod, where the Opera Babes were singing "Ave Maria" as only they can !!

The looking up the phone number with the computer balanced precariously on the consol turned into a debacle, probably because the computer was leaning on the "up" speed button ....

I had not realised just how fast I was going, as not all women can multi task, but when my ear phones blew off in the slip stream, I realised we had a problem....

However my athletic prowess is legendary and I managed to leap legs apart and straddle the running belt, computer balanced in one hand, phone in the other and i pod dangling by the ear phone cord, ominously close to the screaming red hot tread of the treadmill !!

Nothing daunted I slowed the pace down, placed the computer on the floor, set the font at the biggest possible, and started to dial .... and to dial ..... and to dial......

I tried every single number listed under the High Commission and then found a delightful lady, (probably the Ambassadors wife ) who gave me the correct number, probably wondering why this very out- of -breath lady was calling her as if she were some sort of consular receptionist !!

Forty minutes later I got through to visa section, but between singling along vociferously with the Opera Babes, and jogging gently but firmly for longer than I had intended, I was in no condition to voice my request.

" My husband has a South African Passport" I grunted hoarsely (sounding suspiciously like a heavy breather)

"No said the very nasal visa lady, this is not the South African embassy"... "No No" I squeaked breathlessly praying she would not hang up, "I have a South African passport and I need an Australian Tourist Visa "

It was at that moment that ZESA played its usual Friday morning trick on me .... the power went off ....

Now only those familiar with a treadmill will know about the alacrity with which a treadmill can stop. All the forces in creation work together in jet propulsion !!

If you are tall like the previous owner of the treadmill, one Brendan Beaumont, chances are you could do an elegant somersault into the next room. But if you are small like me, watch out !!

The excess adipose tissue that I am endeavouring to lose in this exercise regime, pushed me flying forwards with Titanic force. My ribs were lined up for perfect impact with the hand rail.

My ruddy and sweaty face went crashing into the LCD on the consol and it was then that I found out that HeeHoo does not always tell the truth.

LCD, he said, stands for Liquid Crystal Display, well let me tell you there was nothing at all liquid about it all, as I found out with my front teeth embedded in the display.

The poor lady from the embassy had probably never heard words or sounds quite like that before in her life, and she possibly hung up in terror.

Extricating slowly and painfully myself from the tangle, collecting my front teeth from the treadmill dashboard, I continued my telephone quest. Finding the number again I phoned in trepidation.

The phone funnily enough was answered almost immediately, and the voice said. This is the Australian High Commission, we are closed right now for the weekend, please phone again on Monday ........