The Cash Crisis Continueth !!          - 14/10/2008      <--Prev : Next-->

Monday ...... oh goody .... I love Mondays, but then I love Tuesdays as well !!

Monday and every day means a sojourn to the bank. Oh what a challenge that is... some folk have an hour's ride in the subway, others have to walk for miles every day, so when I "grits" my teeth, and think banking, I bear in mind all the other folk with their own daily grind.

In Zim one needs to go to the bank on a daily basis as the powers that be limit ones cash drawing capabilities so strenuously that the day's drawings can possibly just buy one a loaf of bread !!

Picture the scene ... first a telephone call ... now bear in mind HeeHoo, God Bless his Cotton Socks, has made provision for me to visit the Executive Service of the bank which means a comfy chair in which to queue, a cup of coffee and a smiling face, all in air conditioned comfort.

Not so my poor countrymen who have actually been spending many nights sleeping on the pavement outside the banks in queues....

Picture my average morning call to the bank ...

"Good morning" do you have cash today ? Oh good, you have cash I will pop along ... oh dear ... but you have no power ... oh well I shall call again later.....


Good morning do you have power yet ? Oh good, but what is that ? Your computers are offline ? Oh dear ... how troublesome .. oh well I shall call again later.


Good morning do you have power ? Oh good ... are you online yet ? Oh splendid .. I shall call around ... sorry what was that ? Oh (pregnant pause ) you have run out of cash ????

And so on and so forth, Monday to Saturday this continues as I grit my teeth and gnash them as well, BUT - I am not standing in a queue in the boiling hot sun, so I keep smiling.

When one does hit the jackpot and one gets power, computers and cash all at the same time, the ambiance at the bank is so very pleasant. They have newspapers for one to read while one waits, smiling ladies offer coffee tea or juice (even champers at Christmas !!)

Everyone who is anyone banks at my friendly platinum lined bank, and a jolly hour can be spent swopping war stories with the many friends who frequent the same bank as HeeHoo and I.

The fuel problem is similarly fraught.

"Good morning I have a coupon do you have fuel today?' Cash is out of the question, it is a coupon or forex, even if forex is illegal in Zimbabwe...

Oh good thats just spiffing, I shall pop along, oh, what was that ? no power ?, oh golly gosh, I shall call again later.


Good morning do you have power yet ? Oh wonderful, thank you ZESA, I shall call by shortly, oh what was that ? You have diesel but not petrol ? Tut tut .....

"OK Kriel make a plan" .... Nothing daunted I hunt HeeHoo down and wrest the diesel car from him and rush off gleefully, only to find that in those precious few moments, the fuel has run out.......or I am proffering the incorrect coupon at the incorrect garage, or that the diesel has now run out and the petrol bowser has arrived and is disgorging petrol....

Now month-end has its own particular charm. Somehow or other, around the 24th of the month, alarm bells in my head tell me that it is time to pay the bills.

Accounts are rarely sent out in Zimbabwe. I have not seen a ZESA (electricity ) account in months, I seldom see our rates, water and sewage accounts, I occasionally see the phone bills...... but only well after the due date has expired ....

ZESA is by far the worst, one can phone seven numbers seventy times and it is pot luck if you find anyone at all, let alone anyone coherent enough to tell you how much you owe for the month.

Taking a stab at calculating one's bill is fearsomely difficult with runaway inflation figures as we have. It could be ten dollars, it could be ten million dollars, best to try and call them to avoid discontinuation of a service. Mind you, we have so many power cuts one would probably not even know if ones service had been discontinued.

Paying for the trash bins to be collected is still reflected on the municipal statements however the garbage is never collected and one has to trundle off to the dump carrying one's own fly ridden trash.

Just as I designed my new range of Prison Garb, so I am working on a range of Trendy Trash Togs.. I can just see an outfit with pockets for a peg that can be secured firmly over the nose, and the headgear apparel encompasses one of those hats they wear in the Aussi outback, with the corks dangling around the brim to keep away the flies !!

BUT ...... I still love Mondays, I also love Tuesdays cos it is the Drinking Club with the Bridge Problem and Wednesday means yet another glorious tussle with life in Zimbabwe.