Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Suffering from piles....

This past Saturday our family went to Harare for a 21st Birthday - and more of that later. However, what is of interest today are some of the curious sights that greet the traveller on Zimbabwean roads. So today is simply a journey down the highway - between Penhalonga and Harare. How many times do you see these on your roads.......?

We drive on the left, and when a vehicle is about to turn onto a main road from a secondary road, you need to 'yield', as the Americans say. We say 'give way'. And to be sure that your vehicle actually stops running onto the road, sometimes the best solution is to stand in front of it until all traffic has passed.........

Should you stop on the road - for example at a traffic-control point where they are fixing the road, you will be swamped with vendors selling everything from apples, tomatoes, bananas, green vegetables and so on.

Once upon a time, someone had a great marketing idea - simple enough in the conception and execution. The idea was this; find some tomatoes, get a small enamel dish, and place the tomatoes in the dish, in a little pyramid - and then place this arrangement on a rickety box by the side of the road out in the middle of nowhere. With this presentation strategy, you will sell more tomatoes than if they are simply lying on the ground.

The concept worked.

Rather too well.

In no time at all - everybody copied the first 'thinker', to the point that this tomato-selling point, (which has sadly long since out-grown the hut built to shelter the produce from the sun) in the middle of nowhere, adds a dash of colour to the otherwise bland African bush...

I suppose this is just a bad case of piles?

Quite incredibly the only thing available for sale in this mini-market is little piles of tomatoes. How on earth do you select a) which vendor you are going to buy from, and b) which pile of tomatoes is the best one?

Then there is the particularly African love of slogans or statements written on the back door of vehicles. The thinking behind the phrases is often cryptic enough, but why on earth would someone adorn their vehicle with this particular phrase (which is on the back of all 'Livewire Tours' vehicles)........

In other countries, I believe, they have vehicles called 'passion wagons', or 'love-mobiles'. We have them here too, but what do you call your car if the lady in question refuses your attentions and you press on regardless? Simple really.....

The mind boggles!

Have a great day.

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