Bulk Delivery

4 04 2008

I have just indulged myself with a  week’s trip to South Africa; mainly shopping but also to see some friends in the Jo’burg and Pretoria, one of whom is off to Australia because she sees no future for her sons in South Africa.

I am not particularly fond of shopping – it’s just a necessary evil to me. I must admit that it was satisfying to be able to go into a shop and be reasonably assured of getting what I wanted. Converting back to Zim dollars is of course meaningless and would be at best very depressing. What the hell; my mother had the philosophy that money was designed to be spent so I did her proud on the small luxuries; CD’s, breakfast cereal, Marmite etc.

I drove down to Pretoria, a trip of some 1100 km in one day and stayed with Megan who is off to Australia this Sunday. A perpetually cheerful character (she will live to be very old) she was in my horticulture under graduate class as university.  She is staying with a friend whom I vaguely recognized from varsity and 10 cats and 4 dogs. I am not overly fond of cats but will tolerate them but the smell from 10 cats all shitting and pissing in two kitty litters was a bit much. I also stayed with other Megan who was also in my undergrad class. She has done well for herself and is in senior management in on of the biggest fertilizer companies in South Africa. She just has one very large (75kg) boerbul (Afrikaans for “farm bull” although it’s a dog) that would not allow me to go to the toilet in the night! Her parents are retired and live next door and her mother kindly took me to a wholesale material warehouse. It suddenly struck me whilst we were driving what a contradiction South Africa is; yes, it is first world – the banks have money, there are the latest cars everywhere there are crowded freeways and the shopping centres (malls) are what you’d expect anywhere in the first world but… There is trash around, lots of it and the beggars are definitely third world. Dirty, really dirty and irritating.

Of course I knew when I was back in Zimbabwe when I went to get milk at the local supermarket yesterday. Bring your own containers and fill up from the 2000 litre bulk tank in the corner complete with refrigeration unit and instructions on how to clean and sterilize your containers. I remarked to a woman in the queue that there cannot be too many countries that shoppers keep there milk containers in excess of 8 months as I have done. Recycling? What’s that – we USE our old containers!

Being an atheist Easter means little to me. I do associate it with my mother’s death which was on the Thursday before Good Friday in 1992. I suppose I could look up the date but it is not that important. I think I’ll just have an early Easter egg and remember her fondly as the truly extraordinary woman that she was.

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2 responses

5 04 2008
Big Blister

I challenge your memory of our mother! I saw her as extremely frugal. And, a true child of the Great Depression, she was extremely reluctant to spend money on certain items such as phone calls and postage….

17 04 2008
gonexc

“and remember her as the truly extraordinary woman that she was.” was what I wrote. Not sure what you’ve been reading…

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