Still in the dark

21 11 2008

The power has been off now for 4 and half days. The electricity utility has proven itself to be spectacularly useless so this morning I moved the contents of my deep freeze (leaving behind the 5cm of water in the bottom) to the work fridge where it hopefully won’t go off.

It’s not that they don’t know where the fault is, they are just inept and seemingly uninterested to boot. It took them 2 days to get to the fault on a cable at the bottom end of the farm. They fixed it, turned the power on, there was a big bang and 4 ha of grazing went up in smoke. Yesterday it rained so nothing happened (don’t apply for a job in the UK guys) and today they arrived at about 3 p.m. It’s raining again so who knows when they will come back.

I was buying some nitric acid this morning to acidify our irrigation water (it has not been available for a couple of months and we have paid a steep price) and chatting to the manager while I waited for the containers to be filled. The conversation followed the usual course of the disastrous economy and I asked him what he was doing about accepting US dollars. Oh, he said, we just convert it to local dollars for the books. He admitted it was an arbitrary figure. Try reading this he said and passed me a cheque for 64 quintillion dollars. That’s 64,000,000,000,000,000,000. Quite who came up with the “quintillion” or even if it is an accepted word (well MS Word dictionary seems to know it) is anyone’s guess but in Zimbabwe terms it’s worth one US dollar (using a cheque).

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