Gold plated…


We have a dual currency in Zimbabwe, since we can’t be trusted with our own money – we rely on South Africa and the US of A for our fiscal discipline. This is a challenge for a numbers impaired person such as myself.

You can buy a tooth brush here for $1.20 at TM or for R11.50 at Greenvale Supermarket. (TM work in dollars, Greenvale in Rand, although one can use both, or Pounds, Pula, Euro etc) But watch out, you can also buy a toothbrush for $12.00 at the TM. If you can do the conversion, its easy to see that you are buying a R120.00 toothbrush. That is for normal, unnumerically impaired people who aren’t in a hurry. I’m always in a hurry and I also find now I’m old, I struggle with alot of things…Don’t you hate the way supermarkets make looking for prices difficult? When I was a kid…I either asked the store owner for the price, or each item had a price label on it…clear and easy to see. Now they stick prices along a long tab hidden…yes hidden. To see a price I either have to be six foot five tall, or a midget.

Bulawayo City Council can’t supply enough water for the town, so they switch it off several days per week. We have a borehole and managed to change one toilet to the borehole water tank. This loo is in the same bathroom as the shower working off municipal water. Hey, digging up piping in these old houses is not easy.

We pour hot borehole water through an open window into the bath on the days we have no municipal (My kids may call me a hippy – but I have to bath.)
So on a day when we have municipal water I shower – with soap – teeth care paraphernalia on the basin. When the water goes off, and we bath (borehole water) I need to carry all this stuff to the bathroom (bloody miles away)
Aspie hubby has to have everything lined up in his life, so this proves too much for him.

In the supermarket, standing near the toiletries section, I know I am meant to get something…I can’t remember what, but I know it is to do with the water problem. I guess its toothpaste. I guess we need toothpaste in both places. I was wrong. That night, in the bath, I had to drip my way through the house to the shower to collect the soap. So I buy a soap. This morning, I discover we have two soaps, two toothpastes and only one toothbrush each!!!!

And no, I didn’t buy them for $12.00 each, but it was close. I grabbed two different coloured brushes from the nearest hook, tossed them into my shopping basket and dashed off to the till. Luckily the till operator is someone I speak to regularly. She raised her eyebrows. “Mmmm” she said, “four bags of mealie meal!”

Gold plated toothbrushes!  What next?

Disaster averted – I’m off to paradise later today, ladies and gents….see you in week – no internet, no telephone, no noise, no people – heaven. I’ll post the pics!!

Please buy my book, Silk Threads, you can find it here
I also give away free copies to people who will review it for me….


4 responses »

  1. Bathroom drama – i agree with Aspie Hubby. That is just too hard…

    The supermarket pricing thing is world over though and an extremely clever marketing tool (just far more convoluted in your case where there are varied exchange rates & currencies). Weekly shopping is a mathematical minefield – we need to check everything very carefully because the labels can be so deceiving and you end up paying more for something you’re getting less of because you didn’t read the label properly to know to buy the item right next to it which is more for less…and then the branding…yeah. you work it out. Thankfully the other half loves the mathematical/ numerical/ economical challenges of purchasing the correct commodity…I just shuffle along with the list (yes..try use that more often and put more things on it…) and point in the general direction of things we need and then push the trolley…
    I like pushing the trolley – I get to drive like how I’m not allowed to drive on the roads…

    Enjoy your week in the wilds 🙂

  2. Yeah, shopping is not in my job description, hubby usually does it…
    Wilds brilliant so far, taken more photos to add to the hundreds I already have of this amazing view…

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