Silly Season

30 12 2008

The Christmas/New Year period is often called the silly season in Zimbabwe. People get silly about it; pay ludicrous prices and behave badly. It seems that the silly price part of it has become pretty much embedded in people’s psyche. Yesterday I went in search of some pocket diaries (plain old paper type – we don’t have much use for PDAs here), desk planners and lawnmower blades though the lawn has probably got beyond even my appropriate technology robust mower. The desk planners were not available at any price but at the first outlet I tried they wanted US$55 for three of the diaries! I told them what I thought and declined. The second bookstore I went to had nothing much of anything spread out over a large area.

I did manage to buy three lawnmower blades for $3 each (probably worth about 50c) which was better than another hardware store that wanted $30 for a set with the bolts included. I got caught in a thunder shower for my pains and had to wade back to the pickup through 20cm of water. At least rain at this time of year is not cold. The power was off for the remainder of the day – it has been off more than on since the “Festive” season started. I guess that the lawn will just carry on growing for a bit.

I was chatting to one of my customers this morning and he mentioned that a friend of his had come back from South Africa just before Christmas. Stopping off to buy last minute items in Musina, the town just across the border in South Africa he was struck by how empty the shops all were; Zimbabweans had cleaned them out. I also know that a number of South African companies have set up warehouses in Louis Trichardt, a medium sized agricultural town 100km across the border and a popular shopping point for Zimbabweans. What incentive, my customer wondered, do they have for a resolution to the Zimbabwean crisis?



One response

1 01 2009
Big Blister

Two interesting analyses!

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