I AM the police!

28 04 2012

“Do you know someone with a forklift for hire?” I asked Herbert over the phone.

“Yes”, said Herbert, “I’ll get back to you with prices”.

He duly did and they weren’t cheap but the container of coir from India had come through from the port in Beira a lot quicker than I’d expected so I had no chance to shop around. I agreed and waited for the container to arrive which it did around 9 a.m. on Friday. By 10 a.m. there was still no sign of the forklift so I got back to Herbert who was as puzzled as I was. A bit of phoning around and we managed to contact the forklift driver but then lost the signal. I started to wonder if they were lost, it doesn’t take THAT long to get out from the industrial sites. By 11 I was distinctly annoyed and wondering if there was an alternative way to offload the container. I got another phone number off Herbert and managed to contact the driver’s assistant. They were some 2km down the road so would be here shortly. It was a noisy phone call with what sounded like a very noisy gearbox in the background. It really didn’t sound good. 10 minutes later they were still not in sight. I wondered about the gearbox sound and then the penny dropped; they were driving the forklift on the road – I’ve heard them and they make that sort of sound. I couldn’t believe it but shortly a small blue forklift appeared on the road to the nursery. They really had driven across town in a forklift!

The offloading process soon started and it became clear they were ill-equipped to get 1 tonne pallets of coir out of the back of a container on a big truck. I was asked if I could find a trolley jack that could fit under a pallet. An hour later I had to give up – they were all too big. I decided to let my blood pressure drop and went off to have lunch. I got back and they’d refined the system a little and were making better progress so were finished by 3 p.m. I paid the assistant and turned to the driver.

“You are going to be back in town in peak traffic on a Friday afternoon”.

“It’s not a problem” he replied, unfazed.

“But what about the police roadblocks?” I asked.

“I AM the police” he said, getting onto the driver’s seat, “so they just let me through”.



3 responses

1 05 2012
Big Blister

Gotta love ’em!

18 08 2012

I was doing a search for “coir in Zimbabwe” and stumbled across your site. We’re looking for a way to grow plants in a soilless medium (using coir) and were hoping it was easily available in Zimbabwe. But it seems, based on this blog post, that one has to import it. Is this typical for horticultureor similar industry? Are you ok sharing your supplier’s details?
Great blog by the way, please keep sharing…

19 08 2012

Hi Nancy, it is usually available from CitChem in Bluff Hill industrial park but you should phone first as they don’t always have it. I bring it in by the container for my own purposes but will sell small quantities i.e a few hundred kg or less if you want. Plenty of suppliers in India/Sri Lanka. I use Dutch Plantin Coir India but also check out Earth-Scape in Sri Lanka.

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