Diary Day
ashley's Diary
Date 23 Jul 2006
Country Botswana
Weather Sunny
Diary Forded the mighty Limpopo to cross from South Africa to Botswana – though, luckily for the Land Rover no more than a trickle in the dry season…say….half way up the wheels. Botswana is an African success story (the African success story?) Free and fair elections every five years since independence from the UK in the 60s, a relatively successful economy based on diamonds, copper, cattle and tourism and the people seem really quite as nice as the Welsh (but a little bit taller) with one exception. The Police are complete fascists, how the rest of the population (of about 1.8 million) can put up with such an anally retentive bunch is totally beyond me. I hadn’t been in the country five minutes when the veterinary police had confiscated my milk and a juicy steak I was saving, fair enough I thought as they sprayed the Land Rover and the dirty urchins with disinfectant, no worse than Australia and only trying to protect their farmers from foot and mouth …or should that be trying to protect the cows from foot and mouth….can farmers, in fact, catch foot and mouth and do the blisters hurt? Will Hawking, I need your expertise, you must know at least a few British farmers with cloven hooves and horns or how else would such a small group of people persuade the bureaucrats in Brussels to send them massive subsidy cheques every year…Seem to have got a little bit off the subject here…anyway, two minutes after that I was stopped by a couple of policemen at a radar check point…I wasn’t speeding as the LR (bless its little cotton socks) finds it so hard to lug me about, out I get with a smile and say “What seems to be the problem officer?” “You didn’t come to a complete stop at that stop sign back there” He was already writing out the ticket and as my expert on police matters, PC Des Moloney, always says “Once they start writing out the ticket you might as well be as rude to them as you like as they can’t cancel it at this stage” I have here one precious commodity that has largely been lost in the UK, yes, time! I never have any time to argue with officialdom in the UK, I always have to be at my next meeting or somewhere in 10 minutes. Here I sort of have all the time in the world. Clare kind of raised her eyebrows and uttered a big sigh (how much longer is she going to be able to put up with me?), however, we finally got off after about two hours and I think they were very, very pleased to see the back of me. Five minutes later I was stopped at an official police checkpoint where they write everyone’s registration number down in a little book??!! That has to be even sadder than train spotters! Anyway, policeman said “You have crossed the stop line, reverse!” I reversed 3 inches so my wheels were behind the white line….sometimes you’ve just got to give in! Clare asked on the journey “How does Botswana make all its money? “Traffic fines” I replied. These are redistributed throughout population in a trickle down effect.
© Copyright 2024 Enterprise Africa - Site design by BIZAQ