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The milk run

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On my run this evening I came upon a group of four men walking down the road ahead of me. They walked comfortably together, one in shorts, another with a cap jauntily perched on the top of his head. Each carried a small white packet – milk, I assumed. They turned back occasionally to stare at me as I approached, and I noted the ease with which they seemed to fill up the full width of a road designed to fit two cars comfortably.

“Hello Sister,” one called as I ran past.

“Hello Brother,” I responded.

“Madam I am selling this milk,” said another, holding up what I recognized as a 500ml packet of Dariboard milk.

I shook my head. “You buy milk at controlled prices at the shops and then sell it to other people for your own profit? Kwete.” I said firmly. Not interested.

I’ve been running even more than usual in an effort to keep my parasites at bay. I’m beginning to suspect the ZINWA water has finally caught up with me. I’ll get my blood tests back later this week, but in the meantime I’ve discovered that my bugs are happiest horizontal. Or on the move.

The latest cash shortages are wearing already frayed nerves even thinner. It took three separate trips to three different venues last week to gather up enough cash for the doctors bills and the lab tests. I overheard the owner of a nearby cafe telling her friend they’ll be closed next week if the cash situation doesn’t ease.

The queues are far longer at the CABS Blue Card section than at the Gold Class cubicle around the corner. For months, my colleagues have been urging me to “go gold.” There’s nothing special you have to do. There’s a “higher” minimum balance but it’s still a paltry sum – less than the bus fare into town, or a loaf of bread, if you could find one. Benefits include much shorter queues. But I remain irrationally attached to my worn, faded blue card. It refers to me as Mr, which is in turns irritating and amusing. And it leaves me in solidarity with the rest of the populace in times like this.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has set up its Delimitation Committee and has plans to begin this week with delimiting constituencies for the upcoming parliamentary elections. It’s no wonder they’re in a hurry. When you’re up against inflation at 14,800% and rising, every day counts.

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