Free Trade; The Way It Used To Be
On the road to Mozambique.
Have you got Mozambique on your mind? Then this is a must for you? Africa; a continent that hums and buzzes and crackles with energy! Nowhere is this mojo better demonstrated than when you’re on the road.
In the hypnotic heat of summer and the cooler days in between, African vendors are out there, eking out a living. With scant resources, some have to hustle and hawk with what they’ve got. This is about those tough entrepreneurs keeping the econo clock ticking over. Maybe not the most popular people by and large. Although try to consider the possibility of yourself making a living in this way.
Everywhere you go, you’ll find the fruit sellers – Healthy snacks delivered right to your car window. Fancy more than just a snack? How about a box or two?
Avocados, mangos, pawpaw, bananas, oranges and naartjies (tangerines) fresh from the orchard to your mouth.
OK, got your fruit for the week? Let’s have a look at that meter and a half giraffe, or maybe a hanging hornbill to fill that empty corner of your patio. Or even better, stretch your imagination to a two meter kudu? Always be sure to buy from that seller whose products come from sustainable forests.
The empty spaces between countries, far from any town, allow unique opportunities to present themselves, often in the form of road works. Motorists trapped by the lengthy stops have nothing to do but wait.
You can’t go forward and you can’t go back. You’re stuck in the Drakensberg mountain pass for 45 minutes, in the middle of nowhere!
But before boredom strikes, a whole parade of colourful characters materializes out of the heat haze swirling up from the tar.
Fancy a cell phone charger or maybe an air freshener? No? How about a dangly sign to hang from the rear view mirror?
Then there was the guy with the cool-drinks. Wait! Where’d he go? Selling refreshments from a small box on his hip.
Gone before we could get his pic! And all sold out – Too bad the box was so small.
What’s needed here is the ice-cream guy but he’s far away, back in town. If he were here, he’d be selling vanilla and strawberry soup instead.
The ice-cream man in action – delivering cooling sweet treats to businesses throughout this border town.
Business as usual, while the customer applies one foot as a brake! Cones and cups hanging off the handlebars. Homemade trailer with a homemade hitch, BMX bicycle wheels and you’re set to go. This is African vendor entrepreneurship at its most creative.
And on the other side of the Stop-n-Go (what you call road works around here), look out for the behemoths of Africa. Run into one of these unannounced and you’ll be stopping again – only it’ll be longer than 45 minutes.
Keep a beady eye out for wandering wild, and not-so-wild life, enjoy the spectacular scenery and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!
If you’re on the way to Mozambique like we were, then you will have the joy of experiencing the same look-and-feel-fest. If you do, drive safely, this is a very busy road…