Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I don't usually comment on blogsites from Swaziland that have been set up by people who are just passing through or by folks from faith groups who think they're in the kingdom on a mission from God, but this one is too good to ignore.

It shows a snapshot of life in Swaziland that I'm sure we are all familiar with - the totallly banal bureuacracy that makes it nearly impossible to get anything done.

This is written by Paisley Blank on the Doug and Paisley in Swaziland blogsite.


I have tried to remain positive in my blogging for many reasons, but most importantly: 1) I don’t like complainers, and 2) I want to remember the good things about Swaziland, as opposed to the bad. But, today was a special day and it deserves to be documented. In an effort not to waste MORE time, I’m going with a chronological approach as opposed to a full narrative (for real, I’ve already been tortured once):

8:20am Left home and drove to Matsapha (30 kilometers)

8:45am Stopped for the third time to ask for directions to government sanctioned auto shop

9:00am Arrived C.T.A. (government sanctioned auto shop). Let the record show that there is not a single sign anywhere indicating the location is in fact C.T.A.

9:30am Completed paperwork, road worthiness test, and received ‘stamped’ receipt proving so

9:50am Back in Mbabane (30 kilometers)

10:00am In line at Income Tax office in pursuit of ‘tax credit number’

10:15am Sent away from Income Tax office to ‘Grade Tax’ office (different building) to complete paperwork for said tax credit number

10:40am Back in line at Income Tax office with tax credit number in hand

11:00am Departed Income Tax office and drove to national Revenue headquarters

11:05am Sent away from Revenue headquarters because their ‘system’ is down

11:15am Departed Revenue headquarters for Revenue ‘satellite’ branch in town (where aforementioned ‘system’ is working)

11:40am In line at ‘satellite’ Revenue branch. Let the record show that the line is out the door.

12:00pm Give window teller 8 ‘stamped’ documents in pursuit of changing over the title of our car to our name

12:05pm Informed missing 1 document

12:10pm Departed for Manzini Police Station (35 kilometers) to retrieve missing document

12:40pm In line at Police Station

1:00pm Departed for Mbabane (35 kilometers) with ‘stamped’ missing document in tow

1:30pm Arrived back at ‘satellite’ Revenue branch. It is closed until 2:00pm for lunch…

1:40pm Departed for Swaziland Water Services headquarters to resolve duplicate billing issue

1:50pm Waited in parking lot for headquarters to re-open following lunch

2:05pm In line at Swaziland Water Services headquarters

2:10pm Sent away from headquarters to ‘satellite’ branch in the Swazi Plaza where the old MTN offices used to be (oh, right, now I know where you’re talking about…of course)

2:30pm In line at Swaziland Water Services ‘satellite’ branch

2:35pm Sent away from ‘satellite’ branch because their ‘system’ is down (seriously?)

3:05pm In line at ‘satellite’ Revenue branch with 8 ‘stamped’ documents plus previously missing document

3:20pm Owner of vehicle and now title for Toyota RAV 4

Yep, that really did take 7 hours. Awesome.

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