Saturday, June 9, 2012

Go Zebras!

Today is Saturday – I was a bit at a loss about what to do with myself today since my advisor left yesterday afternoon to return to the US and I don’t have anything on my agenda until Monday morning when I will go to the hospice again.  I slept in until about 10am and then took a leisurely shower (as leisurely as it can get in our tub with no shower curtain and the shower head that you have to hold on to the entire time).  I needed to get out of the house, so I decided to walk down to the “other” shopping center (three blocks in the opposite direction from the River Walk mall where I have been going every day).  The other shopping center turned out to be a much cheaper supermarket called “Choppies” and a gas station.   Along the way I discovered a few interesting things, including a museum (I think it’s the natural history museum), a very modern looking gym called "Gym Active", and a cinema that didn’t look like it is in working order.  I love the names of things here - there is no avoiding the point: the cheap groceries are at Choppies and the gym is Gym Active.

On the walk back home I took a different route and saw the Holy Cross Hospice preschool and an art workshop/gallery.  I got back home with my bag of groceries and decided that I would go nuts if I spent the rest of the day indoors, so after a quick bite to eat I headed out again to River Walk.  I took my time and examined all of the shops this time, stopping in the Orange cell phone store to ask how to check my balance and see whether I would be able to use my US Android phone in Botswana (the answer being decidedly no).

After a stroll around the mall and poking around in some of the clothing stores to look for slippers (the one thing I really regret not bringing since the floors are cold and everything - including my feet - is covered in a fine layer of the red dust that makes up the landscape here) I headed to the bar/restaurant Linga Longo for a local St. Louis beer.  St. Louis turned out to be a pretty mediocre lager – it wasn’t terrible but I can see why they don’t export it to the US.  Nevertheless I ordered a second one and before I knew it the bar was filling up with football (soccer) fans – there was a Botswana (Zebras) vs. South Africa (Bafana Bafana) game on!

St. Louis - Botswana style
It was super fun to see people crowding around and watching, and the whole bar erupted into cheers followed by song when Botswana scored.  A little while after the Zebras scored I was having a hard time seeing the screen due to the overcrowding and I thought I should head home . . . but not before stopping at the liquor store I had just discovered!  I bought a small bottle of Amarula (cream-based liqueur made with Marula fruit) and a bottle of South African wine recommended by the guy working there.  I asked him what kind of wine he drinks and he pointed to a 42 Pula (~$6USD) bottle from South Africa, and dissuaded me from buying the 100 Pula bottle I was eyeing – way too expensive for him, he said!  I have yet to try either of my liquor store purchases but I will be sure to report on them when I do.

Watching the Zebras play @ Linga Longo
The soccer game ended after I got home, but the score was 1-1 in the end.  I'll have to make a note of when the Zebras play next so I can keep up on my local sports!


  1. Just loving this! I'm at the library to look for books on Botswana. not much available. LP South Africa includes Lesotho and Swaziland, bur not Botswana. Let me know if you see Mme Precious Ramotswe! Mom

  2. Nice! more stories :D and more pics!

  3. I giggled reading this, Psyche, because you sound like such a chip off the old block with your writing about the beer, etc. - it reminds me so much of you, Linnea, and your writings about camera decisions, etc. :) Keep up the blog, I love reading about the little and big parts of your days. GO ZEBRAS!!

  4. Hi Psyche. I'm greatly enjoying your blog with all your observations and experiences. I've only two windows into the social life of Botswana. My university had an agricultural exchange with a Botswana university and I got to see a number of slide shows of cattle ranches (farms?) running cows through dip tanks, and, of course, secondly the work of Alexander McCall-Smith. Perhaps you will walk past the Ladies Number One Detective Agency?

    Don't worry about giant cockroaches. In Florida they are called Palm Meadow Bugs which sounds much less threatening, but they are still just giant cockroaches. As to the giant spiders, if you see one avoid it, or grab a broom and sweep it out if it's in your apartment. And I would take the warning about monkeys to heart. Remember they do have opposable thumbs, and can turn door handles.

    Wish you well on your mission and adventure. Keep your camera handy. Your photos are great. Keep them coming.

    "Taken For Granted " is my photo blog where I post two photos a day. Check it out if you wish, and please leave a comment, if you want.

    Jeff Grant