Friday, November 30, 2007

Being Cold in Botswana and a Brief Venue Guide

The day starts with tea for Malebogo, Herbert and myself. It’s actually verging on cold! Well, it’s freezing for Botswana, but what in the UK we would just call a standard overcast day. Malebogo can’t believe that I’m not wearing socks and shoes, how am I not cold? It’s the natural insulation of course! We head out to Game City to Mugg and Bean for brunch. I do ask “Are we going to the outlet in Game City?” to be told that this is the only one, so yes.

I devour a quesadilla whilst the other two have burgers. Shame on Malebogo for copying Herbs, that’s all I say. They also ignore my specific lengthy instructions as to how I’d like my cappuccino and bring me a latte. Tip is of course being reduced mentally with each infringement. I point out to Lebo the waiter who, as I put it, is the only one with any brains. Oh yes, she replies, he’s the owner of this and of the Bull and Bush. Ah, that would be why he comes across with slightly more acumen than the rest!

We head back to Thabiso’s Mum’s so Herbs can get his internet fix with my laptop, before they leave me for a bit of quiet time, the first since I came to Gabs! I work on the blog a bit, then have dinner sprung on me by Suko, what a nice surprise – traditional Botswanan fare of vegetables and chicken, with some salad on the side. I eat with Dr Nasha, who laughs as we discuss the interview in the newspaper with Thabiso, where he discusses his plan to become President of Botswana.

Herbert picks me up, and takes me over to Thabiso’s house, where I learn that potentially they won’t do anything this evening. So why did you pick me up then, I could use an early night! We watch BBC Food for a bit, before going out for a couple of drinks at Linga Longa. Back at Thabiso’s, he gets a call from Madoda, who offers to drives me home. Of course it’s too late to object by the time I realise he’s had a few, but we make it home safe and I get a bed instead of a couch for the night!

Gaborone Venue Guide
Gabs is a small city, with a population of about 250,000 people. There’s not much to it, but here’s what you can expect:

* Linga Longa
The bar of choice at Riverwalk Shopping Centre, has friendly and attentive staff, an outdoor and indoor section, though unfortunately it does close fairly early – 11pm on weekdays. Not sure about weekends.

* Fashion Lounge
The nightclub, in Phakalane, a bit out of town but very close to where I’m staying. Not cheap, annoying dress codes, but some of the beautiful crowd from town will always be found here.

* Fashion Lounge 2
Jack’s house, where he’s made his own club. Crazy!

* Lizard Lounge
More grungy – I think someone said this was the first club in Gabs, and you can feel it is somewhat aged. Good crowd on Thursdays though. To be avoided on Wednesdays when it is invariably empty (why do we still persist in going every week?!)

* Thabiso’s house
Fair standard suburban house, he has electric fences and the two dogs for security. Inside, a kitchen which according to Mumsa very rarely gets used, and bathrooms without showers, which is unforgiveable! His internet connection, whilst broadband, is painfully slow!

* Dr Nasha’s House
Thabiso’s Mum’s house is secluded, has a pool in the garden, is spacious and very clean and tidy thanks to Suko. However, it’s impossible to find anything in the kitchen, there are no bins and the showers are extremely weak. All of these complaints are over-ridden by the marvellousness of having Suko cook and clean, and wash all of your clothes on a continuous basis!

* Riverwalk Shopping Centre
The better of the two big malls (there are others, but off my radar). It’s smaller, but has one side devoted to bars and eateries with outdoor seating, including Linga Longa (see above).

* Game City Shopping Centre
Bigger mall, but less interesting, and the only food option is Mugg and Bean. Which does have free wifi, a massive plus point! And their new menu launched today.

* Bull and Bush
The expat hangout, a large pub cum disco cum restaurant venue, which a very mixed crowd – the doormen are not very selective. I’m not very keen on the place to be honest.

* The Mall
The central street in Gabs, which has several run down shops and a few offices. No food except fast – KFC, Debonair pizza and a few lesser known ones. It does have the nice bar upstairs somewhere though that Thabiso has taken me to a couple of times. Not sure if I could find it myself though!

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