Wednesday, September 22, 2010
We get around. Slowly.
Frequent commenter Julie Hilton Danan was wondering how we get around Gaborone. There are two ways.
a) By car. Eventually, we plan to buy our own car for the year. In the meantime, we rely on certain pre-approved drivers, whom we call when we need to go somewhere. Some of them have fun names, like "Mr. T." It costs about 25 pula to get anywhere. (Divide by 6 for dollars.) On Saturday nights it seems to be hard to get a car. There is also a combi (like a shared van) we can call if we have more than 4 people. There do seem to be some taxis, but they're not pre-approved! And I have no idea how to use the combi system so far (see photo above that I did not take). There are buses between cities, which I haven't taken yet.
b) By foot. Mostly, we walk places, which is complicated by the fact that we never know which direction to look when crossing the street (they drive on the left here), the roads make absolutely no sense, nobody knows the names of any streets, including the ones they live on, and there are rarely sidewalks. You basically walk on the right side of the road until a car comes, then you walk in the dirt on the side of the road. Also it's incredibly sunny, there are these trees with insane thorns (I will post a photo of these soon), and occasionally threatening dogs (not stray dogs, which would worry me more--people's pets).
A few people ride bikes in town and they do not recommend it.
Tonight, we had the three medical students who are living at the other apartment building over for a Sukkot dinner. There was no space for a sukkah anywhere, but we said kiddush and motzi and "lashev b'sukkah" on the balcony and tried to figure out which stars the Southern Cross is. Then we came inside and ate. (Meanwhile, our housekeeper used my recipe for pizza to make her family pizza. It came out great and I was so glad!)
For the seven of us, I made hake with lemon and pepper, sweet potato chard gratin (replaced chard with mystery greens from grocery store--it was still really delicious--also subbed in cheddar and parmesan for gruyere), brown rice, a salad, and vanilla ice cream with this cake for dessert, greatly modified as I used pears instead of apples, couldn't find molasses, forgot to buy white sugar, and accidentally used double the butter. I also had no measuring cups or spoons, so in a way it was a Sukkot miracle that it was still a good dinner.