Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Lazy Weekend in Gaborone

One of the nice things about living in Gaborone is that you never feel guilty about "not doing anything" on the weekends. When in a more lively or vibrant city, I always feel like I need to be doing something all the time, for fear of missing out on something interesting that could be happening outside the walls of my apartment. Sometimes you just want to sit around the house on the weekends but in other cities this can come with a price: sleeping in too late in Shanghai = missing a fun brunch out at our favorite restaurant, the Boxing Cat; staying in on a Saturday afternoon in DC = foregoing a pleasant time shopping in Georgetown. That sort of thing.

But, in Gaborone, I don't have to worry about missing something exciting if I opt for a weekend hanging around the house, because chances are, nothing is happening anyway! And if something is happening I can always just do it another time, because there will be plenty of time to be more motivated later. It may sound like I'm being sarcastic here, but really I'm not! I honestly really enjoy lazy weekends around our lovely house in Gaborone. Take this weekend for example: I didn't really do anything (no wild Saturday night, no big plans) but it was still a very pleasant weekend.

Where I spent most of the weekend.
Friday we stayed for an hour or so after work to attend a cook-out/ happy hour at the Embassy. This was no hardship, because on Fridays we get out of work at 1:30. I then came home to lie in the pool on a fabulously comfortable raft I got online from Target. I do not know what it is about this raft, but it is addictingly relaxing to float around on it and listen to the birds chirping in our backyard. The pool is conveniently half in shade and half in the sun most of the day, so it's very nice to alternate between floating in the shade- floating in the sun- dipping in the water. Friday night, Scott made a delicious vegetable lasagna for dinner and then we went to see Les Miserables at a posh new theater downtown. The movie was just OK for me - 2.5 hour of singing was a bit much - but it was something to do and I did enjoy checking out the theater, which was nice enough to rival any standard Regal Cinemas at home and will offer a pleasant change from the two other older, run-down theaters with poor sound quality that we normally go to.

Saturday morning was my favorite part of the weekend, because I had my first horseback riding lesson, and it was so much fun! I haven't been up on a horse more than a few times (other than a few riding lessons I took in elementary school and a couple of times on family vacations) but I loved every minute of it! This was just a preliminary placement lesson, where we practiced guiding the horse around a practice ring and then making smaller circles inside the ring. Saturday the teacher had me start with a pony, which seemed quite large enough already, but next time I'll be on a regular horse. The stables where I'll take lessons are really cool, with ten or so horses and a bunch of dogs and cats running around the place. Looking forward to my next lesson already!

After the lesson, I treated myself to an omelet and coffee (After years of getting my caffeine fix from Diet Coke, I started drinking coffee in Italy and have been hooked ever since) on the way home. Then it was back in the pool again for some more floating and reading! Lately I've been into Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell thrillers, but this weekend I started branching out to some Vladimir Nabokov- I've read Lolita but no others by him yet.  I am about halfway through The Secret Life of Sebastian Knight and have found it quite interesting so far.

Anyway, Saturday night we tried an Indian restaurant called Chutney's we hadn't been to yet, and really enjoyed it. Garlic nan, butter chicken Marsala, yellow daal, yum! After dinner, I watched the Alfred Hitchcock classic Shadow of a Doubt. I watched all the Hitchcocks in middle school and figured now that I have time on my hands, and I can download them on iTunes, may as well re-watch some of my favorites!

Today, Sunday, I slept in until 11:30 (I needed sleep after such a rigorous weekend!) and then hopped back in the pool for a while. We're going to play tennis this afternoon and then will make some of the truffle pasta we bought in Rome for dinner.

And that is the glamorous life of a young diplomat living in Gaborone, Botswana! A nice weekend for sure but that's not to say that from time to time we don't crave some big city excitement, which is why Friday we're driving the five hours or so down to Johannesburg to spend President's Day weekend enjoying some good food, cocktails, and shopping... a little small town peace and quiet here, a little big city fun there!

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