While I might not be Irish, St. Patrick’s Day has always been a source of celebration for me. With my birthday so close to this day of singing, dancing and for some drinking, it is a natural fit for me to celebrate it.
This year was too be no different. Regardless of where I am living I look forward to enjoying St. Patrick’s Day festivities. The obvious choice for this year’s activities was a local Irish pub called The Bull & Bush. With the promise of Don Pedro’s (a milkshake with alcohol in it), music, dancing and friends plans were made for the outing last night (Saturday).
Everyone got into the fun of the outing by donning something green to wear, even my evening/late night taxi driver got into the spirit of the evening. He had been warned during the late night drive home last Saturday night what the plans were for this Saturday night. All was going according to plans…..
Until our taxi has about 900 metres from the Bull & Bush and I got a phone call. My friends Naki and Moira has already arrived only to be told that the Bull & Bush was closed for a private celebration. As we pulled up and tumbled out of the car to greet Naki and Moira it became abundantly clear that plans needed to change as no one was settling for defeat. A couple of phone calls, a consultation with our taxi driver Tshepo and another plan was in the works.
Telling Tshepo, who was waiting around to ensure that we were okay…but who can get a word in edge wise with four women in planning mode 😉 that he could go and that Shelia & I would let him know where to pick us up when we were ready to go home. My friend Naki has a pick up truck, fondly known as the bucket, in which we could all travel to the next place on our list. My poor friend Sheila who is from Kenya was not prepared for what came next. After Naki reversed the bucket out of the spot in which it was parked, up I clamoured into the bucket. Every time that I have travelled in the bucket I was always made to sit in the front with Naki. But not last night. There was no way I was going to miss out on the fun of riding through the streets of Gaborone in the back of a pick up truck…who cares that I was wearing a white skirt! It was all part of the adventure.
After Naki producing a black sweater for Sheila and I to at least sit on we settle in for the ride to the our next stop. Let me tell that having a white woman sitting in the back of a beat up old pick up truck driving through the streets was a sight that caused many double takes and looks of shocked disbelief. To be honest, I don’t know what the big deal was all about. I am sure that no one would have thought twice about the other occupants in the truck ,who of course were obviously African. Yet my sitting in the back laughing and chatting through the open window with Naki and Moira sitting in the front seemed be an unusual sight. So like everything else I simply took it in stride (or should I say bumps) and blithely waved at all of the occupants of vehicles stopped either beside us or behind us at the traffic lights.
The best was yet to come. In order to park at the Masa Centre you need to enter a basement parking garage which has a very steep incline that is constructed of metal grates…are you getting the picture??? Adding to the fun was a rather large grouping of men hanging around the entrance to the parking area. With Naki laughing as hard as me, she steered the bucket down the ramp while Sheila and I laughed and bounced along with the truck. Let’s just say that we gave the watching men something to watch 😉
Arriving at our restaurant/bar of choice in the Masa courtyard I was greeted as the regular that I have now become at this spot. We were even given a table convenient to get up and dance from as the staff now know that I come there to dance! So who needs the Bull & Bush? Certainly not us! All we needed was the company of friends, a sense of humor, music and dancing.
As our evening was winding down the table of men next to us finally could not resist engaging our attention…or perhaps I should say my attention. In fact I think the exact words out of one man’s mouth was that “I was the sexiest, hottest white woman he had ever seen”. Not bad for a 48 year old I would say. It is a fact of life here that no matter where you go, you get hit on. It just is…although I had a dry spell about a week ago where I actually had one trip for groceries where I didn’t get hit on once so I figured that I must have been truly ugly that day!
The man last night turned out to be doctor who has a practice at Main Mall and of course, is also married….remember my earlier posts about the huge issue of multiple concurrent partners. Somehow very few people in this culture find it disturbing that married men or women actively pursue other partners. I have no difficulties saying no which so far has always been accepted but they still are very vocal in expressing their admiration.
Last night I was happy to leave our table to go in search of Tshepo and his magic taxi as my admirer was staring at me as if in a trance repeating how sexy I was…..I will take the compliment! But I was happy that the evening had come to end and that I had gotten to laugh and have fun with my girlfriends which will always score higher in my books than a drooling man 🙂