Okay, I am one day late – but better late then never! All I can say is that I am glad that today is an official holiday in Botswana, Labour Day.
Yesterday living in the diplomatic enclave was a real experience……..
For those of you who have not been following the news, yesterday marked the hand over of royal authority from the Netherlands Queen Beatrix to her son, Prince (now King) Williem-Alexander. Of course living within the Botswana residence of the Netherlands Honorary Consul, the ever regal Jetske meant a in-house celebration. Her home was open to Dutch nationals who wanted to watch the festivities live on a large screen.
By the time I joined the celebrations in the afternoon, they had been well under way for many hours. The mood around this coronation is definitely very happy and jubilant. It was wonderful to watch the pride of the Dutch nationals and supporters gathered in Jetske’s living room. There were paper crowns, orange decorations and sashes along with traditional foods.
As I noted in early posts, Jetske and I had prepared for her reception last Saturday night the home made liquer, Advocaat which really is a lethally potent drink. Having gotten somewhat tipsy by just inhaling the fumes of brandy and vodka while whisking the concoction as it was cooking I should have been prepared for actually drinking it. Then watching grown and very tall men drink it last Saturday night all the while exclaiming how extremely potent it was should have been the additional warning to beware.
Jetkse and I had made three batches of Advocaat and ended up keeping one bottle as we felt it hadn’t turned out as well as the other later batches…we definitely got better at it after making the first batch. Of course, yesterday our bottle came out for the celebrations. The always impeccable hostess immediately prepared a glass of it for me when I first settled down in her living room to watch along with the others.
Advocaat is traditionally served in a glass (it is very like egg nog) topped with whipped cream. I now fully understand why you need the whipped cream on top of an already very sweet drink….it helps dilute the potent brew. Let’s just say that it took me some time to finish my glass and had several eyes watering moments. It truly is potent. The Honorary Consul kept noting how slow I was at consuming it. Eventually while still sitting upright my glass was done. An accomplishment that I am proud of.
Once the living room had emptied out of visitors, Jetske decided that now she would have a glass as well. She had not indulged in it early when she poured my glass. So I was given a second glass of Advocaat and I knew that I was done for. After Jetske’s first taste she fully understood the potency of this batch. First we attempted to dilute it with ice cubes then she had the brilliant idea of getting out the ice cream and using it as a topping.
So for the first time in my life, yesterday I got totally drunk off of ice cream thanks to the coronation of the new Dutch King. Thank you King Williem- Alexander and Jetske. This picture Jetske took of me pretty much says it all:
And note to self – never try to cook chicken curry when inebriated. I ended up opening a can of tomatoes instead of coconut milk by mistake….luckily Jetske was making a homemade soup that the can of tomatoes could go into….and my curry actually turned out delicious in the end.
But I am so thankful that today is a national Botswana holiday and not a Dutch one! I really need to recuperate!