Saucy

Everyone here speaks German, and many Afrikaans as well, so I can get around with the mother tongue. The waiter in the hotel, unable to speak English grinned when I told him he could speak German or Afrikaans with me and that I would talk back in Dutch.

What is also German is the abundance of meat, sausages especially, and beer. From South Africa the menu has taken the idea that no food is complete without a heavy sauce. The mussels from the Namibian coast, advertised as ‘fantastic’ came in a heavy cream sauce – I had to dig around to find the poor things, smothered in cream, butter and flour – they could as well have put balls of dough in there, shaped like mussels – such a shame.

Not surprisingly, there are a lot of big bellies everywhere. Not like Sita’s growing belly, which I follow on her belly blog, restricted to friends and family, but bellies fat from beer, red meat and heavy sauces.

After we were done with the introductory facilitator training for the introductory leadership workshop next week, and nearly missing the late lunch (all starch and sausage), I took the hotel’s shuttle to one of Windhoek’s two large shopping malls. The place was packed with teenagers, just like anywhere else. The place was also packed with clothing stores, telephone stores and house decorating stores, plus a few chain stores and knick-knack stores.

I got myself an internet dangle (3G) that will allow me to connect to the internet when not in the hotel. My ability to be ‘in touch’ is critical in my current position. The instructions on how to work it seemed very complicated but everyone assures me it is easy.

My next stop was the candy and then the toy store to buy materials for the management simulation we will do next Friday and markers and sticky notes for the entire week. I had so many poor-quality plastic bags that I had to purchase a more solid bag to carry my new possessions home.

Just as I made my way to the place where the hotel shuttle would stop for a pick-up, all hell broke loose, thunder and lightning and heavy rains on the metal roof that made it hard to hear yourself think, let alone converse with anyone. When the first thunder claps exploded above us I immediately thought it was a bomb explosion which shows that I am not entirely over Afghanistan. I quickly looked around me and saw that no one else was paying attention.

The rains come and go quickly, drenching everything and then they move on. People seem to be used to it, carrying umbrellas or plastic garbage or shopping bags to put over their head and clothes.

I had bought myself a box of red wine for next to nothing and some dried fruit, both reminding me of Afghanistan, though in different ways – imagine buying a box of red wine in Finest Supermarket in Kabul!

I am devoting tomorrow to catching up on email requests and review of documents and such not connected with this trip. But first I booked a massage in the hotel spa in the basement – a reward for a week of very hard work.

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