Tuesday, March 20, 2012

sundowner at rivers crossing, sunrising in khomasdal

I'd always heard that Rivers Crossing was a beautiful spot for a sundowner, but hadn't had a chance to check it out because the lodge is about five kilometres out of Windhoek and you need a car to get there - a nice sturdy one too, to make it over the rocky gravel roads.

Luckily, on one of my last nights in Windhoek, AN and S invited me to go for a sundowner with them. They have a nice study car. A station wagon, inf act, which fascinates Namibians everywhere, as they keep offering to buy it off S. They don't really have stations wagons here. I like AN and S because they let me intrude on their cool dates.

I love sundowners. It's a tradition I'd like to bring back to Ottawa. Basically you get to a high spot, and then you have a drink as you watch the sun go down. This may be a bit difficult in Otttawa, which is very flat and has no tall mountains.

We were seated at a table outside next to a swimming pool. I'm pretty sure this pool has the best view that any swimming pool in the world has. It was eerily silent on the top of the mountain at Rivers Crossing, with everything calm and still except for the wind blowing in our faces. It was chilly. AN and I had forgotten our sweaters, so the waiter gave us towels to wrap ourselves up from the cold. I couldn't tell whether we looked extremely cool, like the babes on Baywatch, or extremely dorky, wearing towels at a posh place.

The sunset was absolutely breathtaking. What is it about sunrise and sunsets that fascinate humans so much? Is it part of our fixation on changes in nature, like equinoxes and solstices, watching day turn into night and then back to day? Or does the sunset signify a socially acceptable time to start drinking without being judged as a boozer?

Whatever it is, the sunset at Rivers Crossing was pretty great. It's the rainy season in Windhoek so there were enough clouds in the sky, reflecting pink streaks from the sunset. It was an incredible sight: on one side of the horizon was the setting sun. On the other side of the horizon facing the sunset was a double rainbow.


You could see the sprawling city of Windhoek in the distance, streetlights on and blinking. It was a very romantic moment for S and AN. And me, the third.

After the dark settled in, I had a very different night in Khomasdal, my new neighbourhood. I went out with nenad, WK, and Wi11be to Wells', a neighbourhood bar in Khomasdal, and incidentally, the first bar I had ever been taken to when I first arrived in Windhoek. As usual, the sight of an Asian woman in a coloured bar drew some attention from the locals, which produced the following conversation

man: Nee hau.
me: What?
man: Nee hau.
me: Why are you meowing at me like a cat? Woof woof.

This is my #1 most common conversation with Namibian strangers. #2 is the following:

man: So are you from China?
me: No, I'm from Canada.
man: Oh, you must take me to Canada.
me: Why do you want to go to Canad? It's very cold in Canada
man: It can be cold in Namibia too! Sometimes it gets down to 10 degrees.
(gloria suddenly starts laughing like a hyena)

Nevertheless, I have great conversations. We stayed out for a couple of drinks, and then hitched a ride home with ZK's old friend from high school, which, as I found out, was actually only last year. It was a bit odd getting teenagers to drive me home - I feel like the natural order of life should make it the other way around. At any rate, we rode home in the back of his pickup truck, which looks like a really cool thing to do but is actually quite uncomfortable. And then everyone stayed up for more drinks and conversation until the sun rose.