After staying abroad for many years. I find it very exciting to travel by bus in Botswana. There is something special about the bus rank. Botswana is so quite and polite in all other places but not the bus rank.
You know sometimes when you watch movies and a scene of a busrank somewhere in Africa is usually crowded, busy, fast tempo, noisy, hot with vendors everywhere. I usually think – but that is not Botswana. And of course if you never travel by bus from the bus rank you would think so. It is interesting to just sit and observe what happens both inside and outside the bus and you will leave the bus with interesting stories. To sometimes take the bus instead of the car is both environment friendly and can also be a small adventure for the whole family.
This is the ‘unexpected moment’ from my latest bus-travel-adventure…
My husband and I got to the bus rank at 3.49pm, immediately there is a guy who asks where we are going. We tell him we are going to Mahalapye. He says – follow me!
Another guy comes from another corner and asks us the same question. Our guy gets angry and tells him we are his customers, he should go and look for his own. They exchange some less friendly sentences while we walk to the bus.
When we get into the bus I’m thinking how nice it would be to leave at 4pm, but to be sure I ask the conductor and says yes we are leaving now-now. We all know that sometimes now-now can be very long, so this now-now became 30 minutes. We get up and go to the conductor and I tell him well we are getting off to take another bus. He says yes do that, the driver of this bus just left and he has switched of his phone. Apparently the driver got angry for some reason and decided to take a leave of absence from his driving duties.
We manage to get into another bus and the first person I notice is an older woman who I would in Setswana address as Nkuku (grandmother). One could see she was in a travelling mood; she had bought a jumbo sausage, drinks and sweets. A free spirit, talking to anyone, young or old, curious about where we others were going. The only person she had not bought anything from was the guy selling perfumes. He was doing his sales talk and she ended up buying perfume as well.
She was wearing this particular dress that I’m always happy to see. It’s a simple, charming, old-fashioned style and very girlish.
My mom told me these dresses came with the British.
This type of a dress can still be found in Europe even though its not common. Dresses with this pattern are usually Christmas celebration dresses for young girls. In Botswana you see more grandmothers wearing this dress than young girls.
In a way I find it charming because I think this dress was the in-thing when our grandmothers were young and they simply didn’t want to let go of this dress.
So I found myself wondering about today’s young girls, which dress is the in-thing for them? Can we keep this legacy from our grandmothers alive and make sure that this dress finds it way to the hearts of mothers of today?
The festive season is around the corner and maybe you could find something more Setswana-British traditional for your little girl to wear this year!
[Editor’s Note: Bea Bond and Nana Kid’s Clothing have beautiful dresses available that embody the spirit of this traditional dress.]
- Ednah Rosen: What Inspires her Christmas Celebrations. - 05/12/2017
- About The Dress: Ednah’s Unexpected Moments - 30/10/2017