As I turned from the Independence Avenue into Pula Road, where it connects with Queens Road, from my rear view mirror I saw the bright red ball of sun setting. It was perfectly aligned with the Queens Road, right from the Government Enclave to the Gaborone Museum. It was beautiful.
It reminded me of Manhattanhenge in America, which I learnt about it last July — a circumstance which occurs twice a year, during which the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The wording is derived from Stonehenge in England, where the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices with a similarly dramatic effect.
Even though I was rushing for my Chinese class at University of Botswana, I knew I had to stop so that I can enjoy the spectacle and take few pictures. But stopping to watch the sunset in Botswana, especially in the city is odd. People look at you like you’re crazy. Stopping to watch the sunset! I think it is because in Botswana we are used to these amazingly looking phenomena. It’s nothing special. It will happen again the following day, it happened the previous day and that’s how we do not even take note of sunsets.
But nonetheless I love sunsets. So while there taking few shots some lady passed by and said to me, “oseka wa ba wa ntsaya senepe” (Don’t take a picture of me). I did not even see her until she said those words. I smiled, which is my usual response to this rather threatening order, and politely added, “Yes, I’m just shooting the sun”. She turned, looked at the sun and asked, ‘Le rileng?’ (What’s the problem with it?). She just kept walking not interested in my answer, probably thinking, “mxm he is lying, he was taking pictures of me, why would he take a picture of the sun”