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The German experience

The-German-experience

A remarkable transportation system, strict adherence to time, airports that have been converted into recreational parks, murals and graffiti that go on and on all over the city and lax laws on public consumption of alcohol, The German city of Berlin has tons to explore, to love and hate at the same time. WeekendLife reporter spent days in the city and has a tale to tell.

The Kiss
First stop upon landing was the East Side Gallery, a remnant of the Berlin wall; a concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989 as well as encircling and separating West Berlin from East German territory. But that is a history lesson for another day. The East Side Gallery is considered the longest open air gallery in the world.

A stroll down the 1.3kilometer long wall truly brings to surface an opportunity to rediscover art and the history of the Berlin wall. Most of the gallery exhibits political satire. WeekendLife reporter’s favourite spot on the wall was and still is the ‘Fraternal Kiss’ between Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhev in 1979.

The kiss painted in 1990 on the wall is said to have been a special form of greeting between socialist leaders. The act demonstrated the special connection that exists between socialist countries. In relation to Botswana, having two grown men in full public display of affection, kissing for that matter, is a rare sight considering that some Batswana are still homophobic. The painting would have never seen the light of day especially in public display. Talking of kissing in public, Germans are liberal about kissing in public, everyone minds their business.

Food
The German cuisine is influenced by regional variations, especially Turkish food. The indigenous recipes focus mostly on bread, vegetables and meat especially pork. For pork lovers, this is the go to destination.

The street food of choice is the Doner Kebab. This is a kebab with Turkish roots. The meat is seasoned and stacked in the shape of an inverted cone and is turned slowly on the grill, the whole process is mesmerising. Once the meat is done it is sliced into thin strips, then one can choose from a variety of vegetables such as cabbage, tomatoes, onions and potentially any other crunchy vegetable under the sun. The mixture along sauces of choice is stuffed into a flat bread and enjoyed as a sandwich.

Coming from a country that prides itself in the quality of its beef. One’s taste pallet gets accustomed to a great taste. Media Mogul, Steve Harvey has said it himself. “Now let me tell you something, I have been all around the world and eaten all kinds of beef, American, Japanese, English, Brazilian and many more, but Batswana have the best beef.” Coming from someone well-travelled I would definitely take his word for it.

Ordered my first “red meat” and it did not taste like home or any other form of meat I had eaten before. I then made the informed decision to stick to chicken. There are not many meat options which means most of the meal options are either vegan or vegetarian.  This just might be an opportunity for Botswana to venture into the German market and aggressively market its beef.

Transport system

In comparison to Botswana, the German transport network and system is immaculate. It is quite practical to live in the city without owning a car. The Government encourages the use of public transport. Transportation is timely, one does not have to wait for an eternity with thoughts running wild on how far the next combi or taxi is .A single train ticket unique to the buyer is also valid for the bus and tramp.

One of the benefits of being a foreigner is being able to buy a ticket valid for 24hours which would save one money if they are planning on several trips around the city and even being able to catch another mode of transport when lost.

For instance; if one plans on using public transport to run errands in Botswana around the city it would be quite costly as they have to pay for every single ride they catch. However with the German 24hour ticket, this allows for an individual to hop on and off any mode of transport as long as the ticket is still valid.

With this system, a question may arise whether one may not be tempted to skip buying the ticket and just get onto the public transport for a free ride. I have realised Germans have an honour, trust and verify system because you may never know when plain clothed conductors will come asking for the ticket. I suggest that everyone should just save themselves the embarrassment and buy a ticket.

Botswana is still a longshot away from implementing this system, hopefully someday the same system will be realized because it certainly would save everyone time and money.

Mannerism

There lies a form of truth to the stereotypes that I have heard about Germans. They have certainly lived up to some of them. The first being punctuality, they are punctual and rarely offer a grace period for those who are late to arrive, everything happens per schedule. 9am means 9am nothing more. This is a positive trait which Batswana should adopt because coming an hour late for an appointment is no big deal for a Motswana. We even have a name for it “Nako ya Motswana.”

There is also a surprising love of order. It is only in rare instances where a person would be seen crossing the road at any point besides the pedestrian crossing. There is a stereotype that they are also stiff and lack humour I would say there is a balance as some are rib crackers and others are all about the business of the day only. In a nutshell, travelling is not always easy but it sure does leave a mark in the memory, and turn one into a story teller through experiences. The world is indeed ours to explore.

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Vee Mampeezy wants to marry again!

28th November 2022

In May 2014, controversial pint sized musician, Odirile Sento married his longtime girlfriend, Kagiso Sento in a glamorous wedding, not knowing that eight years later, the two will be fighting until the very end of their holy union.

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Motsetserepa needs help

18th October 2022

Mental health is one critical element in someone’s life but gloomily, it is often overlooked. Topics centered on mental health and depression dominate the public discourse. The national conversation surrounding mental wellness, both online and offline has aided in the stigma of suffering from depression being removed, slowly but surely.

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TatsoConnekt Leading Women Brunch

14th October 2022

On Saturday 29 October 2022 (11:00- 15:00) Bash Connektor will be presenting their 1st TatsoConnekt Leading Women Brunch which will be hosted by Basadi’Bash’Masimolole. Tatso. A Setswana word. Taste  .Tatso / ta-tso/. verb.

The Brunch will be held at Myhomecafe by Mogobane Dam and tickets are selling at P650 per person. Only 50 tickets available and sold through pre-booking. The value of the offering will be a brunch meal + bottomless mimosas + connekting conversations that matter with leading women in corporate and entrepreneurship. This is an inspirational / empowerment connekting session for Women.

Bash Connektor is a Marketing Company with a twist founded in March 2022 by Basadi Bash Masimolole who has 15 years plus Marketing Experience. The INTENT of Bash Connektor is to Link People, Experiences, and Brands. The K instead of C is INTENTIONAL. We are all about contributing towards AMPLIFYING brand and country messages through curating experiential offerings and connekting conversations that matter, said Basadi Masimolole.

With a sponsor or funding, Basadi Masimolole’s ultimate goal is to have visual podcasts and empowerment connektor sessions at villages as part of cultural tourism and contributing towards the Botswana Government’s Rural Areas Development Program (RADP).

Individuals interested in purchasing the limited number tickets or Brands interested in participating on the TatsoConnekt Leading Women Brunch through sponsorships/ brand placement opportunities can reach Basadi’Bash’Masimolole on +267 7140 6660 / masimololebasadi@gmail.com / Bash Connektor Facebook page.

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