March 2007


To Swaziland… or not?

Me at Café LadenTravel planning with the Cynical Queer is underway, and I’m pleased to say that several years of diligent clicking through emails has led to a US$230 hotel room coming to me for free whilst in the Johannesburg area.


We’re still deciding whether or not we’re going to visit Swaziland, that tiny African nation sandwiched between South Africa and Mozambique. It’s over 200 miles from Johannesburg to Mbabane, the kingdom’s capital—so we’ll need to decide if we want to drive that distance both directions. If we do, then it means the driving map of South Africa that I bought whilst in Denver will prove to be useful.

Beyond these random fleeting thoughts about the vacation trip (I’m able to ignore the non-vacation trips because how excited can one get about going some place where most of the time you won’t be doing what you want to do?), it’s been a good weekend.

chica_gogo_anki emailed me the picture above yesterday—I was reading Anthony Bidulka’s Amuse Bouche at the Weimar Office on Wednesday when she caught me from outside. (For the record Bidulka is the gay Canadian author I discovered at Little Sister’s last summer in Vancouver. His mysteries are well written and enjoyable—I highly recommend him.)

I devoured my copy of the Economist on Saturday and started reading in earnest all of the Harry Potter books – I know it’s a bit early for the July release, but I want to have reread all of the books and had time to digest them before the final book comes out in July.

Guess who's coming!To distract myself I baked a couple loaves of bread whilst reading—almost by accident. I’d had the idea of baking bread after wandering a grocery store (and spotting the display to the left) and not seeing any bread that I wanted to buy (selection can be sparse Saturday afternoons). When I came home I measured out the flour with the full intention of baking it later, but some how later turned into now and I found myself proofing the yeast, getting out milk, measuring water, butter, and putting all the ingredients together.

Today was also quite quiet. I read Harry Potter, baked myself a pancake, and did laundry. It was warm enough to open the windows and air out the flat—something I haven’t been able to do for a week, so windows open, I also took a brief nap, enjoying a day without thinking once (until now) about the big project that keeps roaring back to life in unexpected ways.

I also started looking more closely at Swaziland after getting an email from CQ that is keeping it alive. Along the way, I suddenly realized that if we visit Swaziland, it will be the first country I’ve visited where I am already older than the typical life expectancy of 32.62 years; 38.8% of the population is HIV positive.

2 comments to To Swaziland… or not?

  • I understand that there’s a fair amount of controversy in Swaziland regarding King Mswati’s penchant for polygamy, especially given the H.I.V. rate.

    I suppose Swaziland has some parallels with Bhutan: both are small kingdoms surrounded by much more powerful states (South Africa, India), and both countries maintain strong traditional cultures.

  • Odd that you pick Bhutan out of the blue, but as it turns out I am remotely related (not blood-wise) to Bhutanese royality.

    I’m not sure we can be too critical of King Mswati–he is only doing as his father did. His father I think had more than 200 kids, and Mswati has had quite a few himself.

    I’m looking forward to visiting Swaziland, it promises to be quite educational.