Kigali is eerily beautiful — no doubt about it. And while it may have little to offer on the party scene compared to its surrounding capitals of Kampala, Bujumbura and Dar es Salaam, there is a certain magic flowing throughout this hilly city.
Though this mystical Kigali magnetism never ceases to move us, the days do become weary after spending longer periods of time here. There is only so many times one can walk the ‘Muzungu Trail’ before it gets old; only so many times one can visit the Magical Amusement Park in Nyarutarama before this too becomes part of the dreary everyday backdrop.
How then, might we keep the wonder alive once the initial fascination has settled? How do we preserve the pulsating Kigali magic when the thrill of arrival has evaporated into the reality of work and daily chores, and you find yourself dangerously close to the bottom of the W-Curve?
My proposal is a Kigali Drink-Week Schedule (or for you abbreviators out there: a KiDWeeS). Since we first started to notice the signs of settling into a boring routine, my friends and I decided to adhere to a strict weekly drink regime. It started out with Wine Wednesday, but steadily matured into a full-grown weekday schedule:
With some sparkly wine and orange juice you too can transform your Blue Monday into a rainbow-colored day you can look forward to. I prefer enjoying my mimosa(s) during lunch while practicing French and munching on some avocado salad, but feel free to add your own twist. Mimosa Monday is all about soaking up the sunshine, stocking up on the Vitamin C’s, and possibly study something you’ve always wanted to learn!
So you made it through Monday, and now have the rest of the week towering over you. The weekend is barely visible in the horizon, and a multitude of tasks are screaming your name. Fear not, for tonight you shall get tipsy. We decided for some good old whiskey, just to mix it up a bit! Our personal preference is Sundowner in Kimihurura where you can get a small bottle of Bond 7 to share for only Rwf 3,000! If you don’t feel like heading out, may I suggest preparing a tray ice cubes at home and inviting friends over to cook! By the time the golden drops are gone, you’ll have laughed and giggled enough to last you well into Wednesday .
Ah, what better joy in life than a mid-week gossip session? Though my companions and I usually get boozed up at Papyrus (Rwf 6,000 for ½ carafe of wine…that’s Rwf 18,000 for three…), you need to find your own favorite spot, where you can unwind, recharge and get excited for the remainder of your week!
Most likely you’ll feel the need for a post-work nap by now, in which case you might wake up in the evening at a loss of what to do. Since bowling or going to the movies are out of the question in this city of ours, why not head out to your local brochette place? While you wait for your chips and meat (between an hour or two most likely), relax with a beer or four under the Kigali stars. If the place is lit, bring your book or the magazine you bought of off the guy in the street, or bring some scrap paper and practice drawing. Thirsty Thursday is a time to quench the thirst of your soul. Put the job-related articles away, and get lost in either someone else’s fiction or your own inner universe.
Self-explanatory. You made it! It’s here! The day we have all been waiting for! Take a quick nap in the hammock (or on the bed for those of you not keeping up with the latest relaxation trends), enjoy a long shower, and open that bottle of wine! For an extra treat, head over to Heaven Happy Hour for 3 glasses of wine and some guacamole before commencing your evening of undomesticated partying (yes, I looked up a synonym for wild, okay? but hey! undomesticated’s pretty fitting, don’tcha think?).
Anyway, if you’re up for it, head out and order a couple of Tequila Red Bulls and see where the night takes you…
Need to take it easy today, huh? Yes, that is indeed what the weekend is all about. For a tranquil afternoon, I suggest visiting New Cactus for brunch/lunch. Take in the amazing views while nipping at a glass of rosé wine, and catch up on the events from last night. Should the sun set while you’re there, why not stroll down through the calm Kiyovu streets, and have dinner somewhere? If you— like me— are too lazy to go out afterwards, Republika is a good place to round off the evening. Top off with an Amarula Coffee, and you’ll be dozing off in no time.
Wohoo! Sunday at the pool! Cool off your body in the water and your soul with a cold beer! For you posh girls out there, order a shandy (half-and-half beer and lemonade), put on your white sneakers, and head for the tennis court at Laico or Circle Sportif! A perfect way to get mentally prepared for yet another week while working on your tan and toning your muscles— and quite frankly, what more can you ask of a Sunday?
When the weather does not allow outdoor recreation, do a Mexican Brunch/ Internet session at Shokola. Sadly, no alcohol served here though, but how about some double apple shisha instead…?