Spotted on the streets of Kampala

Things recently spotted on a Boda Boda:

A family of four, all tucked neatly behind the driver. That makes five.

A woman breast-feeding while riding a Boda Boda, neatly zipping between a truck and another truck.

Two chickens, alive, tied to the handle bars.

A goat, very much alive, and not very happy, tied by the legs, upside down and hanging from the back of a Boda.

Recent viewings from the window of The Beast:

Very sharply dressed traffic policeman. They were dressed all in crisp, pressed white; held a whistle and a wooden palette with which they were directing traffic. I say, who needs traffic lights if these people dare to get themselves between one dusty truck and another? With a wave and the occasional beep on a whistle these fine men and women rule the roads.

Dead dogs and plenty of them. I have taken to wondering, each time I see a dog sleeping, if he is actually alive, or very much dead. It is not a question I enjoy posing as we speed over the pot holes.

Fish hanging from the fenders of cars. They are attached by string to the metal bar on the front. It seems this is the choice way to carry fish home and I imagine it reduces the fishy smell in the car but it certainly may add an aroma of smog to the taste of the fish. This is not an uncommon site yet one that leaves me bemused every time.

Many shops called Obama. There is an Obama Grocery, an Obama Hairdresser, and Obama Restaurant and an Obama Fruit Shop. Do you think he has any idea?

Downtown in the centre of Kampala where you would find the worst traffic jams there are men who walk between the cars selling a assortment of things that would defy the imagination. When was the last time that, sitting in your car, you suddenly realized you needed a wall map, or a pair of shoes, or a game of Scrabble or even a steering wheel cover? Mosquito zappers, board games, carpets and rain coats are offered beside cell phone car chargers, phone airtime, sneakers and peanuts. It is best to put up your window if you prefer not to shop since any one of these objects may be pushed into the car and dangled under your nose.



Filed under Might be funny, observations, Uganda

3 responses to “Spotted on the streets of Kampala


    I have been reading your blog since last September. I started reading as I was lined up for a losition in Kampala with a large international organization. Fortunately for me a better opportunity opened up ruight here in the US.
    Boy, I am baffled about life in Kampala. I have to be honest: I can do without many things and I have seen a lot throughout my live of international travel (including to Africa). I am even from Surinam in the Caribbean.
    Your writing is a great pleasure for the reader. I can now say that I am very glad that I did not choose Kampala – no way could I survice that.
    Goodluck and hang in there.

  2. eddmah

    Wow. Those are some really “strange” observations, as in you wouldn’t see that anywhere in this part of the world.

    And I have taken note of your comment and I will try, but I was just very angry about that particular thing. This weekend coming the remaining members of the core are going to have a Disney movie marathon. I’ll be sure to post about it!

  3. Definitely one of the better posts that I have seen on this topic. Are there other things that I should know about this?

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