A Thursday night in Kampala

It is never a very good idea to go out on a Thursday evening. Especially if you are a light weight who can barely handle 2 glasses of wine, needs a good 7 or 8 hours of sleep and all faculties intact to teach the younger masses in the morning. Yet, having said all that, I did go out last night, to three different places, mind you, and have the bleary eyes, slight headache and stories to prove it.

First stop: an art exhibition at the Alliance Francaise. This was a highly cultural affair, with women dressed in interesting jewelry standing next to tall African men, hands on chins looking at paintings of elephants while sipping mulled wine and munching politely on small cubes of fruit cake. Mellow, Buddha Bar type music played in the background and lots of people smoked and spoke French. It was a place of artists, pretty people and those culturally inclined. I wanted to buy a small wooden elephant, splattered with colourful paint but it was already sold.

Next stop: a Korean restaurant large enough to host a royal wedding, with a menu that came in two books, heavy enough to squash a cockroach. We started at a table down stairs in a vacuous room that left me feeling I was alone in the wrong place and once our warm white wine arrived we moved to a private room where we tucked our feet down into the sunken floor and hoped that no rash creatures would crawl upon us. There was something decidingly seedy about the place, from the stained table cloths to the items on the menu that included fried gizzards and offal cooked with edible fungus. I opted for the bean curd soup but it proved inedible.  The waiter had a terribly hard time opening the wine. At one point he needed to use a bottle opener with a wrench attached on top to turn the stubborn screw around.  The four of us sat around the table, with our legs stretched into nether land, and laughed through two bottles of delicious but warm wine and spicy but terrible food.

Final Stop: a local bar, known widely as a place where lonely single people might find some company. Perhaps that is not fair. It is a popular watering hole, but on the side it is also what I like to refer to as a meat market. After watching the overweight, crumpled white guys dance and buy drinks for the pretty but professional black women; I thanked all my stars that I am happily married. Kampala is not an easy place to be single and last night was definitely the night for ugly white guys to go out and peruse the pros. The sight of prostitutes openly working a room is a new and alarming sight for me. This is something that I have never encountered before, especially since in most countries this phenomenon exists is a more clandestine form.

Bed: I remember crashing onto my bed somewhere around midnight.  Morning came far too quickly and I have been munching on dried Mangos to restore some semblance of alertness.

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2 Comments

Filed under personal, Uganda

2 responses to “A Thursday night in Kampala

  1. angela

    you have me giggling again:).
    hope your head feels better soon…

  2. I love how you summed up the bars and life in Kampala…so true! Amen, to everything!

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