Daily Archives: September 22, 2010

In my world we dodge motorbikes on the way to work and watch goats race on the weekend

It has been a bit of a wonky world these past few days. I revelled in the glory of a hot soak in the bath when I got back from Safari with Camp Hormone and then promptly hopped into the kitchen and set to preparing a meal for our first party in the Villa. It was in honour of the birthday of a dear friend, I am forever the Fairy Godmother of Birthdays as my Montreal friends used to say. It was a lovely evening, music, candles, cake and Chilli; good friends, chatting outdoors on the terrace. It was what the Villa is meant for.

The next day I hid my headache under a pretty red scarf and trooped off to the bizarre yet aptly named Royal Ascot Goat Races; a rather strange and lively affair where reluctant goats are pushed by mattresses on wheels around a circular enclosure.

Having the attended the very different Tobago Goat Races where men run at the speed of light holding onto a goat for dear life, I was interested to see how this would compare. In Kampala each goat has a number; people bet money on the goats, the more the people drink, the more money they bet. The goats are really just an excuse to get tarted up in a hat and frock (even some of the gents) and drink free booze under a tent. I am not a huge fan of these types of affairs. I am not one for the over consumption of alcohol, (falling down is not attractive) and after a few hours of small talk in high heels I am bored and fed up. I would far prefer to sit on a balcony with good friends drinking wine. Call me boring. It’s okay. The great thing about Tobago is that everyone sat on benches and ate doubles, there were no tents, no pink champagne; imagine! It really was about the goats!

But I am glad that I attended THE event on Kampala’s social calendar, if only from an anthropologist’s view point. It was fun, brilliantly organized and a fantastic chance for people to rub shoulders, laugh, fall over and generally have fun together. This is a small town and it was easy to bump into a lot of familiar faces over the course of the afternoon. The serious crème de la crème arrived and left by shiny helicopter and the serious revellers stayed overnight taking advantage of the location at a lovely resort. We had left Trooper and Princess in the safe and preferable company of their friends but we still had to collect them when the fun was over.

Since then it has been back to school and my morning walks, dodging matatous (taxi minibus) and boda bodas (motorcycles) has resumed.

( The blue and white vehicle on the left is a Matatou. They rule the roads.)

The other morning I had the wind knocked out of my sails by one super fast matatou that refused to stop. I quickly realized I was going to lose that game of ‘chicken’ and moved out of the way. But a man did walk straight into me, stepping on my newly pedicured big toe.  This morning we had to step over a headless chicken moments after Trooper had slipped and fallen as we were squeezing past a line of cars. It is a hairy but worthwhile experience.

I am ready for October. September has been endless and I am over it. Sorry September but you are dragging.

Next week Princess will pack her tent and head off to the wild and wonderful world of outdoor ed. She is eagerly anticipating 3 days and 2 nights in a tent with her bestest friends, canoeing on a lake and midnight candy feasts.


Filed under Kampala