I am sick as a sick dog that cannot stop sneezing. I have allergies and they are bad. I believe I am allergic to Kampala.
Last night at 7pm, after 3 pills I was still sneezing and rubbing my eyes and looking like a red eyed monster, yet it was our night out and I couldn’t face another Thursday evening brought to its knees. Last week, struck with a bad case of the sneezies I had to miss out on a rather glamorous evening out with some girls. This time I could not let it beat me.
I like going out on Thursday night more than any other night of the week, despite it being an early start the next morning. It tends to make the weekend feel a bit closer and it is a wonderful relief after my 8 period, no break in sight, day.
Kampala has a special little Italian restaurant that I am happy to call my favourite place in town. It is called Mambo Point, so called for sentimental reasons to recall the neighbourhood where the Italian owner and his wife met and lived in Liberia. It serves fresh, delicious food made with ingredients shipped directly from Italy. I find it to be a quiet corner in a hectic town and there is something quiet and tranquil about sitting on their terrace, not a child in sight, adults sipping wine and speaking softly. Kampala demands that you find places like this to escape to, where you can regain your sanity and regroup. Next weekend is half term and we are heading out of town, but in the meantime this little oasis of calm has soothed my sorry nerves.
The biggest news to hit our house this week is the sale of the Beast! The Beast has gone to a better home and good riddance I say. I always feared the engine would fall out of that car while careening over one pot hole too many. There were a few rocky days with no car; taxis and drivers were pulled into help and dear F had to hop on a few Bodas too many.
Then yesterday Beauty arrived, so called for her distinct contrast to the Beast. She is shiny, newish, purrs rather than grumbles and rides like a dream. We are all very content.
Now if I can only stop sneezing, I can begin to look forward to the weekend. Tomorrow is year number 18 for F and me. If you want to see how the love story began, read here.
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.
Filed under personal, Uganda