I’ve received a lot of correspondence from those who know me well wondering if I am alive, seeing that April Fool’s day passed without me doing something suitable for the occasion. It is an opportunity I almost never pass up, and (toot toot) generally rise to the occasion.
So my silence was met with amazement and concern.
Friends, Romans, Countrymen, I am very much alive and in excellent health, enjoying the sunny disposition of the Ugandan climate. I’m doing my thing from an office with a lovely view of Lake Victoria and Port Bell. Murphy has been unusually good to me and things are working excellently.
The pilot managed to hit the airstrip on the first attempt and I went straight to site (luggage and all).
The overzealous nonsense so prevalent in Kenya of confiscating identification documents so as to allow you entry seems to have been picked up there. I was forced to surrender by passport and imagine the unChrisitan language I had to choke back when on being driven out, the reception had merrily locked my passport in and gone home for the day.
Convincing hotels, at least those of any repute, to allow you to register without identification documents of any kind is an experience I highly recommend for those willing to prove they can talk themselves out of trouble. After a careful cocktail of honey and threats, they let me in.
As rooms go, it’s not too bad. After establishing the most crucual aspect (in Uganda – ice cold air conditioning), and then lesser things like the presence of a bed) i was satisfied. It even has a little living room and those nice cane seats. The flowers, i discovered after a night, are fake. The person who was there before gratefully locked the safe and went off with the combination so I have to look for a manager to unlock the thing. I hope the previous occupant did not leave a grenade or something in there, or i shall have some explaining to do!
I’m also realizing just how much i inject Kiswahili, Sheng and bits and pieces of other languages in my off the cuff conversation. However i’m making a conscious efforts and the blank looks and ‘excuse me?’s when i drop a stinging ‘fokojembe’ and ‘bollocks’ seem to be reducuing.
I was very amused at the forex bureau when i gave the good lady behind the counter a smile and 10,000 Kenyan shillings and she gave me back an even bigger one and 226,000 Ugandan shillings. The currency here takes some getting used to – a soda is 500 bob. A litre of super is 1,770 bob