|A Sunday Moonlit Stroll Through Kampala (standard:drama, 1439 words)|
|Author: DAVID TUMUSIIME||Added: Aug 13 2005||Views/Reads: 1806/1082||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Strange things can happen once you decide to walk unguided in Kampala. What happened.|
This was not a work assignment. I can't make excuses. I was in the middle of Kampala on a Sunday because I had nothing better to do. I had realised that if stayed one more hour in my bachelor house listening to the radio music that was no longer soothing but nerve wracking in it's monotony I was going to go crazy! I simply had to get out! A bachelor pad to those outside looking in may conjure up raunchy images of weekly threesomes, dawn breaking barbecues and dusk beach strolls. How could I have a bachelor pad and be desperate to get away from mine? There are things like rent, overdrawn bank accounts and sulking girlfriends. That's how I ended up in the center of Kampala with absolutely nothing to do on a Sunday with a sky darkening into night holding me spellbound. I live to see this furious splendour in the sky as dusk falls. This gorgeous last burst of colour that is unleashed in the clouds before the sky darkens, this frenzy of colour that dies down before one's eyes into quiet pink and purple so silently and with a wordless sigh that if it had a taste I have no doubt would taste like mellow wine. I was lost in watching this glory which is probably why I never noticed the darkness creeping up on me. When I looked about and realised I could not read the time on the clock opposite Caltex service station on Parliamentary Avenue, I was shocked. Not with the bittersweet realisation that my next paycheck is going to my optician. Okay, that was part of it. But the main thing that shocked me was realizing that I had never been in Kampala late at night on a Sunday on foot. Somehow this insomniac had never toured Kampala on a Sunday night! A good thing I was alone because I was embarrassed to make such an admission even to myself. It was too shaming! But not as shocking as being tugged from my maloo of the sky by a beseeching hand emerging from a stinking, crumply pile of something on the pavement. I was almost straight away going to hurriedly cross the road to the other side where such... such ...vermin would not soil me when I saw that it was actually a female human being. I was also simultaneously struck by how lonely popular Mateos and Nandos looked today from where I was standing. The loneliest I have ever seen either Mateos or Nandos before was on a Saturday afternoon that happened to coincide with a public holiday. Even on that memorable Saturday when I had just solemnly sworn never to write again for unappreciative Ugandans, there had been a couple of bored rich youthful corporate types dressed for fun in shorts and tee-shirts who were arguing about whether to patronise either establishment or not. They had decided on Resort beach Entebbe and I called up my former enemy and editor that night and begged to be taken back. But on this Sunday the loneliness was different. There was no boredom about it. It was a wistful loneliness like the despondent waiters were thinking of somewhere they should be on this Sunday and were not. I had nowhere to be so I was here looking at them and inwardly glowing because broke as I was and looking it, unlike in former times if I went there today I would be treated like royalty. I hang onto that thought but I had no intention of finding out whether it's true that if you eat in a restaurant or hotel and fail to pay, you are led to the kitchens and clean and wash dishes worth your bill. I wanted to see Kampala at night so I walked on along Parliamentary Avenue seeing the most number of whites I have ever seen together in Uganda spread all over Café Pap's terrace like human flowers in their gaily coloured clothes, dinning. I wasn't in the least bit envious. I was even thinking usefully on seeing no lines at the British High Commission that if Makerere University had innovatively introduced night classes, couldn't these guys do the same for the desperate busy Ugandans seeking their services? This smart thought was terminated when for the first time in my life when I did not need their services I saw that there were no lines either at the Nile Bank ATM on former IPS Building. Drat! There was no activity at the Uganda parliament. But then many people will ask you if there ever is any. Parliament Avenue is irresistible on Click here to read the rest of this story (65 more lines)
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