Friday, October 21, 2011

Our Uganda Friday: Only In Uganda

by Darlyne Komukama

I am in Nairobi for a 10 day trip and have been here for 4 of those 10 days. Obviously being a new environment makes you compare it to what you're used to and being here has been no different for me. So for this installation of the 'Our Uganda Friday' blog post, I am going to tell you all the things I am currently missing the most about Kampala, specifically, and Uganda in general.


Not the watch, that's not what you get when you ask for a rolex in Kampala. Rather it's an ingenious recipe in which an omelette is rolled up together with a chapati and the name is believed come from 'rolled eggs'. This buritto like creation can also be filled with, my personal favourite, bacon but more likely with sausage or some type of meat. It is ubiquitous and will be seen on any street corner, outside every market and usually on the side of the road in the more popular hang out areas. If you're in Kampala, and you see someone standing behind a desk with chapatis on display and a tray of eggs next to a charcoal stove with a flat pan on top of it, you are probably in the presence of a rolex guy and you must get yourself one immediately.

Boda Boda

The fastest way to get anywhere on the traffic-jam riddled streets of Kampala is definitely the motorcycle taxis we call boda bodas or bodas for short. A very dividing mode of transport with those who hate them warning everyone one off them and occasionally cussing at them as they weave through traffic while those who love them will not get around town any other way. I am firmly in the 'love them' camp and will only be forced to travel another way if it's raining (and even then I might choose to get wet than sit an hour long traffic for a 10 minute drive) I have become so accustomed to boda rides that I will more often than not be seen reading whatever book I'm reading at the time on the back of the boda.


Outside one of the popular malls in Kampala, the Garden City Mall, are many hawkers whose specialty is cheap knock off sun glasses, many of them Ray Bans. They also make it down the street to the traffic lights on Jinja road so that while you wait for the light to turn green, you can try on a good number of sun glasses and get yourself the perfect pair for about $2 a pair. Nairobi is mostly cold but when it is sunny, it's incredibly bright and I really wish one of those hawkers were around when I needed him.

Warm Nights

Nairobi is much colder than Kampala and anyone who knows is already tired of me moaning about how cold I am especially at night. I go to bed in a socks, tights, a vest and a sweater under my pyjamas even though I have a perfectly normal duvet. Kampala nights are perfectly warm, you could easily go out in a sun dress at 10pm and not get a single goose bump and for covers, I only need a sheet for modesty's sake.

If you were ever looking for any reason to visit Kampala, I've given you 4 pretty good ones.

From Awava, enjoy your weekend.

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