My Benetton Ad
I prepared Thai red curry tonight for the second and best time in my life. The curry paste makes all the difference. Fortunately the tub I found at a Cape Town Spar turned out to be pretty good. (I know, random). Unfortunately, it won't last forever, and curry paste is not so easily accessible in Kampala. Fortunately, I bought two tubs of paste in Cape Town, so I hope to host several curry dinners while I can. Tonight was a lovely success with two beautiful guests (Leo and Lynne, and we all realised that each one of us is one of six children. 666. Beastly, I'd say) who contributed spicy conversation to our already peppered meal.
During our meal, of course the topic of my recent participation in the Two Oceans Marathon came up. Ok, I admit to forcing the unsolicited viewing of my homemade video, but that's not where I'm heading with this narrative. Leo asked if there were any Ugandans running that day. At the International Friendship run on Friday, they announced that Uganda had four runners registered. Unfortunately, I did not meet any Ugandans during the run; however, I would have loved to.
During the International Friendship Run, a representative of each country ran with their country's flag. I did (kinda) meet the woman who ran with Uganda's flag.
She's the one in the green shirt. It's hard to see the flag, but look down by her leg.
Maybe I'm narrow minded, but I was surprised to see this mzungu woman representing Uganda in the run. I think I was even more surprised that I didn't know her. Kampala's not a huge city. The ex-pat community is not so large. The running community is even smaller, and the ex-pat running community, well, is a community I know well. And let's face it, I know a lot of people in Kampala. I might not be friends with you, but I usually know who you are from a distance. Or we have met and just didn't hit it off. I'd never seen this woman before in my life. That really sparked my curiosity. Robyn and I made our way over to meet this woman (because I'm so friendly... hahahaha!). We walked up the Ms. Uganda, and Robyn politely asked, "Are you running for Uganda?" The woman, looking annoyed, turned around huffed, "Yes." Then turned back to her friends and did not give us any notice.
Oyo mukazi ki akutte bendela?
I'm not going to make a public judgement here, I'm just going to attribute her response to pre-run nerves. We all get them right? But I'll admit to being put off and a bit annoyed, until I thought, "Hell, I'm here to have a good time, enjoy a new city and a fantastic, fun run."
It made me think back to when I was a Peace Corps volunteer sitting out in front of Kato's restaurant, having a conversation with him about one of his trips to Switzerland when he was in the business of textiles. He said no matter where he was, if he saw another African, he'd be so happy and go to meet them. His observation was that Europeans did not behave in the same way; they'd often ignore each other and not show signs of happiness to meet others. This situation would definitely prove his theory correct.
Oh well, her loss. I met some pretty terrific people over the past week, people from all over the world. It was like a picture-perfect Benetton ad, as was tonight's dinner: from diverse backgrounds, enjoying a delicious Thai dinner in Kampala, Uganda prepared by an American. Oh, and varying degrees of being clothed. Most importantly, we were all so very photogenic.