Twilight and After
Events of today leave me questioning whether I made a visit to the twilight zone. It all began normally enough, with a another fantastic Ambrosoli Family Fun Day. From there, I went to the Stanbic Bank at Garden City to withdraw my past-due rent, which I failed to do because I arrived five minutes after the bank had closed. Then I went to the Orange Shop to renew my internet subscription (thus being able to post on my blog again). A conversation might have taken place about customer-unfriendly systems that are in place that are convenient for no one, not even the business itself, so why not change the system? I went upstairs to the Cineplex to check out what was new this week. I will not be attending a film this Tuesday night. Even half price is too much to pay to see an Adam Sandler flick. To make it worse, it's that one with Jennifer Aniston. Sandler and Aniston, sharing the screen, shouldn't the audience be paid for the time lost while watching that disaster flick?
Cue Twilight Zone theme music here.
I went to meet a friend I'd not seen in ages in Ntinda. (On the way there, I stopped by Edison Mugalu's new exhibition at Afriart Gallery. Overall, it was not my favourite exhibition by Edison, whose work I love, but there were some really fantastic paintings, definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.) While waiting for my friend to get off from work, I did a bit of shopping at Quality Supermarket. Quality Supermarket in Ntinda a little treasure trove, with exceptionally bad parking, where you can find gluten-free pastas for only 2000 UGX for 500g and dark chocolate covered McVitie's digestive biscuits.
When my friend showed up, we were both feeling a bit peckish. Since I was not very familiar with that side of town, I let him direct me to a place to eat. We ended up at Buddies, a place I knew to be a bar, but he assured me they had decent food as well. I found parking in the rear on a mound of broken bricks, just outside of a Mormon meeting house--being in such close proximity to a bar that I'm sure blares music must lead to some interesting church meetings. The security guard at Buddies' entrance was over-zealous with his inspection. I think I even got a salute from him as I approached the door. When we entered the cave of a building, we started walking to the seating area to the immediate right. There was a guy standing at the rear wall, at an entrance to another area. He just looked at us and started flailing his arms. I had no idea how to interpret his motion, so I was sure they were not intended for us, and we kept walking toward the seating area. The guy obstructed out path, still flailing his arms, but never speaking a word. Well, with the guy standing in our way, it was pretty obvious that his fit-like movements were a sign that he did not want us in the seating area, so we went outside in the back.
Buddies is kind of gross. There were random piles of rubbish and stray cats abounded. The strangest part of the Buddies experience is that I did not just walk out and leave, but we stayed, ordered food, and ate. Eww. Why? Food eaten and bill paid, we decided to leave. I left a tip (not usually expected in Uganda, especially not in a place like Buddies). I didn't expect a thank you or anything, but I surely didn't expect the response I got: laughter. Yes, the rude bitch laughed.
From there we migrated to the Nob View Hotel. Now I had no idea what nob meant, so I looked it up in my phone's dictionary. Nob is a British term for a person of wealth or high position. The hotel has a pretty good view of Naguru Hill, so I guess the owner of the hotel wanted to make sure that the guests there knew they could have a look at all the privileged class's houses from his/her hotel. That's just weird. But not as weird as the enormous angel statue holding a lighted orb that rests atop the roof, just over from the bar.
Why? I guess someone thought it was pretty... or just wanted to be tacky as hell.
Earlier at Family Fun Day, I bought some roses to put in a vase at home. Well, I did not make it home before heading to Ntinda, so the poor flowers were suffering from lack of water in the back seat of my car. My friend told me that no one had ever given him flowers, so I told him he could have them. He decided it would be fun to carry the flowers with him when we went to the Nob View bar. He cradled them in his arms like a baby and made sure that all the waitstaff was aware that he had flowers. Then he stuffed the roses in the upper foliage of a potted ficus tree on the outside veranda, next to our table. I'm not sure if he meant his actions as a joke, but I sure had a good laugh inside, considering how bizarre the whole situation seemed to me.
Reflecting on tonight's events now, they do not seem so oddball. They seem like just another Saturday night in KLA. However, at the time, I really felt like I was in another dimension. Maybe it was heat stroke... or just exhaustion.
Or maybe none of the above.