Yesterday afternoon i made an improptu trip to Jinja. Not a bad idea seeing that i hadn't been to this lovely town in so many months.
The time i left Kampala it was scorching hot but the farther i moved away from Kampala city and its potholes, the more the weather changed. By the time i got to Lugazi it was raining so mcuh. Cold weather really gives me ideas. There were bu-light bulbs with green bottle in them.
I reached Jinja at about 3.45pm, finished my work in like an hours time and i had the evening to myself. To my utter disbelief, took me about 15minutes walking along main street and Oboja Rd in search for a place to quench my thirst. That's when it hit me that not all Ugandans love their drink the way people in Kampala do. Or maybe coz i was looking out for a particular joint i'd been to months back and had so much fun. Back in Kampala streets are lined with offices, bar, restaurant, another bar, shop, glossary shop, another bar. Even in residential areas, bars sandwich people's homes. In Jinja it was retail shop, phone shop, pharmacy, clothes shop, bookshop, phone shop, clothes shops. No bufundas in sight. Too many clothes i guess that makes the residents very smart people.
Finally, i landed onto Mayfair Hotel. Jinja is to Nile Special as bread is to Butter. I settled down for a couple of lagers and felt so at piece. I mean, who goes to Jinja and doesn't have a beer. This is like the Munich of Uganda. Soon it was time to hit the road but as i moved i noticed a kafunda a few blocks away from which good music was emanating. I think it was called City pub. I did some quick thinking and realised one more of the 8 or 9-time international gold medal winner wouldnt be a bad idea. This place reminded me of those shacks we'd sneak into way back while in high school to have our first experiences with the bitter. The couches were old but very soft and comfy. Scattered wooden tables and blue windows and large disco speakers. I then joined a group of about 4 young men but on their faces you'd think they were 60year olds as a result of abusing alcohol. I murmur my greetings and settle down. A few minutes and we are chatting away like old time geezers. My new friends had so many interesting stories. The respect with which they also regarded me was so humbling. The most interesting of the lot was one guy whose proffession i discovered was a barber. He'd kept sneeking out between drinks to go service his clients. I pity the guy whose head he was shaving. He later returned and we got into some interesting talk. He told me about his daily life, how hardworking he is and also about his love-life. Told me about all his girlfriends, how he had met them all and how he wasn't with them anymore. However, he boasted about how they simply separate but dont really break up. This he said was due to his unmatched skill in bedroom matters. He also told me how he uses local gin as a viagra. I pitied his wife that evening seeing that he must taken an overdose on this particular evening. As they say, time rushes when you are having a good time. I was still enjoying the company of my new friends but i had to return home. One of my friends was even willing to get me some friends of the fairer sex to make my night in Jinja more memorable. All charges were to be settled by him.
All these made me realise how different Kampala and Jinja plus its inhabitants are. Down here, its every man for himself. Who can buy a stranger a drink out of the blue. There is too much greed, jealous and envy with each man trying to pull down the other.
Apart from the hustle to find a quick drink and the very high number of Indians, i think i can survive in Jinja for a month or two. I saw guys enjoying rolex on the street, the city roads are pothole free, the streets less dusty and noisy than Kampala. The big number of boda bicycles is also so annoying.
Am not hating on Kampala and i still believe it comes only second to Las Vegas.
Not so much on the return trip save for 3 text messages from 3 different people. They all had one thing in common; "can i see you". The things Kampala weather can do.