Dust aka Powder

The Powder:

One of the issues one faces when back home is the pollution of all sorts from noise pollution to sight pollution. This blog is talking about one pollution that really, really disturbs me a great deal. It is dust. In the local parlance it is called powder.

It permeates everything and cakes everything.  As a returnee it is clear that using the Boda Bodas does leave traces of powder all over the shoes and lower parts of the pants.

The cleanliness or lack thereof of a person is perceived by the powder(dust) on one’s shoes.

A lot of the discussion about powder in Kampala City and its surroundings is negative because in all honesty it is pollution of sorts. It causes discomfort through constant coughing, washing and dry cleaning of clothes, women doing their hair weekly and sinus issues.

dusty-road

Source: http://67.media.tumblr.com/f7def362736e2df533c9b623dba526f0/tumblr_nj0ypwoVXx1taw7tlo1_1280.jpg

On the other hand, there is a bright light in all this powder situation it has created employment for the many car washing bays that exist in an around the city.

One of the best smells vis a vie the powder, it is when it is about to rain and the first drizzle hits the roads before the heavy downpour. That smell to me signifies relief. Relief from the constant barrage of powder(dust). Relief that our clothes, hair, food and well-being will be dust free for as long as it rains. Oh what a relief it is more so with the sound of the rain. This is epic.

In regards to plants I wonder how photosynthesis happens when the leaves are covered with the powder. Do we get the right process as the leaves need sun light to carry out photosynthesis? Do we get the fruits or plants as they should look like?

Photosynthesis according to Live Science is ‘Photosynthesis is the process used by plants, algae and certain bacteria to harness energy from sunlight into chemical energy. There are two types of photosynthetic processes: oxygenic photosynthesis and anoxygenic photosynthesis. Oxygenic photosynthesis is the most common and is seen in plants, algae and cyanobacteria.’

http://www.livescience.com/51720-photosynthesis.html

I am no expert on such matters but the photo below does show a banana that looks sickly to me as it lacks it proper lustre and definition.

powder-on-banana-leaves

source: https://theglobalnomadlive.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/powder-on-banana-leaves.jpeg

I wonder what other ailments befall us because of the powder that we will in later years’ attribute as the causes of the powder (dust pollution).

When I wake up and get that ample dose of powder I say to myself Welcome home Brotherman. Welcome home.

 

Dating: Ugandan Style continued

To Tip or not To Tip

The other aspect of dating that threw me off guard totally is tipping.

The simple gesture of gratitude for services rendered, tipping in other words, is loaded with mine field repercussions in Kampala city.

Yes, I use tipping as a form of litmus test for the ladies I date. If they are for it then she’s my type. If they are against it then I am going to move on and avoid future clashes of opinion about yes, you got it tipping.

In establishments that are well known brand names tipping is not a must nor is it one the service bill(receipt) you can tip according to the way you feel after the service, However, in the local establishments tipping means totally a different proposition.

My rule of thumb to tip it is 10% of the bill. Now most establishments in Kampala do not add that service charge on the bill(receipt).

When my friends sat me down to explain the pros and cons of tipping in Kampala City I was left in shock. I am made to understand that if I tip any waitress that is not working within the brand name establishments, places like Sheraton, Hilton or Serena Hotels then chances are that the waitress that has received my tip will feel obliged to return the favour on my ‘investment’.  It is the way that many men use this method of investment to get sexual favours. When I heard this I couldn’t believe that such a gesture could be construed too mean loads of other things you know.

Honestly, dating in Kampala is an expensive affair but it is loaded with mine fields of innuendos that one needs to understand before going out. I would not want to end up in the jail-house or at the end of a barrage of fists because of innocent actions taken by me without really understanding that they can cause some serious repercussions.

Dating in Kampala has its adventurous side of things as well. I found myself on the road on this high speed Boda Boda whizzing me from one place to the next with babe I am dating sitting in front of me and the Boda Boda guy in front of her. Making that three of us on this Boda Boda. The wind that was blowing in my face and hair really brought it back to me. I am on a date with this babe on a Boda Boda. I do not have to worry about the tipping or not to tip issues I am enjoying myself and the babe is leaning back into me. The warmth I got from such an innocent but real act of her leaning into me made the ride all the much better. What a way to enjoy the closeness of another person without it being lewd in a sense but very wholesome.

Only in Kampala City!

img_1526

source: Google

Keep at it! Ug is an experience!

Coming from abroad for many of us, returnees, we look like everyone else however, our thought process is totally different from the host citizens. This is understandable because as a Global Nomad, ours is to make sure that we adapt to each situation we find ourselves. We face various uncertainties and also have imaginary fears that we think about constantly.

I made mention of the fears. Some are real and some are far-fetched very real in the mind dynamics. For instance, the fears stem from not having enough funds to make the dreams on the motherland happen to the aspect that as I have no tangible assets I am a failure.

Success in my part of the world, Uganda, varies from which tribe you hail from, as in the pastoralists they will want to see me with a herd of cows and the agriculturalists a modest house with a shamba (farm).

Others is in the number of children and wife or wives.

Either way success is different from place to place within Uganda. As for me success is the ability to follow on a progressive ideal and seeing it through. Having that dream and making it happen now that I am on the motherland that is success in and of itself.

My life journey has been interesting indeed and my youth very colourful. Having been born two years after independence, the country has gone through upheavals from one generation to the next. The one thing that has remained steadfast has been faith in the forms of the various religions and beliefs.

What I have never understood is the aspect of citing God in everything. For instance, when someone is faced with an issue you will hear something like ‘this is how the things of the good Lord move and work.’ What does that really mean? To me it smirks of someone absolving themselves of responsibilities of making things happen. Go out there and hustle if need be however, do not give excuses.

The other is the road or rather driving ethics.  The impunity of the road driving culture and mindset is sapping. It is extremely stressful driving and one gets home with an actual headache.

Mindset

One of the wonders of driving in the city of Kampala is the roundabout. My understanding has always been that when a vehicle is in the roundabout you always wait for the cars that are coming from your right hand side. In Uganda we drive on the left hand side of the road and most of our vehicles have the steering wheel on the right hand side. Anyways the right hand side rule doesn’t count on the city roundabouts. It all depends on the maze and dexterity in how you manoeuvre in and out of that roundabout. For many like me that wait for the cars on the right hand side to pass, the taunts, the hooting and abuse one gets is amazing.

The motorcycles, commonly known as Boda Bodas, are an enigma. It is an amazing way to move in the traffic congestion, however, one wonders if they have any rules that they follow. They ride towards oncoming cars, the ride on road islands, they ride on pavements, on stop lights they keep on riding through the red lights. They are the law onto themselves and they are a cause of many road accidents. Yes, they are convenient, the trouble is that they compete for the same space of road, with bigger vehicles that sometimes do not see the Boda Bodas and fatalities do happen. The referral hospital, Mulago hospital, has created an entire wing just to deal with the accident victims of Boda Bodas accidents.

The anxiety in driving a vehicle in Kampala, comes from the aspect that the Boda Bodas overtake you from the left and right as you are on the road. This can be bewildering because you have to make sure that you do not crash into them.

The other issue is the taxi minibuses(matatu). They too create their own lane either on the left hand side of the road or on the right hand side of the road of the vehicle that you are driving or being driven. They overtake cars even when oncoming cars are driving towards them. The road accidents that we witness in the country are because of such reckless, daredevil drivers, with little or no regard to the lives of the passengers they carry in their taxi minibuses(matatu).

boda-bodas-matatu

Boda Bodas & Matutu in Kampala City, Uganda
Source: https://www-kiva-org.global.ssl.fastly.net/cms//import/fellows_blog_sp_import/boda21.jpg?w=455&h=326

If one is to use the driving culture of the city to gauge the mindset of the drivers, it is chaotic, dare-devil tactics, no regard to human life until it is too late and there is no regard to the rules and regulations of the traffic code. The battles one faces on a daily basis because of Boda Bodas is immense this is because of their strategic force on the political landscape and later regulating them becomes an issue. For the reason that of high unemployment the use of Boda Bodas reduces the statistics of the unemployed hence their political clout. Their organizations are a force to be reckoned with. Woe betide any politician that wishes to do away with them because of traffic congestion. They are here to stay on the political landscape as well as being part of the traffic disorder.