I arrived in Kampala by night, the city is warm and vibrant. Outside the airport there are two means of transportation to choose from, cars or motorcycles also called boda bodas, I opted for the later and held on for dear life as it went criss-crossing the streets like brackets in a Tetris game. Kampala is sometimes called The Seven Hills, I understood why as we rode uphill from the city center. Passing through the tall buildings, with the freshness of the evening air blowing across my face, I am suddenly filled with confidence that we can become good friends, Kampala and I.
However, my acquaintance with this beautiful city started on chilly terms. Although I was prepared for the rainy season, I never thought a Swede could feel cold in Uganda. When packing for Kampala, I used my experience from a recent visit to Ghana where most of the clothes I had taken with me stayed untouched in my suitcase. "Get rid of the useless weight" I thought to myself and left Sweden in good spirit with just two thin pullovers. Despite my brave packing skills, in line with the spirit of a true viking, I caught the cold anyway! Just like my fellow Ugandans. So much for viking my heritage, huh?
In Kampala, l enjoy rolex and take taxi as often as l can. I bet you are thinking, wow! she must be loaded to have a rolex. Well, let me enlighten you, rolex is a magnificent snack that consists of eggs rolled up and wrapped in bread which resembles a pancake. It may not be as fancy as the brand "Rolex" but it definitely fills your stomach as well as makes you smile when you think of the name.
Just a little tips to my fellow Swedes, taxi in Uganda means taking a local bus which takes more than four people at a time. This is the general means of transportation here, what we call taxi in Sweden is a special hire in Uganda. This still confuses me sometimes but am gradually adjusting to the term.
As the proverb says "Do not judge the book by its cover". Africa is not what you read on the newspaper, or watch on the news screen alone, it has her challenges and strength. I never liked electronic or the techno-gadgets but my new city "Kampala" has brought out a new interest in me, with 4G connections on my laptop and spending more time than ever in the conference rooms of exclusive hotels. I believe the relationship between Kampala and I is on a good path; We are heading for some exciting time together that will probably change bits and parts of not just me but possibly both of us.
I will share with you more details of my new found love and more of my experience in my next article. Bela bulungi! Have a nice day! Ha en bra dag!
Sanna holding rolex in her hand Boda boda (Motorcycle),an important means of transportation
Written by Sanna Ström