The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: The Geezer - Kampala Folk Leave Nothing Uneaten

What's refreshing is this otherwise bustling city of ours. Kampala has been at relative peace from the marauding population that occupies it at maximum capacity for much of the year.

Before today, after this year broke, you could lay flat on your back in the middle of one of the busiest streets like Ben Kiwanuka and you are not run over by any people or vehicle traffic - including wheel carts.

Those who have braved the journey to the banks have been appalled at the absence of the notorious queues - one wonders what those were doing in the bank in these times and for the better part of the remaining 25 or so days.

Someone has quipped that the next twenty days will be so definitive that previously sane geezers will be seen walking gesticulating and speaking 'alone'. Belts will have to be tightened harder. It's January, alo!

The villages where most had retreated, not so much to have a holiday, but to splash some cash causing inflation, are yet to recover. In years gone by, the village folk believed the Kampala folk do not eat much.

'They serve themselves two spoonfuls of sauce and a slice of matooke' yet their village counterparts ate rusaniya - full of food, drank one-litre mugs of Bushera after a starter of roast maize and some mangoes. Not anymore. The eating volume roles have switched.

The Kampala folk don't leave anything edible when they hit village; they literally eat the villages to the root. From pumpkin pistils to groundnut buds, from ox-balls to chicken gizzards and pig ears, the Kampala folk leave nothing uneaten.

And all the while, much more has to be packed for their return journey to the city where, now, matooke is going for 30k a bunch; and we are talking about the little bad ones. So, as the cars snaked back into the city, in the boots are potatoes and other tubers, smoked and roast meat, ghee and flour and legumes to last the month of the deadly January!

And so today, it's back to business; call it business unusual for it's like having a new start. We start from our usual rat race of money hunting and keeping a lifestyle of superstars. The wenches will demand with even more valour their fair share of attention and dime; to sum it up, it's gonna get bloody; bloodier with school fees beckoning by end of month.

But let's get back to how the new year was ushered in. For those who were in the city, the whole new year euphoria is getting bogged up by the incredible police presence, blocking of roads and restricting fireworks to five minutes, yes FIVE MINUTES.

Not even enough time for a quickie. Explains why all those who attempted to grab one in those isolated bushes of Lubiri during the Enkuuka celebrations were napped before even pants could get down.

At this rate, new year will simply pass like a public holiday over the weekend. You cannot drink and dart all over the city to show face to the different woochies lest you spend the night in the coolers with hundreds of thousands in fine losses.

This is fast becoming a not-so-good town to party in. But heck, the alternative is worse; ask those who just returned from the villages!

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